A high-fat diet keeps you slimmer than a high-carb diet - research
That's what the researchers (1) are saying after testing two diets - one based on healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil and the other high in carbohydrates. The 'fat' diet will give you a flatter belly. This was confirmed by a meta-analysis of over 68,000 adults, published in 2015. (2)
Why Belly Fat Is Particularly Bad
Excess belly fat has long been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. However, more recent research also suggests a link between abdominal fat and a range of other diseases, including some cancers and even age-related dementias.
In a study of overweight people, a Mediterranean-style diet - where approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of the calories came from monounsaturated fats, like olive, avocado and macadamia oils - helped prevent the development of a large gut (paunch).
The researchers found this diet had another bonus - it helped people maintain better insulin sensitivity. Not so with the high-carbohydrate diet, which seemed to encourage body fat to relocate to people's bellies.
Better than monounsaturated fats
Throughout Grow Youthful I emphasise that if you want a long life with great health, you need to maintain a low and stable blood sugar level. To do this, avoid processed foods, especially sugar and refined carbohydrates. The emphasis in TV advertisements on low-fat foods is misdirected. Rather, we should be seeking low carbohydrate and low sugar (or no sugar) foods.
If you are overweight, keep in mind that switching to olive oil, eliminating sugar, a low and slow carbohydrate diet and regular exercise will be the start of a new and healthier you. But there is an even more effective and healthier approach to fats and oils. That is to avoid all polyunsaturated fats (golden vegetable oils in your supermarket such as canola, corn, cottonseed, rice bran, safflower, seed oils, soy, sunflower) and replace them with coconut oil and other saturated fats like those our grandparents used to use. You'll enjoy numerous health benefits, not just weight loss.
1. Paniagua, J. A. et al.
Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial
adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects.
Diabetes Care 2007 Jul;30(7):1717-1723.
2. Deirdre K Tobias, Mu Chen, JoAnn E Manson, David S Ludwig, Walter Willett, Frank B Hu. Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Volume 3, Issue 12, 968 - 979. Published Online: 29 October 2015.