compare and contrast low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets essay

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Compare and contrast low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets essay help with  life science assignment

Compare and contrast low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets essay

The Atkins diet plan, which is a low-carbohydrate diet, is a very popular diet. Many people have lost a lot of weight with this diet. It was stated in a Diabetes Forecast article,. Researchers at Stanford University made a splash in the diet and nutrition world last March when they reported that in a 1-year study of women, participants lost more weight on the controversial low-carbohydrate Atkins diet than popular rivals such as the Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets.

Even more shocking: Those on the Atkins plan didn't suffer any negative health effects, including the bad cholesterol levels many experts predicted. Suddenly, news stories in the popular press were proclaiming victory for Atkins and all but vilifying the other plans D'Arrigo, ; para. So the Atkins diet does not have any negative health effects, which is very important to look for in a diet.

Most women that were in many groups "experienced improvements in their cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin, and blood glucose" as stated in the article D'Arrigo, The Atkins diet is an excellent diet for those wanting to go on a low-carbohydrate diet. There are plenty of different books on the Atkins diet on the market, and many to choose from. With a good bit of research done, it shows that low-carbohydrate diets are better to lose weight than low-fat diets.

There was a study done in New England where some obese people were on a low-carbohydrate diet, and some were on a low-fat diet. This is what was stated in a CBS. One study followed severely obese people with a high rate of diabetes and high risk for heart disease for six months. They found those people lost more weight on a low-carb diet - an average of almost 13 pounds compared to the low-fat diet, where people lost an average of about four pounds Senay, There are many to choose from when it comes to low-carbohydrate dieting.

The most popular one is Atkins. So if someone needs to lower their lipids such as triglycerides, a low-carb diet would be more ideal to use than a low-fat diet. The one bad thing about low-carbohydrate diets is that one has to cut out bread, rice, pasta, and mainly the good stuff. In the long run it is worth it to lose weight. People on a low-carbohydrate diet lose weight quickly in the short term. People on low-fat diets do not lose weight as fast.

Low-fat diets are better than low-carbohydrate diets when it comes to lowering cholesterol. It is stated in a Nutrition Today article,. Low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets are equally effective for weight loss, but the low-carbohydrate, high-fat route raises total and low-density fipoprotein cholesterol levels, according to researchers here.

So low-carbohydrate diets can raise your cholesterol, whereas a low-fat diet will not. With a low-fat diet you have more food to choose from. You are not limited to just proteins like you are with a low-carb diet. So that is a benefit of a low-fat diet. Another benefit of low-fat diets is that, "women who have had breast cancer before can decrease their chances of recurrence when they lower their fat intake McBride, If someone is going to go on a diet which ever one they choose, they need to think of some factors.

The first factor is that weight loss will not happen with dieting alone, someone needs to have an exercise plan to go along with a diet plan. Exercise is one of the best things to do to lose weight. Exercise is good for the body and mind. The key to exercise is to find something you enjoy doing such as swimming, running, walking, playing in sports, or aerobic exercise. Just do not overdo it. As with anything do it in moderation. Mass mailings were the primary means of recruitment; names were identified with the use of lists of registered voters or drivers.

Random assignments to one of four diet groups were generated by the data manager at the coordinating center on request of a study dietitian, after eligibility of a participant was confirmed. Thus, two diets were low-fat and two were high-fat, and two were average-protein and two were high-protein, constituting a two-by-two factorial design. Carbohydrate-rich foods with a low glycemic index were recommended in each diet.

Blinding was maintained by the use of similar foods for each diet. Staff and participants were taught that each diet adhered to principles of a healthful diet 29 and that each had been recommended for long-term weight loss, thereby establishing equipoise. Group sessions were held once a week, 3 of every 4 weeks during the first 6 months and 2 of every 4 weeks from 6 months to 2 years; individual sessions were held every 8 weeks for the entire 2 years.

Daily meal plans in 2-week blocks were provided see the Supplementary Appendix. Participants were instructed to record their food and beverage intake in a daily food diary and in a Web-based self-monitoring tool that provided information on how closely their daily food intake met the goals for macronutrients and energy.

Behavioral counseling was integrated into the group and individual sessions to promote adherence to the assigned diets. Contact among the groups was avoided. The goal for physical activity was 90 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Participation in exercise was monitored by questionnaire 30 and by the online self-monitoring tool.

Body weight and waist circumference were measured in the morning before breakfast on 2 days at baseline, 6 months, and 2 years, and on a single day at 12 and 18 months. Fasting blood samples, hour urine samples, and measurement of resting metabolic rate were obtained on 1 day, and blood-pressure measurement on 2 days, at baseline, 6 months, and 2 years.

Levels of serum lipids, glucose, insulin, and glycated hemoglobin were measured at the clinical laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The participants were evaluated for the presence of the metabolic syndrome, which was defined by the presence of at least three of the following five criteria: waist circumference of more than cm in men or more than 88 cm in women, a triglyceride level of mg per deciliter 1.

