Confused about Low-Fat Diets and Low-Carb Diets?

During the Early 90s, you were told to cut fat from your diet – low-fat and reduced fat foods became very popular. But wait… there are different types of fat and we do need a certain amount of healthier fats in our diet.

In the later 90s and 2000’s, low-carb diets became the craze. Many were shunning bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and just about any food containing carbohydrates – even fruits and vegetables. But wait… There are different types of carbohydrates, and healthier carbohydrates are an important part of our diet.

Today, low-fat diets seem to have lost some steam; however, there are numerous versions of low-carb diets that are still going strong.

Confusing, right?

Part of the problem is that often these ideas are taken to the extreme.

While it is advisable to limit your intake of unhealthy fats by limiting fried foods, deep fried foods and fatty cuts of meat, there is no reason to eliminate the healthy fats found in olive oil, lean meats, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.

The same idea applies to carbohydrates. You should limit your intake of simple sugars and highly refined carbohydrates such as candy and sweets, white breads, muffins and pastries; however, there is no reason to eliminate whole grains, or any fruits or vegetables.

It is also important to remember that eliminating a food or macronutrient does not automatically equate a healthier diet. If you eliminate fats by loading up on refined carbohydrates – or eliminate carbohydrates by loading up on saturated and trans fats – you’re definitely not following a “healthy” diet.

So what should you do?

Follow a balanced diet including plenty of healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates.

Choose healthy fats including lean cuts of meat, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, lower fat dairy products, olive oil, non-creamy salad dressings; and limit your intake of fried and deep-fried foods, breaded and battered foods, pastries, donuts and other store bought baked goods.

Choose healthy carbohydrates including whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and pasta, and plenty of fruits and vegetables; and limit your intake of white breads, candy, sweets, donuts, pastries, cookies, and other sugary desserts.

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