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Get Fat on a Low-Fat Diet
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Want to get fat? Go on a low-fat diet. These diets are simply the wrong approach for most of us, wreaking havoc on our metabolism and leading us further down the path of metabolic syndrome.

“As soon as I found out that I had coronary plaque, I went on a serious low-fat diet because I’d heard that it would reverse heart disease. I eliminated meat, butter, fried foods, and anything from the grocery store that listed oil of any sort on the label.”

So declared Ralph, a 57 year old engineer with a heart scan score of 690. At the start, Ralph’s LDL cholesterol was 146 mg/dl, HDL 39 mg/dl, triglycerides 188 mg/dl, blood sugar 108 mg/dl. He carried 212 lbs on his 5 foot 11 frame, much of it in his abdomen (a “beer belly,” though he wasn’t a beer drinker). Ralph committed to this low-fat approach ever since he came across Dr. Dean Ornish’s program for heart disease “reversal”.

Three months and many meals later of whole wheat bread, bananas, low-fat granola, potatoes, and pasta, Ralph weighed in 6 lbs heavier at 218 lbs. His belly fat was somewhat more pronounced. Lipid values: LDL 134, HDL 35, triglycerides 266, blood sugar 118. His blood pressure, normal at the start, was now borderline high. Although LDL was modestly lower, the combined effects of lower HDL, higher triglyceride, and higher blood sugar were all in the wrong direction. In essence, Ralph’s metabolic syndrome had been given a chance to blossom on his ultra low-fat diet.


Does Ralph’s coronary plaque “reverse” following this program?

Absolutely not. A minority of people (those with isolated high LDL cholesterol and no other abnormalities) may do better on a strict low-fat diet, as compared to an average American diet of cheeseburgers, French fries, and Coca Cola. But ultra low-fat diets, in our experience, do not yield control over coronary plaque growth. Most people, in fact, do worse, because the metabolic syndrome is given an opportunity to declare itself and fuel plaque growth.

Fats leave you satisfied; carbohydrates make you hungry!

Why does eliminating fat make you fat? Aren’t fats concentrated sources of calories compared to carbohydrates and proteins (9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram)?

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