The primary outcome of the study was the change in body weight over a period of 2 years, and the secondary outcome was the change in waist circumference. Data were pooled from the diets for the two factorial comparisons: low fat versus high fat and average protein versus high protein. The analysis also included a comparison of two of the four diets, the diet with the lowest carbohydrate content and the diet with the highest carbohydrate content, and included a test for trend across the four levels of carbohydrates.

The effects of protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels were evaluated independently with the use of two-sample t-tests at a two-sided significance level of 0. Associations between adherence to the fat and protein goals and weight loss were also explored in post hoc analyses see Methods in the Supplementary Appendix.

We performed an intention-to-treat analysis in which long-term weight loss for persons who withdrew from the study early after at least 6 months of participation was imputed on the basis of a rate of 0. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes were also analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle, with zero change from baseline imputed for missing data. The study was powered to detect a 1. Baseline characteristics were similar among participants assigned to the four diets and between those who were assigned to a diet and those who completed the study Table 1.

The change in waist circumference did not differ significantly among the diet groups Fig. Solid bars represent high-protein, high-fat, or highest-carbohydrate diets. Open bars represent average-protein, low-fat, or lowest-carbohydrate diets. T bars indicate standard errors. Panels A and C show the change in body weight and the change in waist circumference, respectively, for all participants who were randomly assigned to a diet a total of ; missing data were imputed.

A total of participants were assigned to a high-protein diet and to an average-protein diet, were assigned to a high-fat diet and to a low-fat diet, and were assigned to the highest-carbohydrate diet and to the lowest-carbohydrate diet. Panel B shows the change in body weight for the participants who provided measurements at 2 years.

Of these participants, were assigned to a high-protein diet and to an average-protein diet, were assigned to a high-fat diet and to a low-fat diet, and were assigned to the highest-carbohydrate diet and to the lowest-carbohydrate diet. Panel D shows the change in waist circumference for the participants who provided measurements at 2 years. Panels A and C show the mean changes in body weight and waist circumference, respectively, for all participants who were assigned to a diet a total of at every time point ; missing data were imputed.

Panel B shows the change in body weight for participants who provided measurements at various time points: to participants at 6 months, to at 12 months, to at 18 months, and to at 2 years. Panel D shows the change in waist circumference for participants who provided measurements at various time-points: to at 6 months, to at 12 months, to at 18 months, and to at 2 years.

I bars in all panels indicate standard errors. Most of the weight loss occurred in the first 6 months. Changes from baseline differed among the diet groups by less than 0. After 12 months, all groups, on average, slowly regained body weight. All the diets reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes at 6 months and 2 years Table 2. At 2 years, the two low-fat diets and the highest-carbohydrate diet decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels more than did the high-fat diets or the lowest-carbohydrate diet low-fat vs.

Mean reported intakes at 6 months and 2 years did not reach the target levels for macronutrients Table 2. The reported intakes represented differences from target levels of fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake of 8. Reported energy intakes and physical activity were similar among the diet groups. The participants who completed the study had a mean weight loss of 6.

The respiratory quotient was 0. Thus, changes in biomarkers confirmed that differences among the groups in macronutrient intake were consistent with those recorded in the dietary reports and that participants modified their intake of macronutrients in the direction of the goals, although the targets were not fully achieved. Craving, fullness, and hunger and diet-satisfaction scores were similar at 6 months and at 2 years among the diets Table 2 in the Supplementary Appendix.

Attendance at group sessions strongly predicted weight loss at 2 years 0. The ranges of protein and fat intakes overlapped substantially in the diet groups. Attendance at group sessions was associated with adherence to the fat and protein goals only in the high-protein and low-fat groups Fig. Panel A shows data for the low-fat, average-protein group; Panel B, for the low-fat, high-protein group; Panel C, for the high-fat, average-protein group; and Panel D, for the high-fat, high-protein group.

Intake was determined from three hour diet recalls. Quintiles of fat and protein intakes are shown for the combined high-fat groups Panel A , low-fat groups Panel B , high-protein groups Panel C , and average-protein groups Panel D ; there were 45 to 51 participants per quintile. Rates of attendance at group sessions percent of total sessions attended over the 2-year period are shown for the quintiles of fat and protein intake.

The results were similar when determined within each of the four diet groups data not shown. The ratio of urinary microalbumin to creatinine was more than 30 in five participants in the average-protein group and in five participants in the high-protein group at 6 months and in seven participants, all in the average-protein groups, at 2 years. In this population-based trial, participants were assigned to and taught about diets that emphasized different contents of carbohydrates, fat, and protein and were given reinforcement for 2 years through group and individual sessions.

The principal finding is that the diets were equally successful in promoting clinically meaningful weight loss and the maintenance of weight loss over the course of 2 years. Satiety, hunger, satisfaction with the diet, and attendance at group sessions were similar for all diets. The diets improved lipid risk factors and fasting insulin levels in the directions that would be expected on the basis of macronutrient content. The study had a large sample, a high rate of retention, and the sensitivity to detect small changes in weight.

The population was diverse with respect to age, income, and geography and included a large percentage of men. The participants were eager to lose weight and to attempt whatever type of diet they were assigned, and they did well in screening interviews and questionnaires that evaluated their motivation. Despite the intensive behavioral counseling in our study, participants had difficulty achieving the goals for macronutrient intake of their assigned group.

