For years the experts have told us that a diet low in fat would reduce our risk of heart disease.  Well, it turns out that this is not true.  Not only is it not true, it is actually the opposite of what we need to be healthy.  According to the experts, we should have 6-11 servings of whole grains such as cereal, bread, rice and pasta.  This is the base of the food pyramid that is provided by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP).  Above the grains are the vegetable (3-5 servings) and fruit (2-4 servings) group.  Next are the dairy (2-3 servings) and meat, eggs, and nuts group (2-3 servings).  As for the very top of the pyramid, there is the fats, oils and sweets which is recommended to be used sparingly.

            It seems like a healthy way to eat doesn’t it?  More whole grains, more vegetables and fruits than meat, sugars and fat.  In fact, this is not healthy at all.  Many functions of the body are fat dependant.  Your brain is made of fat.  Cholesterol is fat dependant.  Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, are dependent of fat for absorption and transportation in the body and the list goes on.  People who have low fat diets may suffer from depression as they are basically starving their brain.  Schools are even beginning to give our children skim milk.  Children more than any of us need the fat because their brain is still developing.  Low fat diets can especially be harmful to older women as it can cause lower bone density among many other effects.

            Consider this.  What does a farmer feed to his live stock to fatten them up?  Grains.  Knowing this, why would the “experts” encourage more consumption of them?  Grains are carbohydrates, which basically turns to sugar in the blood.  Great for energy, but bad for arteries and fat production.  A bowl of a “healthy” cereal is roughly equivalent to a king sized Snickers bar.  Excessive sugars in your blood will damage artery walls that will in turn build plack and cause heart disease.  What are we supposed to eat then?

            I would love to give you a simple answer but to do that would simply create another diet “fad”.  Diets like the Atkins diet have tried to make it simple by restricting the diet to exclude carbs.  The fact is, the body needs carbs.  It what is used to produce energy that is needed to sustain the body immediately.  You should not eliminate anything from your diet really.  But that doesn’t mean that you can eat anything you want.  There can be a simple formula, made by you, that will help you maintain your health and weight.  You can calculate the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight with a simple online calculator but it will most likely be between 1900-2500 calories per day.  All that is needed is to keep your caloric intake about 500 calories below what you figured you need and limit your carbohydrate intake to around 100-150g per day.  That’s right.  The amount of fat you eat is not in this equation.  Only choose animal fats over vegetable fats except coconut oil and you will do fine.

            So there you have it.  A sensible diet that is not hard to follow that will not only help you lose weight but will also reduce your risk of heart disease.  Don’t forget to ask your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.