Simplified Science #1: Eat Fat to Lose Weight


One of the first things people do when they go on a "diet" is lower the amount of fat that they eat. Avocados, beef, olive oil and many more foods are tossed to the curb and replaced with foods such as granola, whole grain breads and rice. We have been instructed by our government in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to keep our saturated fat intake below 10% of our total calories consumed per day. Somehow, Americans are getting fatter and sicker than ever. In fact, lifespan has decreased for the first time in the past 20 years. In other words, we are dying sooner. Modern research continues to show that eating an abundance of fat and restricting your carbohydrate intake is an effective and safe way to lose weight.

In episode 1 of the Simplified Science series, we will break down a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in which subjects lost weight & improved cholesterol + triglyceride profiles in a matter of 12 weeks by eating a diet consisting of about 65% fat.

What Journal?:

Journal of Nutrition.

Who/How?:

29 obese men eating a diet consisting of 60-65% fat, 25-30% protein, 10% carbohydrate over a 12 week period.

Additional Info:

This was a free-living study, meaning subjects were not provided with food. Instead, subjects were instructed to eat "unlimited amounts of

beef, poultry, fish, and eggs, moderate amounts of cheese, low-carbohydrate vegetables, low-carbohydrate salad dressing, and small amounts of nuts and seeds." Additionally, subjects were instructed not to intentionally restrict calories.

Results:

  • Subjects lost an average of 16.5 pounds

  • Subject's body weight reduced by 8%

  • Abdominal fat reduced by 20%

  • LDL cholesterol lowered by 8%

  • Total VLDL cholesterol particles (contribute to heart disease/stroke) decreased by 18%

  • Triglycerides lowered by 38.6%

  • HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) increased by 12%

  • Subjects ate less throughout the study because the fat kept them more full

  • Subjects who had LDL pattern B (the type of LDL that contributes to heart attacks and strokes), decreased it by 5.5%

The takeaway:

The 65% high fat diet lowered body fat & improved cholesterol and triglyceride markers, reducing the risk for heart attack and stroke. While there is much more to the study and this topic in general, it's important to note that FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY. In fact, if you are tying to lose weight, high quality fats like grass-fed beef, coconut oil, avocados and grass-fed butter are some of your best friends :)

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of Simplified Science episode 1 and if there is anything you'd like us to do differently in future series episodes!

Reference:

Wood, R., Volek, J., Liu, Y., Shachter, N., Contois, J., & Fernandez, M. (2016). Carbohydrate Restriction Alters Lipoprotein Metabolism by Modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL Subfraction Distribution and Size in Overweight Men. Jn.nutrition.org. Retrieved 13 December 2016, from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/2/384.long


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