The Big Fat Lie
Short Answer: Simple and Starchy Carbohydrates (not fats!)
For years, doctors have held the view that consumption of fat (in particular animal fat) was the primary cause of obesity, and posed significant health risks such as high cholesterol and heart disease (to name a few). Additional causes were linked to over eating and under exercise. The belief was all calories were created equal.
To counter obesity, the predominant advice was to eat a high carb & low fat diet. Additionally people were told to eat little and often; up to six small meals a day. The consensus was, a bowl of pasta was healthier and less fattening than a bacon salad.
As it turns out, this was a BIG FAT LIE………….
The Low Carb Pioneers
Over the last few decades there have been a handful of pioneers such as Atkins and Gary Taubes who dared to question the legitimacy of “fat consumption causes obesity”. Some were treated brutally by the medical establishments, ridiculed, ignored and heavily criticised. However, the old paradigm has been crumbling fast and the Big Fat Lie is exposed.
What these pioneers discovered was a complete paradigm shift to the conventional way of thinking, and a revelation. Carbohydrates were the actual cause of people getting fat and not fat consumption. Those carbs include sugar(s), rice, potatoes, wheat, pasta, cereals etc. These very foods that were supposed to be healthy and aid weight maintenance were actually causing fat gain and illness. Furthermore, fat, which was demonised was shown to be not only essential for good health but there was tenuous evidence to show it caused weight gain.
The science is simple; it’s actually the hormone insulin that controls how much fat gets stored in fat tissue. The more insulin that is released into the body, the more the body stores fat. Insulin is released in order to reduce blood sugar levels, and blood sugar levels get raised by Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates –> Raise Blood Sugar Levels –> Raise Insulin –> Fat gets stored in fat tissue -> Obesity
This is why Type 1 Diabetics are usually not overweight. Type 1 diabetics cannot produce their own insulin. As a consequence, it’s very difficult for them to put on weight. Type 1 diabetics are given insulin by their doctors to regulate their blood sugar levels, and the amounts taken should be the exact amount needed and not more or less.
Conversely, Type 2 Diabetics are often overweight. Excessive carbohydrates cause excessive high blood sugar levels, which in turn leads to excessive insulin release, and eventually insulin resistance. This is where the cells don’t respond correctly to insulin, and can lead to even further weight gain.
What can I eat?
Low carb diets are now pretty mainstream, and many doctors have now come around to this radical way of thinking. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for doctors to recommend to obese people to cut their carbohydrates rather than their fat intake.
There are now dozens of well know diets that are all based around the idea that low carb, slow carb, or no carb. are the most efficient and healthiest methods to lose weight and be healthy. Some of the more well known Low Diets are:
- The Paleo (Palaeolithic) Diet
- The Atkins Diet
- The Low Carb Diet
- The Sunset Beach Diet
- LA Diet
- Low GI and Low DL diets
All of these diets centre on the same theme; lower the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, and try to choose carbohydrates that have the smallest effect on insulin (For Example; those with a low Glycemic Index (GI) and/or Glycemic Load (GL).
Slim Farm’s Take
Any reduction in Carbohydrates and high GI / GL foods will significantly benefit health, and lower body fat. However, in our experience we lean more towards Palaeolithic diets and lifestyle. It centres on fresh natural foods, higher in healthy fats, low in sugar and starchy carbs.
Palaeolithic diets can vary quite a bit as it’s not an exact science, and different foods are excluded, included, sometimes fasting is including. We will write more about The Paleo Diet in future posts.