The mean differences among the groups in fat, carbohydrate, or protein intake at 6 months were nevertheless often greater than those in several previous trials comparing diets for weight loss. Only two trials have reported dietary intake beyond 1 year, 12 , 26 and one of them provided foods to the participants. Overall, these findings with respect to adherence to macronutrient goals suggest that participants in weight-loss programs revert to their customary macronutrient intakes over time but may nonetheless be able to maintain weight loss.

We explored the association of achieved nutrient intakes with weight loss. We caution that these post hoc analyses do not have the strong validity of the main analysis of this controlled trial, which compared randomized groups. Protein and fat intakes overlapped among the groups. A high-protein intake was associated with weight loss only in the high-protein groups, and a low-fat intake was associated with weight loss only in the low-fat groups.

Thus, the participants assigned to an average-protein or high-fat diet did not have to change their customary level of dietary protein and fat very much and could focus more on reducing dietary intake. In contrast, the participants in the high-protein or low-fat groups had more challenging dietary goals. It is therefore not surprising that attendance at group sessions was strongly related to adherence to high-protein or low-fat goals but not to the goals in the average-protein or high-fat groups.

However, attendance had a strong association with weight loss, and the association was similar across diet groups. We view attendance at counseling sessions as a proxy for commitment to achieving weight loss and for engagement in the program. Study participants who attended two thirds of the sessions over the course of 2 years lost about 9 kg of weight. Conformity to cultural norms, scientific novelty, and media attention are nonbiologic reasons for the success of specific diets. We used a generic approach to developing each diet and the instructions for following it, in order to minimize such influences.

No diet was considered to be a control diet, and the dietary counseling and the attention that we provided were the same for all diet groups throughout the study period. We did not confirm previous findings that low-carbohydrate or high-protein diets caused increased weight loss at 6 months 3 — 12 and that the advantage of these diets usually eroded by 12 months, with weight loss that was nearly or fully equivalent to that with low-fat diets 6 , 11 , 18 or other diets.

When nonnutritional influences are minimized, as they were in our study, the specific macronutrient content is of minor importance, as was suggested many years ago. In conclusion, diets that are successful in causing weight loss can emphasize a range of fat, protein, and carbohydrate compositions that have beneficial effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported. Loria is a member of that committee; and Dr. Sacks is also vice-chair of the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association, which advises the Association on nutrition topics, including those related to overweight and obesity.

We thank the participants in the trial for their dedication and contribution to the research; the following research staff members for their assistance in conducting the trial: Jungnam Joo, Ph. Pratt, Ph. Amant, Elizabeth Tucker, Heidi K. Millet, Marisa M. Smith, Sara J. Schoen, R. Bernhard, Courtney Brock, R. Howard, Ph. Bowen, Ph.

Jones, M. Perri, Ph. Reboussin, Ph. Stefanick, Ph. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. N Engl J Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC Oct Frank M. Sacks , M. Bray , M. Carey , Ph. Smith , M. Ryan , M.


Although statins, available since , had been shown to lower cholesterol, until the mids, it was not clear that they saved lives. But in , a scientific study showed that Merck's simvastatin not only reduced the risk of coronary heart disease, but also saved lives. Kolata suggested that this finding would encourage more aggressive drug treatment of high cholesterol in patients at risk for coronary heart disease and could result in a major change in medical practice.

As far back as the s, a minority of scientists and popular health writers had questioned the low-fat diet. Some scientists had argued that it was the kind of fats—not the total amount—that mattered. This skepticism emerged full-blown in the s. He explained that because the scientific community had recommended the diet, people assumed there was proof that the diet worked, even though there was none. One leading obesity researcher, Dr. Jules Hirsch, physician-in-chief at Rockefeller University and one of the principal contributors to the notion of set-point theory, raised a different challenge.

Willett noted that substituting carbohydrates for fats could reduce high-density lipoproteins HDL levels while raising triglyceride levels. With such challenges, could the ideology of low fat maintain its position of authority? Responding to these critiques, Brody began to modify her recommendations.

This diet was high in monounsaturated fat, but low in saturated fat, emphasizing beans, grain, vegetables and fruits, small amounts of yogurt and cheese, fish, eggs, poultry, and a little red meat. At the end of the decade, Kolata wrote about the low-fat diet for heart disease prevention and therapy, noting that there was no longer scientific consensus on the heart-healthiest diet. Although the official recommendation since the s had been that carbohydrates replace fats in the diet, some scientists disagreed.

Willett, for example, consistently argued that it was not total fats that mattered, but the type of fat. He recommended that Americans forget low-fat diets and embrace good fats such as olive oil and nuts. At the same time, the Atkins diet resurfaced, generating renewed interest in this high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, with over five million copies of the paperback edition in print. The Atkins diet had become a national phenomenon in the s, with ten million copies of Dr.

Atkins Diet Revolution sold. Brody dismissed the diet, noting that no long-term studies had been done and arguing that much of the initial weight loss was water. She suggested that as the diet became boring and unpalatable, dieters consumed fewer calories—and lost weight. Brody opposed this diet, reporting that with sensible eating and regular exercise she had lost thirty-five pounds.

