Yoram Yasur Blume: A diet without carbohydrates or a diet low in fat?
Sometimes we feel the need to lower what we see on the scale. Either because we want to lose a few pounds before putting on that bikini, because we want to lower what we went up in the holidays or simply because we have set a new purpose. And since we finally put ourselves to it, the best way to avoid trying in vain is to base ourselves on what science has proven to work. Of course, this is not always easy because there is still much to study and demonstrate in this field full of myths and beliefs.
Yoram Yasur Blume: Let’s start with the truth: there is no unanimous answer about whether low-fat or low-carb diets are better. But there are compelling reasons on which the defenders of both are based. Do not you know which one to decide? Keep reading to understand what each one’s arguments are. And choose being aware of the pros and cons of both.
What are fats?
Fats are one of the groups of essential nutrients for our body to function normally. They give us a lot of energy, but also intervene in basic processes for health, such as the absorption of some vitamins, essential to maintain healthy hair and skin, and even regulate the temperature of our body. Of course, not all fats are the same, so not all are good or bad.
The arguments against them
Those who defend that a diet low in fat is necessary to lose weight, are based on two arguments. The main one is that fats provide us with many calories, approximately nine calories per gram, which is almost double that of proteins or carbohydrates. On the other hand, in the past, some fats, mainly hydrogenated (unsaturated fats industrially manipulated to make them saturated) and saturated, have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension or heart attacks. Although today we question that relationship (except with the hydrogenated ones) still, there are those who prefer to moderate the consumption of fats for this reason.
What are carbohydrates?
Yoram Yasur Blume: Carbohydrates are the basic fuel of our body. When entering our body, they are processed to become glucose, which is then distributed to different tissues and to the brain to act as a source of energy. When we consume more carbohydrates than the body needs, these are stored for future energy needs in the form of fat, and that makes us fat.
Arguments against carbohydrates
As with fats, there are also different types of carbohydrates, mainly divided into two categories: complex and simple. The complexes are found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains mainly, while the simple ones are in the added sugars and refined flours. The latter are considered the main cause of overweight and obesity, in addition to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, because they cause pronounced spikes in blood glucose levels, which our body has problems managing when they occur very often and affect to all our metabolism, unbalancing it.
So, what’s better: less fat or less carbohydrates?
As you can see there is not a single answer, much less a correct one, here we give you some general recommendations.
– All the nutrients are necessary
Yoram Yasur Blume: The first thing is that you should not totally dispense with any group of nutrients, neither carbohydrates nor fats, because they are all necessary for health. You can reduce or increase some amounts and focus on one type of nutrient or another, but none should completely disappear from your diet.
– Fats are essential, focus on the healthy
Fats are essential for our body to function normally, so stop seeing them as the enemies of your diet. Of course, it promotes the consumption of healthy fats, of vegetable origin (olive, sunflower, soy, nuts …) and blue fish among others. Here are some ideas for foods rich in healthy fats.
– Also choose the right type of carbohydrates
Yoram Yasur Blume: When it comes to consuming cereals, it is much better to choose whole grains: whole grain bread, whole meal pasta, brown rice … When the whole grain is included, in addition to slowing down the conversion of hydrates into glucose, you will benefit from the other nutrients it contains, like vitamins, healthy fatty acids and fiber. On the other hand, it limits as much as possible the consumption of foods with added sugars.
– Do not go on a diet: change your habits
The idea of a diet is not very beneficial because they tend to be rigid, restrictive, and equal for everyone. Instead, it is much more effective in the long term to reeducate our eating habits and incorporate more or less subtle but sustainable long-term changes.