Waking Up from a Long Sleep…We Were Wrong All Along about Fat.

I found a fantastic article recently, written by our friend Dr. Andrew Weil.  And despite the fact it’s not a recent article, I actually found it to be more compelling now than I would have back when it was written.

Dr. Weil, the director of The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, writes extensively about the long-standing debate between fat and carbohydrates, and which is worse for our health.  Since Dr. Ancel Keys in 1970, the physiologist who helped form the US’s dietary guidelines, began this decades-long myth, we have been obsessed with eating ‘low-fat’ or ‘no-fat’ – even the good kinds!

And while Dr. Weil has long been a proponent of anti-inflammatory eating, he specifically explains why carbohydrates, and moreover the processed and sugary types, are considerably more dangerous.  He references a March 2010 meta-study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that saturated fats were not implicated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease.  And while a meta-study is more like a ‘big analysis’, as he calls it, this grouping of 21 study results were based on the data taken from 348,000 participants.

The carbohydrate cycle is a vicious one, and Dr. Weil does much to debunk the ‘fat myth’, replacing it with good scientific evidence, and recommending some pretty compelling reading from other specialists in the field.

If you’ve ever found yourself wanting more, more, more when it comes to sugar or carbs, please don’t beat yourself up.  Blame insulin and it’s ever increasing demand for the stuff (the more you eat, the more your insulin levels demand it).  Couple that with the dopamine signals in the brain after you eat it – also demanding more, and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain and unhealthy organs.  I won’t even get into the hormone ghrelin, or leptin, and how those chemicals in the wrong amounts, can be the icing on the cake to this horrible cycle. No pun intended!

Belleruth is actually speaking during the 11th Annual Nutrition & Health Conference, being held May 5-7 in the Dallas area, and put on by the great people at Dr. Weil’s center.  Find more information here: http://nutritionandhealthconf.org/

At any rate, I just wanted to share this article with you.  I know there has been a lot of talk in the news recently about ‘hidden sugars’ and the unbelievable consumption of sugar by the average American each and every day (between 14-22 teaspoons of added sugar – not the kind found naturally in your fruit and other foods!)

So, here you go: Fat or Carbs: Which Is Worse?

We here at Health Journeys wish you a happy spring, full of healthful eating and great choices, for a long life.  We love having you around.

All the best,

(p.s. And while I’m sharing some interesting reads, if you’d like to read more about the body’s reaction to the unhealthiest types of carbs, I simply loved this article as well. Made sense from my vantage point: Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine? )