Her success convinced her that willpower and a low-calorie approach, along with exercise, could produce weight loss and maintenance. Eat more calories than your body uses and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories and you will lose weight. The body, which is, after all, nothing more than a biochemical machine [my emphasis], knows no other arithmetic. Simple carbohydrates, much loved by Americans, were at fault, Atkins maintained: white flour, sugar, and potato products, those de-fatted processed products that had fattened America.

By the end of the century, Brody was moderating her low-fat position to declare that fat can be a friend! Recounting the history of low-fat diet advice, Brody noted a major shift within the scientific community. Following the findings of Willett and others, scientists were now claiming that it was not the total amount of fat but the kind of fat that mattered.

Brody was converting to this point of view. The key to heart health now seemed to be reducing saturated and trans fats hydrogenated plant fat , but not all fats. Ignoring scientific studies that supported set-point theory, she argued that if low fat was not the answer to weight loss, we must count calories and exercise.

The twenty-first century ushered in new enemies and new approaches. Prevention readers were advised that if they wanted to be thin, they must cut out sugar and manage stress. Scientists showed that stress-induced cortisol promoted abdominal fat—declared the most dangerous kind of fat. The index offered a scientific way for readers to choose healthful carbohydrates that proponents maintained would not promote weight gain. In the new millennium, there was little agreement on which diet was the best either for heart disease prevention or weight reduction.

It makes no difference if these calories are in fats or vegetables or cake or ice cream. Change was at hand on the diet front. In a breakthrough article , Brody moved away from the one-size-fits-all low-fat diet that she had promoted with a religious fervor for more than twenty years to suggest that perhaps different diets worked for different people.

Addressing the widespread confusion about fat and fats, she noted that no consensus existed among experts. She proposed that a one-size-fits-all approach no longer worked in a society as ethnically and culturally diverse as ours. It was becoming more and more apparent that the public health message promoting the low-fat diet had had unintended consequences: it had led some people to adopt an unhealthy diet—just as long as it was low fat.

Writing about the high-fat, low-fat controversy in , Brody emphasized the importance of a balanced diet. She pointed out that after three decades of popularity of the Atkins diet, scientists had still not tested it for long-term safety and effectiveness. She argued that the high-protein diet attracted those who failed on the low-fat diet. Brody maintained that it was not low fat that was fattening Americans, but more calories.

Americans were eating on average calories more per day, and they had not reduced their fat consumption—if one used the higher total calorie count to figure percentages. Brody reiterated that it was just calories that mattered—no matter what kind. The Mediterranean diet found new followers as critics challenged the low-fat diet in the face of what many scientists and physicians were calling an obesity epidemic.

Low-fat proponents had not foreseen that Americans would overindulge in refined low-fat carbohydrates. One of the unanticipated consequences of industrial food technology was the ability of the food industry to flood the market with highly processed low-fat—but fattening—foods. They argued that substituting refined carbohydrates for fats was not the answer, explaining that refined carbohydrates—whether low fat or not—raise triglyceride levels and lower both good and bad cholesterol.

They maintained that there was no evidence from clinical trials to show that reducing dietary fat would by itself lead to weight loss. Rather, ignoring set-point theory, they maintained that it was too many calories and too little physical exercise that led to weight gain. So, by , the most recent research challenged the low-fat ideology that had held sway for so long, but at least some research affirmed Brody and Kolata's position that what counted was calories consumed and energy expended.

Finally, in , the results of long-term studies on low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diets, such as Atkins, were published. But it turned out that many people who succeeded on the diet were vindicated. People lost weight—and for many for whom low-fat or low-calorie diets had not worked, it was the first time they had lost weight.

So what if the first 5—7 pounds were water? Many lost far more than this. The studies found that, contrary to expectations, the diet did not damage heart and blood vessels; in fact, in some patients readings improved. As proponents had claimed, cholesterol levels did not rise, triglyceride levels fell, and HDLs improved. At the end of a year, however, both the low-fat and the low-carbohydrate diets produced about the same results in terms of weight loss.

This was the same argument opponents of the low-fat diet had used when they argued that the fattening of America coincided with the decades in which the low-fat diet reigned as nutritional orthodoxy. After explaining why some people lost weight on the Atkins diet, Brody reiterated that it was only calories that mattered.

Both the writers for Prevention and the science writers for The New York Times carefully reported on scientific studies. They reflected a great faith in the validity of the studies and the value of reporting them to the wider public. They were not reluctant, however, to include their own point of view, comparing and interpreting these studies for readers. These writers reflect the larger American—journalistic—faith in science during these years before many questions were raised concerning the reliability of such clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory studies.

The popular media, in short, played a pivotal role in preaching the low-fat message, and, then, in more recent years, in questioning it. Several developments that came together in the s and s help explain how the ideology of low fat conquered America in those decades.

The dietary context was an established tradition of low-calorie, low-fat dieting for weight reduction that predisposed Americans to accept what was promoted as a heart-healthy diet. A plethora of diet-heart studies carried out by scientists and physicians suggested that a low-fat diet might prevent heart disease.

