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Should I Eat Low Fat Or Low Carb

by Dr. Bill

I've finished the last leg of my journey back to Long Island, and arrived safe and sound late last Friday. Last night, while checking the emails, I found a lot of letters about no fat and low fat and and low carb diets.

No-fat diets do not present any advantages as far as I can tell -- in fact, they can be dangerous to your health. They should not be undertaken unless you are under the care of a doctor, and even under medical care, I truly cannot think of a reason why such a strict regimen would be required.

Your body needs fat to flourish, and the only question still being debated is, how much? One thing we know for sure is that it is more than the medical community believed for almost four decades.

The medical consensus on carbs was essentially the same. The long-held belief was that a diet that followed the high-carb, low-fat rule would be the best way to achieve weight loss. You can look around and see for yourself how unsuccessful that theory has been.

The most important word in any diet is BALANCE.

When we speak of balance, we are speaking of the balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

As I've said before, and will repeat again, what you eat needs to be close to its natural state. A baked apple is close to its natural state. Fruit Loops are not. Grilled fish with grilled vegetables is close to its natural state. Kraft Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese is not.

An excellent way to judge healthy food versus unhealthy food is whether or not it comes in a package. Simply put, packaged food is generally unhealthy. Look at the ingredients: packaged food typically contains trans fats and high fructose corn syrup -- both of which are highly detrimental to your health.

The majority of low-fat foods contain a high level of sugar. They are manufactured to be excessively sweet so that the consumer finds them tasty. No-fat foods are the same. They always contain either sugar, or a sugar substitute.

Unfortunately, low-carb foods are typically manufactured with a sugar substitute as well. I think they taste horrible, and I have to somehow convince myself that they are tasty in order in get them down. Why bother?

Generally, it's healthy for you to eat almost any food that is not packaged with other ingredients. Plain frozen vegetables are just fine, but frozen vegetables covered in sauce are not a good option. The sauce contains ingredients that keep the sauce in a stable state, and those ingredients will cause weight gain. Typically, the sauce contains more calories than the vegetables.

Although many people swear by vegetarianism, it is not a healthy way to live. Vegetarians are often quite undernourished and typically have many other health problems as well -- and this is all due to the fact that they do not eat a balanced diet.

My recommendation is to start slowly gaining control of your diet, little by little, one meal at a time. My friend Nate has a saying: "Do push ups instead of sit downs." That translates into pushing up from the table when you have eaten enough to make you pleasantly full, instead of sitting down to eat a little more just because it's there.

My recommendation is that you take a daily dose of pharamceutical-grade enteric coated fish oil which is manufactured to be free of contaminants. Taking this type of fish oil every day will insure that you are getting the omega 3 essential fatty acids that you need to keep you body performing at its very best.

Recently a friend recommended that I take a look at a certain bodybuilding web site. As I read what the bodybuilding author had to say, I noticed he was advocating decreasing his fish oil dose because he thought it was putting too much fat in his daily diet. It was so obvious that he didn't know what he was talking about. Big muscles, small brain.

He needs MORE fish oil, not less. Athletes who train hours every day have every reason to be upping their intake of fish oil, not worrying about a few fat grams. What he doesn't seem to realize is that with the proper amount of fat in his diet, he would look better, and he might even win a competition. But I'm laying 100 to 1 odds he won't listen. - 21609

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