Is the new “high-protein low-saturated fat” diet the answer to weight loss?

Written by John Tiniakos

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But wait, before you put on your running shoes and begin another diet plan, you might want to hear some very interesting news. There are certain cultures aroundrepparttar world whose diets contain just as much fat and carbohydrate (if not more) as inrepparttar 146077 American diet. Yet they are slimmer, and have much fewer occurrences of heart disease and cancer than their American counterparts.

Recent studies have shown that people in certain Mediterranean regions and in France manage to stay healthier and are less obese than those in other western countries. Let’s look atrepparttar 146078 French first.

In a study by Adam Drewnowski ofrepparttar 146079 University of Michigan, scientists examinedrepparttar 146080 eating habits of 1,637 men and 1,576 women in America and compared them to those of 5,000 French adults. They studied their overall diets based on diversity (foods from 5 major food groups), variety (total number of foods consumed daily) and moderation (according to USDA dietary guidelines). (2)

The results were quite surprising. They found thatrepparttar 146081 French ate more foods that were higher in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than their American counterparts. The study also showed thatrepparttar 146082 French diet complied with very few ofrepparttar 146083 USDA dietary recommendations for eating healthy. In addition,repparttar 146084 findings showed that 99% of French women’s diets had saturated fat contents in excess of 10% of total daily calories. What’s shocking is that, on average,repparttar 146085 French are thinner and have fewer occurrences of heart disease than Americans.

The possible harmful effects ofrepparttar 146086 high fat content inrepparttar 146087 French diet, however, were offset by diet diversity and variety. Drewnowski pointed out that “the low fat approach is very good but not if it comes atrepparttar 146088 expense of dietary variety.”

The USDA recommends that diets should consist of a variety of foods. According torepparttar 146089 American part ofrepparttar 146090 study, just one in ten men and one in sixteen women consumed food from all five food groups (Meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and grains). The other thing is thatrepparttar 146091 French have more active lifestyles than Americans do. Americans typically drive more, walk less and participate in more sedentary type of leisure activities.

Similarly, a Mediterranean diet study also showed thatrepparttar 146092 diet was high in fat, more diverse and had greater variety thanrepparttar 146093 American diet. According to research, certain Mediterranean people, particularly fromrepparttar 146094 Greek island of Crete, had fewer cases of heart disease and were thinner than Americans.

The difference in this study, however, was a crucial finding that suggested food variety and diversity created a certain dietary ratio. This was a ratio between 2 types of fatty acids present inrepparttar 146095 Mediterranean diet. These fatty acids are found in plant sources and fall into 2 groups: The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You have probably heard ofrepparttar 146096 multiple health benefits of these essential fatty acids many times before. They are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) becauserepparttar 146097 body cannot produce them – they can only be obtained from food sources.

Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential torepparttar 146098 diet,repparttar 146099 omega-3 group has more significant therapeutic properties. Omega-3s contain powerful antioxidants that are known to fight against heart disease, lower blood pressure, strengthenrepparttar 146100 immune system, improve mood disorders to name a few.

The other benefit of omega-3s according to research is that they also have an amazing ability to control body fat. Omega-3s controlrepparttar 146101 quantity of adipose (fat) tissue by regulatingrepparttar 146102 amount of fat that goes into fat cells andrepparttar 146103 amount that is burned up for energy. (3, 4) Omega-3s have also been shown to increase fat oxidation inrepparttar 146104 body -repparttar 146105 process by which fat is broken down and used as fuel for energy. (4) This further promotes a reduction in body weight that consists of fat mass.

According to scientistsrepparttar 146106 key factor in diet composition is thatrepparttar 146107 French diet and more sorepparttar 146108 Mediterranean diet consist of higher intakes of foods containing omega-3s thanrepparttar 146109 American diet. In other words their diets contain a better (lower) omega-6 to omega-3 ratio thanrepparttar 146110 American diet. And that’srepparttar 146111 key. One ofrepparttar 146112 main reasons Americans have lower intakes of omega-3s is because of their high intake of processed food. Food processing is largely responsible for removing a lot ofrepparttar 146113 omega-3 content from food.

Onrepparttar 146114 other handrepparttar 146115 French and Mediterranean diets are more abundant in whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. And so their intake of omega-3s is considerably higher. In addition,repparttar 146116 people of Crete eat 10 times more fish (rich source of omega-3s) than Americans do. Other important sources of omega-3s inrepparttar 146117 Mediterranean diet were: fish, purslane (wild plant high in omega-3 content), walnuts, figs and various other unrefined carbohydrates. Byrepparttar 146118 way,repparttar 146119 most abundant source of omega-3s is found right here in North America, and that’s flax seed oil.

As we can see, two different cultures manage to stay healthier and slimmer than North Americans while eating foods that contain high fat, carbohydrate and protein contents. The key differences are that their diets contain more unrefined foods; they consist of foods from all food groups and have more variety. As a result they have higher intakes of omega-3s (lower omega-6: omega-3 ratio) than other Western cultures. In addition, both these groups of people are more physically active than Americans.

Now, you can put on those sneakers and walk (or jog) torepparttar 146120 supermarket for a new supply of fresh wholesome food.


1., “Postprandial Thermogenesis Is Increased 100% on a High-Protein, Low-Fat Diet versus a High-Carbohydrate, Low-Fat Diet in Healthy, Young Women, retrieved 10 June 2005 from 2., “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from 3. Parrish et al. "Dietary fish oils limit adipose tissue hypertrophy in rats." Metabolism, Mar 1990, 39(3):217-9 4. Parrish et al. "Dietary fish oils modify adipocyte structure and function." J Cell Physiology, Sep 1991, 148(3) 5. Baillie RA, et al. "Coordinate induction of peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase and UCP-3 by dietary fish oil: a mechanism for decreased body fat deposition." Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids, May 1999, 60(5-6)

John Tiniakos makes weight loss easier through proven weight loss methods using information and analysis from the worlds leading scientists. For more information and to subscribe to his free monthly newsletter that includes valuable, up to date tips on diet, weight loss and health visit

Lose weight and Keep it off Permanently Without Fancy Diets

Written by Sean Harder

Continued from page 1

For most people, making some very subtle adjustments to their lifestyle can help immediately. Things like cutting down your meal portions by one third, and eating slower, can make a big difference. Takingrepparttar stairs instead ofrepparttar 146007 elevator. These little things can make a difference, and most people can implement and maintain them without too much grief.

You have to give your body a chance to adjust overrepparttar 146008 long term. The cells in our body reproduce themselves once or twice a year, and when they do, they carryrepparttar 146009 memory of their environment with them. Therefore you must provide them with a new environment for at least that long before your body stops fighting you.

Also remember that if you starve your body, or even just lose a lot of weight quickly, your body is going to strive to regain it's original weight, and store what you take in. Again you must give it time to adjust and fightrepparttar 146010 impulses that it sends you. The experts know that a good rate of weight loss for keeping it off is about 2 to 5 pounds per month. This allowsrepparttar 146011 body to gradually adjust. You can lose more than that, but expect your body to react more.

For a full proven program to keep your weight off, click here.

Article written by Sean Harder, founder of WholeLifeGym

Sean has been a therapist and life coach for 13 years. He is published author and founder of

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