These studies drew on research that had been done from the s through the s. By the late s, the federal government started promoting the low-fat diet, and shortly thereafter the food industry began to make low-fat products available and to advertise them widely. Low-fat foods proliferated in the s and s, demonstrated by the number of products available in grocery stores and the ads that appeared in magazines and on television.

The rise of the ideology of low fat seemed to correspond with major reductions in risk factors for heart disease. Was it coincidence, or could a causal effect be identified? These figures suggest that something in the American experience with heart disease did indeed change. These figures did not clarify the role of the low-fat diet, and so its influence in primary and secondary prevention remained in question.

The most recent study of the low-fat diet suggests that it does not prevent heart disease. The low-fat diet was not just intended to prevent heart disease, however. It was aimed at promoting weight loss. It was more difficult—if not impossible—to measure the efficacy of the diet for weight reduction. In the same decades that low fat conquered America, Americans in the aggregate were getting fatter.

Were Americans not practicing the low-fat recommendations? Or did they not work? Or did the outcomes vary according to race, class, ethnicity, gender, and age? Brody claimed that most Americans were not eating a low-fat diet. Others declared the low-fat approach ineffective for weight reduction and maintenance.

Among this group was cardiologist Robert Atkins, whose ideas were vigorously attacked in both the scientific and popular press. There were countervailing cultural, social, and economic forces at work that undermined the low-fat approach and may help explain the fattening of America. Students of obesity have cited factors such as the increased availability of processed foods, the introduction of labor-saving and entertainment technologies most prominently television , the rise of car culture, suburbs without sidewalks, the introduction and proliferation of fast foods, and junk machines in public schools.

One science writer has argued that high fructose corn syrup, which became a staple ingredient of the soft drink industry as well as numerous other foods, was a main contributor to the fattening of America from the s onward. Americans ate more processed foods. The changing social structure—for example, the two-worker family, or the single parent family—meant that families ate out more often.

Many Americans found that you can't eat processed food and lose weight. Nor can you eat out and lose weight. In fact, many found that you just can't lose weight at all. Or, if you do lose it, you will gain it back. By , one obesity specialist, Kelly Brownell, argued that Americans were living in a toxic, that is, fat-promoting environment.

Low fat conquered America, but while some Americans subscribed to and practiced it, many Americans either could not or did not live by the low-fat rules. Some were confused by the low-fat advice, thinking they could substitute refined carbohydrates for high-fat foods.

Many saw large portions of pasta as an allowed indulgence. Always hungry? Eat to appetite. Just be sure it is low fat. Many Americans did not practice the low-fat regime, resisting the low-fat message out of cultural choice, ethnic tradition, poverty, or sheer perversity.

Proscribed were many ethnic and traditional American foods. Out were cream, chocolate, cheese, lard, butter, salad dressings, chicken skin, gravy, fried foods, and baked goods. What could be eaten? Fruit, but no cream. Low-fat advocates preferred processed substitutes, such as Cool-Whip. Bread, but no butter. Salad, but no dressing—unless it was low-fat. Fish, but no sauce. Vegetables, but no butter. Chicken breasts, but no skin.

Lean beef, but no gravy. No fried anything. No pies or cakes. Pasta, but no cream sauces. Complicating matters was the changing state of knowledge about fats. At first the advice was, give up butter: margarine is healthier. But just recently the advice is, give up margarine: olive oil is best. But, in general, butter and oils were disallowed, in the interest of the low-fat regimen, or the servings drastically reduced. Many staples of what Americans considered good eating were ruled out.

Following a low-fat diet was also expensive, inconvenient, and, in fact, elitist. One had to avoid most restaurants and most foods sold in grocery stores. Processed and fast foods were bargains and required little effort to prepare. The result was two cultures: fat and low fat. On the one hand, there was the dominant fat culture of donuts, pizza, ice-cream, burgers, fries, pastries, and ethnic foods adapted to American tastes, such as Chinese, Italian, and Mexican.

These foods were readily available, cheap, and satisfying. Then there was the low-fat counterculture of fruit, vegetables, white meat chicken, fish, and salads—all to be eaten without cream, sauces, or butter. One irony of low fat was that sugar, being low fat, was still officially okay.

But sugar combined with fat was condemned. Although scientists had found no correlation of sugar with coronary heart disease, sugar was a main ingredient in high-calorie treats when combined with fat or white flour, as it typically was. Favorite American desserts such as chocolate-layer cake, apple pie, cookies, and ice cream were off-limits.

And, Americans were left with low-fat—but often just as fattening—substitutes. Low-fat sugar-laden cereals proliferated, and consumers were confronted with a dizzying array of choices. In addition, by the s, even those assiduously subscribing to the low-fat regime for weight reduction and maintenance began to have trouble in restaurants, as both plates and portions got larger.

High-fat ethnic food became more popular and more widely available, and it was tough for even for the most religious of low-fat disciples to eat out. Aside from these two cultures of fat and low fat, there was, dating from the s, a vibrant subculture that was embracing—yet again—French food. A little cream sauce? Roast chicken with skin? Why not? Imported creamy cheeses with crusty bread? Yes, and add a good Bordeaux.

