Low-fat foods became dominant in the stores in the last few decades. We forget that our moms and dads were not concerned about eating low-fat, though. They ate plenty of vegetables, put butter on the meat, and limited processed foods. Some people call low-carb, and high fat diets a fad. Some people do not even want to hear about increasing their fat intake. The rhetoric against fat is so ingrained, that some people cannot even consider any alternative methods.
What’s in the low-carb, high-fat method for you? How to successfully implement it?
Benefits of eating low-carb, high-fat
Primal, paleo, LCHF, and Keto communities exist and thrive. There are so many people whose’ life changed for good. They acquired their health back, and absolutely love eating low-carb. Plus, eating higher fat meals together with lower carbohydrate intake leads to lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol). It also leads to weight loss, healthier skin and bones, and other health benefits.
When referring to eating a high-fat diet, people begin to picture eating gluttonous mounds of bacon smothered in mayonnaise and topped with several pounds of cheese. This is often the case when people begin to change their diets because they don’t understand the focus and the goal. In the end, we want to include healthy fats as a dominant intake of our calories. It is also important to eat plenty of other things, like oodles of vegetables and good sources proteins.
What is the secret to eating low-carb, high-fat, and feeling awesome?
First of all, not all fats are equal.
Saturated fats have been labeled as “artery-clogging” and cholesterol raising for years now. The truth is that dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are two separate things. Simply put, eating fat won’t make you fat. On the other hand, eating heavily processed fats such as industrial oils (polyunsaturated oils that get oxidized easily) – soybean and canola oil – will lead to chronic inflammation in your body, thus will affect your heart health. Another negative side of vegetable oils is represented by the ratio of Omega-3s and Omega-6s. The better the ratio in favor of omega-3, the easier it is for your body to keep inflammation and chronic disease away.
Solution: Choose healthy fats: monounsaturated fats such as avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, fat from grass-fed meat, wild fish, some nuts, and seeds.
Secondly, fat is bad for you when consumed with unmoderated amounts of carbohydrates.
An excessive amount of consumed carbs leads to a high production of insulin, and in turn, quick storage of fat. Unless you are an Olympian and train like a mad person, consuming dietary fat with an excess of processed foods (most of them are high in carbs), grains, and legumes will turn into muffin tops and chubby cheeks. Do not panic: you will definitely survive (and feel awesome) by eating plenty of vegetables, and a few berries and fruit. There is a number of good quality carbohydrates that is optimal for your health. Targeting under 150 grams of carbs a day (net) is the goal.
Here is what happens if you keep eating high-carb and low-fat:
We eat carbohydrates, and they get converted into glucose. Our muscles and liver store it as glycogen, and the glycogen stores – think of them as a busy parking lot – have limited space. Whatever our body doesn’t burn, gets stored as fat (read: you have to park in the street, and get a ticket). If we are fat-adapted and keep our carb intake low, we have energy-ready tanks of fuel in the form of fat to keep us going all day. When we aren’t looking for empty parking spots (to keep the metaphor going), we constantly make fuel by breaking down fats in the form of ketones.
If you are eating low-carb – high-fat, think about having a VIP permanent parking spot. No penalties, no weight gain. Also, if you are fat-adapted, you don’t need to keep up with your eating schedule! You simply won’t be hungry as much since your blood sugar will become more stable. There won’t be those constant hunger cravings every few hours either.
The Standard American Diet has led the nation to obesity and depression. In turn, this may lead to the conclusion that grain and carbohydrate based diets are not really great for us. Recent research reverses some of the common opinions about fats and educates us on how to make better choices when it comes down to fat/carb combination.
Solution: Eat plenty of green vegetables, some nuts, and seeds, and limit fruit. Your body runs cleaner on fats.
Thirdly: Low-carb and high-fat way of eating is not a diet.
Despite using the name “diet”, low-carb and high fat, as well as primal nutrition, are more of a lifestyle. Counting calories is not a part of the lifestyle, yet anything we do should stay in reasonable amounts. If you don’t want to give up alcohol, drink reasonable amounts for taste. Choose good quality wine, and avoid cocktails with large amounts of sweeteners. If you are trying to achieve a specific goal, though, it is time to get more precise. See what amount of caloric intake works best for you. Log your food, weigh it, and track your stats.
If not, most people do very well on low-carb, high-fat method without logging their food. Some percentage of them often underestimate how much they are eating. Also, it is so pleasing to hear: “Go eat all the bacon and avocados!” Yummm.
Solution: If you think about it in the paradigm of a “diet”, you most likely will feel like you are dieting. That means feeling deprived, unhappy, and unmotivated. If you think about trying something new and giving it a go – you may find eating low carb is a lifestyle or a method of eating. It is also a choice! In fact, there is a large community of people doing it with pleasure (Mark Sisson).
Let’s repeat: eat good fat, fewer carbs, and don’t sweat it.
After all, we live once, and if you gave it a try but did not enjoy the benefits – perhaps, it is not for you.
Have you tried it, though?
Author: Anya Perry
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.