Low Fat vs. Low Carb: A Dieters Dilemma


First it was low fat foods. Now it’s low carb foods.  Which is better for weight control?


For years all diet foods on the market were low fat. While low fat can support weight loss, it is not that simple.  Many low fat processed foods had to find other ways to make the food palatable, usually they added sugar.  In addition, we do need some fat in our diet – essential fatty acids – to fuel the brain and cell metabolism.  Our bodies cannot manufacture essential fatty acids, so we must have them in food.  Going overboard to eliminate all fats was not healthy and actually counter productive to weight loss. 

A good low fat diet reduces bad fats (saturated, hydrogenated fats) and increases the good fats (e.g. fish, seeds, some seed oils, like flax , and nuts). 


Today we have low carb diet foods.  These are marketed through grocery store products as well as restaurants.  “An astonishing 930 low carb foods have been introduced to the U.S. market in the last five years” (Consumer Reports, June 04). About half of these foods are bakery, confectionary, desserts and ice creams.  Consumer Reports’ investigation found that “many of the low carb foods may in fact be cheating consumers by undermining the weight loss they hope to achieve.”  How?  Many low carb products are higher in calories, which will lead to weight gain.  Another problem with low carb or low fat foods is that people are lulled into a false sense of security.  They tend to over eat low carb foods without considering their high calorie content.


What can you do?

The bottom line in weight management – whether it is a low fat or a low carb approach – is to reduce calories below the amount expended on a daily basis.  Determining the best approach requires an understanding of biochemical individuality including metabolic rate and finding the diet right for your needs. All of this is possible through the Holistic Weight and Wellness program from Health E Guide