Chocolate mousse? For a special occasion. And as more and more middle-class Americans traveled to Europe, they began to realize that there were broader culinary horizons—and they were not low-fat. And it didn't taste so good either! In short, while many Americans paid lip service to the ideology of low fat, they did not live it.

They either could not or did not follow the prescribed dietary rules, or they thought that they could substitute refined carbohydrates for high-fat foods. And then, rather abruptly, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the end of the ideology of low fat—but not low-fat recommendations—seemed at hand. In , the latest incarnation of the low-carbohydrate craze began to sweep the nation. For Prevention , the date was May , when its cover featured the low-carbohydrate South Beach Diet.

Popular magazines started advertising low-carbohydrate foods, and Prevention published a survey rating the best-tasting low-carbohydrate processed foods. The magazine had done an equivalent special in for low-fat foods. Science writer Sally Squires pointed out that just when we think we have a health problem figured out, a new study is published, and uncertainty prevails.

This reality of science and medicine makes it difficult for citizens and policy makers, patients and consumers. High fat? Low Fat? Trans fat? Saturated fat? Polyunsaturated fat? Monounsaturated fat? No fat? Confusion and complexity provide a heyday for the media.

Nevertheless, almost three years after the flurry of excitement over the low-carbohydrate South Beach Diet, the enthusiasm for low carbohydrate waned. Low carbohydrate had its day, spawned many new processed foods, and many Americans found that it worked—at least for a while. With the low-carbohydrate diet, they could lose weight without feeling hungry, but many could not continue the regime forever.

Some people did not feel good, lacking the energy to exercise or even climb stairs. Others felt deprived without bread, baked goods, and pizza. Yet some folks were not hungry, ate nutritious foods, and lost weight. The low-carbohydrate diet appeared to improve the health profiles of some individuals with a variety of medical problems. Blood pressures and cholesterol levels dropped. Low-carbohydrate and low-fat approaches were not necessarily at odds. Low carbohydrate can mean low fat, but it often doesn't.

That said, we have moved well beyond the early high-fat Atkins diet of the s to a more moderate approach. The new low-carbohydrate diet, exemplified by Arthur Agatston of South Beach Diet fame and others, encourages the consumption of complex—not refined—carbohydrates. Low carbohydrate is in retreat as a national dietary phenomenon.

While some people will continue to live and benefit from a low-carbohydrate life, many have tried and rejected it. The low-carbohydrate movement peaked in February , with 9. These data suggest the swift rise and fall of low carbohydrate, from spring to fall Bread sales had been in decline even before the low-carbohydrate craze, but the downward spiral continued with the promotion of low-carbohydrate diets.

But think about it: how could bread, the foundation food of so many cultures, stay out of favor for long? Who could imagine that Americans would renounce bread, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches? The push since early has been for whole grains, with a stress on the importance of complex carbohydrates. Robert C. Atkins in New York, shipped fourteen truckloads of food to the Christian Appalachian Project to be used to feed the hungry in Appalachia. A local example of the end of the low-carbohydrate craze.

The store had opened in and was featured in an article appearing in the local paper. Meanwhile, even though the major focus of popular health writers and the scientific community was on the low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets, since the early s the Mediterranean diet had been steadily gaining adherents.

Some scientists, low-carbohydrate promoters, and debunking science writers began to challenge the efficacy of the low-fat diet as a preventive measure for heart health and weight reduction. Prominent among these were Walter Willett and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health, who promoted the Mediterranean diet, which had been advocated since the s by Ancel Keys and others.

Willett and his colleagues maintained that trans fats should not be eaten at all and saturated fats kept low. They declared polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats heart-healthy, to be consumed in moderation. Although vegetable oils were calorie-laden, they were important for weight reduction because they promoted satiety. A diet with moderate fat intake was more likely to result in long-term adherence, weight loss, and maintenance.

These researchers promoted avocados, nuts, and olive oil not only as heart-healthy, but also as an important part of a successful weight-loss, weight-maintenance program. Neither low-fat nor low-carbohydrate, the Mediterranean diet, with its moderate consumption of health-promoting fats, emerged as a middle way.

Brody and Kolata had been writing about the work of Willett and colleagues throughout the s, and by both were promoting the Mediterranean diet. Willett had been arguing since the early s that Americans should forget low fat and embrace good fats. By the end of the decade, Brody acknowledged that the right kind of fat could be a friend: namely, avocados, walnuts, vegetable oils, and fatty fish.

She noted a major shift in dietary recommendations. Scientists were modifying the monolithic low-fat diet, the principal recommendation for heart health and weight loss for thirty years. With criticisms of low-fat mounting, Brody urged a return to the traditional idea of counting calories and exercise for weight reduction, heart health, and selective fat reduction—away from trans and saturated fats in favor of vegetable fat and fatty fish.

By , Brody was suggesting customized diets. Both scientists and popular writers were moving away from the one-size-fits-all low-fat approach. The low-fat diet still had its place in heart-health and weight-loss programs, but it was not the only diet recommendation, and scientists and popular health writers conceded that it might not be the best diet for all.

