forklift Forklift forklift alim forklift satis forklift kiralama forklift servis ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- telefon dinleme casus telefon ortam dinleme ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- burun estetigi ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- telefon dinleme Casus telefon Did Low-Fat Diets Fail Again? Dont Believe the Hype!
Did Low-Fat Diets Fail Again? Dont Believe the Hype! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Monday, 22 May 2006 19:24

Jeff Novick

A new study that followed nearly 49,000 middle-aged women for more than eight years, called the Women’s Health Initiative study, concluded that those who ate less fat did not significantly reduce their risk of heart disease or some cancers compared to those following a regular diet. (Journal of the American Medical Association, February 7, 2006)

So once again, Americans are asking, “Why bother? Why not just go back to eating high-fat food again?”

But, was the problem with the low-fat diet or the study?

Dont Believe the Hype!As you will see, first, there were problems with what the subjects reported they ate compared to what they really consumed, and the results they received. So, let’s take a closer look and you will see five other key reasons the study results should be viewed with caution.

1. A small investment yields small returns. Making small improvements in your diet results in small improvements in your health. The participants of the study did not reduce their fat intake all that much. They started out with a 34 percent fat diet. Eight years later, they were following a 29 percent fat diet.

2. Fat is only one part of the story. Evaluating a diet by its fat content is like evaluating a car solely by its tires. The foods we ADD to our diet are equally important, foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. THESE are the foods that contain at least 1,000 substances, from vitamins to fiber to lycopene, that fight disease and keep us healthy. In the new JAMA study, the women ate only HALF the amount of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are recommended for health. In addition, their intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains increased little if any over the course of the study.

3. Successful measures to improve health include exercising regularly and cutting calories to lose weight. The women in the JAMA study did neither. Cutting out a little fat without cutting down on calories is like getting rid of bacon but having low-fat Cheetos instead. If you do not lose excess weight, you do not significantly reduce your risk of numerous diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and many cancers. And again, there were problems with the numbers. The women reported eating around 290 less calories a day for the first year but only lost 5.5 lbs. A caloric reduction of that amount should have resulted in a much more substantial weight loss.

4. The two groups of women compared in the JAMA study (those who followed the so-called “low-fat” diet versus those on a regular diet) were so similar that it was like comparing one Honda Civic with another Honda Civic. Over the eight-year period of the study, the women on the regular diet reduced their consumption of fat almost as much as the low-fat dieters. The regular dieters also increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables. So ultimately, LDL “bad” cholesterol decreased only 21/2 percent more in the low-fat group compared to the regular group. And, while they said they reduced their saturated fat intake from 12.7 percent of calories to 8.1 percent of calories, an over 50 percent reduction in saturated fat, their cholesterol and LDL barely budged any lower than the control group whose saturated fat intake remained about the same.

5. Finally, and most importantly, there was good news from the JAMA study, which showed that significant changes in diet and lifestyle yielded significant, life-saving dividends. The subgroup of women who consumed the lowest amount of fat had the lowest risk of breast cancer. And those who ate the lowest amount of artery-clogging fats — less than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fats — had the lowest risk of heart disease.

These findings are in line with several studies affirming that healthy low-fat diets, which contain around 15 percent of calories from fat and 15 to 20 servings daily of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) combined with regular exercise deliver major results. Moreover, several studies, most notably from James Barnard of UCLA and the Pritikin Center; David Blankenhorn, M.D., of University of Southern California School of Medicine; Dean Ornish, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; and Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, have found that a healthy low-fat diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and regular exercise can shrink plaque build-up in artery walls, arresting and even reversing heart disease.

A healthy low-fat diet has also been found repeatedly to reduce cancer risk. In recent investigations, researchers at UCLA have found that the Pritikin Program inhibits both breast and prostate cancer cells in laboratory experiments, and even induced tumor cells to self-destruct.

Similarly, research by Dean Ornish, M.D., UCSF, and Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., UCLA, found that men with a history of prostate cancer and women with histories of breast cancer substantially reduced their risk of cancer recurrence by upping their fruit-and-vegetable intake and reducing their dietary fat intake to 20 percent or less of total calories.

The bottom line — give it all you’ve got. Don’t settle for watered-down measures like cutting out a little bit of fat, kicking back on the couch, and settling into a bag of fat-free but calorie-dense potato chips.

If you move more, eat fewer calories get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoid fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, you will be rewarded not only with a longer life but a better life — rich in energy and good health.

Jeffrey Novick, M.S., R.D., L.D./N., is the Director of Nutrition for the Pritikin Longevity Center in Aventura, Florida. He is Vice President of the National Health Association Board of Directors and a Life Member of the Association. Visit his website at


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