Are Low-Carb High-Fat Diets Potentially Harmful?

January 2,2018

Fad diets range from "the ridiculous" to "interesting". Although it was quickly proven to be a media hoax, a few years ago the Chocolate Diet hit the Internet and everyone felt certain they would lose weight by eating chocolate multiple times a day, every day. Unfortunately, some of the people who read about the diet may not have seen the corrections published by embarrassed bloggers who failed to check the facts before posting their article. Truth is you still must consume fewer calories than your body burns to lose weight or burn more calories than you consume.

Restricting Carbohydrates

If you are considering a high-fat diet, chances are it also requires that you restrict carbohydrate intake. Although it is true that most Americans are consuming too many sugary drinks, eating too much fast food and filling their grocery basket with processed foods, there are fibrous carbohydrates in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables that should be part of your dietary menu plan. Low-carb, high fat diets can allow someone who is obese or severely overweight to shed pounds quickly. The problem is, for most people, carbohydrate starvation is not sustainable and they will likely gain the weight back.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Supporters of the popular "keto diet" believe that a ketogenic approach that requires very low-carb intake, moderate protein consumption and high fat intake believe in using the body as a "fat burner" rather than a "glucose burner". Eating lots of fats can induce a catabolic state of ketosis where the liver is forced to create ketone molecules for energy. Supposedly, the extra side of fat at every meal prevents hunger pangs and speeds the weight loss process. However, a keto diet has strict dietary requirements and any "cheat food" consumed ends ketosis. In addition, those with hormone or endocrine deficiency should seek medical assistance with determining the right balance of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) for their body's unique needs.

Get a Check Up to Rule Out Medical Causes of Weight Gain

For most people, consuming healthy fats is not "the boogeyman". When it comes to losing weight, good fats (avocados, salmon, olive oil) are much better for your health and wellness than eating processed foods with added sugars and high sodium content. However, a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data from nearly 50 other studies and found the type of diet really doesn’t make a difference in weight loss. In the end, it is not about reaching your weight goal. Successful long-term weight loss is all about weight control.

As you age, there are medical conditions like hypothyroidism that can have a major impact on weight gain. Whether you're overweight or just eating poorly, schedule an appointment at either PrimeMED location for a check-up. You can discuss your weight loss goals with a board certified physician who can also review the results of your lab work. There could be a medical reason for those extra pounds you've gained.