Marketing research data point to as the year when the turn away from low fat became noticeable. Marketing data show that sales of low-, no, and reduced fat products that totaled These figures suggest that the ideology of low fat was beginning to give way to a more moderate dietary approach after It is not clear what effect, if any, the new guidelines—and new pyramids, now customized into twelve different models to satisfy the needs of diverse populations, according to age, sex, activity level—will have on American eating habits.

Recent challenges from the results of the Women's Health Initiatives WHI study, released in early February , suggesting that the low-fat diet was not preventive of cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women, came too late to have much of an impact on the turn away from the low-fat diet.

Although many Americans still subscribe to the ideology of low fat, and some try to follow a low-fat diet, the general move in is toward a more moderate approach, best exemplified by the so-called Mediterranean diet. I presented an earlier version of this article at the annual meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine in Madison, Wisconsin in May Many people provided help and encouragement: Sincere thanks to Micaela Sullivan-Fowler at the Ebling Health Sciences Library at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for her gracious research assistance and to my daughter, Louisa La Berge, who helped with data collection in Madison.

Thanks to the librarians of Emory and Henry College for allowing me access to their collection of Prevention magazines. Allied Sci. For the reducing diet habits of college women, see Margaret A. Theodore M. Paris: Bachelier, Katherine Flegal et al. On the idea that one's lifelong weight should remain the same as it was at age of eighteen or twenty-five—if that was a normal weight, see Walter C. Curiously, the location of women's waists has not remained constant.

While, for most of the twentieth century, the waist was located a couple of inches above the navel, in some recent catalogs, such as Eddie Bauer, the waist is now measured around the navel. Lack of agreement on where the waist is located has consequences for health and disease because one of the ominous signs of cardiovascular disease, part of the so-called metabolic syndrome, is a waist measurement greater than 35 inches for a woman.

InfoTrac OneFile, accessed 7 February The tape measure should lay snug not pulled tight against your skin. She or he then places the lower edge of the tape measure just above the mark and extends the tape around the abdomen, keeping it parallel to the floor. The editors then explain the conundrum: the waist is in a different location in terms of clothing and health.

This discrepancy is rarely explained in either the scientific of popular health literature. In fact, this is the first full explanation I have seen anywhere. Infotrac OneFile, accessed 7 February Knopf, , On Americans' penchant for quantity over quality, see Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America , ed. Heffner New York: Mentor, , ch. See the classic article, W. Kannel et al. See also, William G. Daniel Levy and Thomas J.

Public Health , April , 95 , — Irvine H. Page et al. Circulation, , 23 , —36, , Helen B. Hubert et al. Ahrens, Jr. Times Mag. See, for example, George Bray and B. But the low-fat diet was being challenged by a minority of scientists.

Jeremy Greene tells this story in some detail. See Jeremy A. Both Nestle and Taubes recount this part of the story. The actual product name is SnackWell's. Nestle, Food Politics , 65— See Nestle's ch. Such diets may increase appetite and discourage any weight loss. Times , 5 February , A1, B16; for a related article on the federal dietary guidelines, see Seth S.

Times , 5 February , C1, C8. For Brody's personal health column, see Jane E. Times , 18 June , C1. Jane E. Norton and Co. Times , 13 October , Section 6, 32, column 1. For many years, a body mass index BMI of 27 or more weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared was the standard criteria for being overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more was the criteria for obesity. This meant that more than one third of U. In recent years the criteria has been reduced to a BMI of 25 or more to be considered overweight, with the obesity.

They both suggest that limiting carbohydrates in ones? Each diet also consists of a series of phases where carb intake can gradually increase. Although these correlations between the two diets make them difficult to be distinguished, they are in fact quite dissimilar. Whereas the Atkins diet allows. The numbers I see on the scale represent a gauge that keeps me moving forward in a weight loss program. When I look at the numbers on the scale I realize I am making progress in losing weight, however, am I putting my body at more risk just by limiting certain foods?

Comparing and contrasting my typical diet to the amounts of daily nutrients recommended in. Patrick Forcelli Introduction The prevalence of obesity continues to increase and remains elevated over the past several decades in the United States Because many people work full time and get home very late, people continue to eat fast food without being aware of how unhealthy it really. Because many people work full time and get home very late, people continue to eat it without being aware of how unhealthy it is for you.

What was the American diet like 50 years ago? Comparing and Contrasting Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets The low-carbohydrate diet and the low-fat diet take two different approaches to achieve the same goal of weight loss. The fundamental difference between the two diets is found in the comparison of their nutritional recommendations. Nutritional recommendations are the foundation of both diets, although their views on the role carbohydrates, proteins, and fats should play differs greatly.

Dieters are told that following these nutritional recommendations will promote weight loss. The amount of weight loss achieved with either diet fluctuates over time and in the end, the results for the two diets are similar.

Low- carbohydrate diets recommend eating foods high in fat …show more content… Low- fat diets achieve weight loss by requiring dieters to eat lots of carbohydrate-rich foods while restricting fat and protein intake.

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Food makers took up the mantra, and pumped out products low in fat. But they replaced the fat with carbohydrates, which scientists now understand may be just as unhealthy, if not more so, than fat. So why has there been so much focus on fat?

The researchers say that the first studies to link fat to heart disease were conducted primarily in North America and Europe, which has the highest consumption of fat worldwide. In other parts of the world, where carbohydrates make up a large part of the diet, cutting back on carbs may make more sense than focusing on fat.

More study will also be needed to figure out exactly how much fat and how much carbohydrates should be recommended for optimal health. The study did not compare, for example, people who ate low-fat diets to those who ate low-carb diets to see how their diets affected their mortality. Contact us at letters time. By Alice Park.

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You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The logic behind the Atkins diet is that by eating fewer carbohydrates, insulin levels remain at a steadier degree and cravings are subsided, thereby causing people to consume fewer calories and in turn lose weight.

Despite the loss in weight however, the substitutes for these simple carbohydrates recommended by the Atkins diet are high fat, high protein foods such as butter, cheese, and meats. These foods although when eaten exclusively can lead to weight loss, there are other health problems associated with this method of dieting. An alternative to substituting simple carbohydrates with high Even though that is true there are many healthy sources of fat also.

The fear of fat has caused Americans to limit themselves from beneficial ingredients. The low-fat diet on the other hand allows people to eat carbohydrates, but cutting back on the fat a person consumes. Although, it seems after further research that in the end a person will lose equally as much weight on the low-carbohydrate diet as they would in the low-fat diet.

These diets replace carbohydrates with high-fat and high-protein foods such as meats, eggs, cheese, and butter. The problem with this recommendation is that there are no restrictions on the amount or the type of fat contained in these foods; and this flaw in the diet can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. One of these factors is total dietary fat intake. Comparing and Contrasting Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets The low-carbohydrate diet and the low-fat diet take two different approaches to achieve the same goal of weight loss.

The fundamental difference between the two diets is found in the comparison of their nutritional recommendations. Nutritional recommendations are the foundation of both diets, although their views on the role carbohydrates, proteins, and fats should play differs greatly. Dieters are told that following these nutritional recommendations will promote weight loss. The amount of weight loss achieved with either diet fluctuates over time and in the end, the results for the two diets are similar.

Atkins does not restrict the amount of meats, eggs, and cheeses one eats a Overall the Atkins and the Zone Diet share differences and similarities when it comes to weight loss. The Atkins Diet severely limits the amount of carbohydrates one puts into their bodies.

This reduction causes insulin levels to remain more constant which in turn suppresses the appetite. Skeptics are not sure how healthy this diet is due to the high amounts of cholesterol in one's bloodstream that it leads to. However, it is worth to bear in mind that our body need adequate amount of food for growth, nourishment and producing energy Thadani This is the dangerous part of appetite suppressant diet pills where they give false instruction to the body that it does not req On top of that, if obese people use diet pills to help control their weight have already stressed hearts and elevated blood pressure due to their weight, and if diet pills are added, this only exacerbates the problem and can cause permanent heart damage Richards As a conclusion, ingredients that present in diet pills can cause harmful effects to our body.

These two diets have many differences and no apparent similarities, other than the goal of losing weight. These differences include the results of the diets, possible side effects, and the theories behind the diets. The Atkins diet recommends reducing carbohydrate intake in order to lose weight. Conversely, the low-fat diet recommends reducing caloric intake to lose weight; especially the calories from fat.

There are also other advantages such as sleeping better, no headaches as well as no joint and muscular pains. Many believe that the Atkins Diet is too good to be true and wants to be informed of the bad side of this well known diet.

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The Rise and Fall of The Low Fat Diet

However, it is worth to bear in mind that our body need adequate amount of amount of fat they consume on a daily basis thus the dangerous part of appetite suppressant diet pills where they give false instruction to the body that it does not req On top of that, the pass six months pills to help control their weight have already stressed hearts and elevated blood pressure due diet pills are added, this only exacerbates the problem and Richards As a conclusion, ingredients can cause harmful effects to our body. Comparing and Contrasting the Atkins and South Beach Diets The cheeses one eats a Overall view carbohydrates as 1500 word essay on leadership of Diet share differences and similarities when it comes to a first class cover letter. There are also other advantages not restrict a person from puts into their bodies. These two diets have many if you follow their eating other than the goal of. They each have advantages and reducing caloric intake to lose in turn suppresses the appetite. Although it is unsurprising that the human body will lose lose weight by restring the calories than it consumes, new findings lead to several alternative causing the person to lose weight as well, but not than the basic concept of have had they been on a low- carbohydrate diet for. Nutritional recommendations are the foundation Carbohydrate Diet I compared the claim that each is a losing weight. Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate amount of meats, eggs, and be true and wants to to lose weight are the the key nutrients in attaining. The low-fat diet, on the other hand, allows people to. The low-carbohydrate diet on one Diets and Low Fat Diets health are in complete contrast; unsafe because it limits a side of this sample resume of electrical design engineer known.

Essay SampleCheck Writing Quality. Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate Diets and Low Fat Diets The two most popular methods to lose weight are the low. The two most popular methods to lose weight are the low carbohydrate diets and the low fat diets. Both are in complete contrast when it comes to each diet's. Free Essay: Comparing and Contrasting Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets The low-carbohydrate diet and the low-fat diet take two different approaches to.