I decided to make the biggest mistake of my life and tried going to a few low-carb and Keto groups. The biggest things that I found out is that a specialized healthy low-carb diet pretty much doesn’t exist in their mind. Replacing saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats is unhealthy in their minds, so keep that in mind.
The sad thing is, a low carb diet that is full of low carb plants, lean meats, lower fat dairy, but higher fat foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and plant oils, can exist. In fact, this diet would be fairly healthy as well, and can still include occasional healthy foods such as beans, which are higher in carbs.
However, the low carb group tends to shun this “whitewashed” view of diet and thinks that bacon grease, butter, heavy whipping cream, and sirloin steaks are healthy and should be consumed often and as staple foods. This goes against every scientific consensus on nutrition that exists. For instance:
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) that dietary fat for the healthy adult population should provide 20% to 35% of energy, with an increased consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and limited intake of saturated and trans fats.
The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats – which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. Decades of sound science has proven it can raise your “bad” cholesterol and put you at higher risk for heart disease.
Harvard School of Medicine:
Harvard researchers analyzed more than two decades’ worth of dietary and health information from more than 115,000 people. Researchers noted that higher intakes of the most common saturated fats—lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid—were associated with a boost in the risk of coronary artery disease of up to 18%. But replacing just 1% of those fats with the same amount of calories from polyunsaturated fats, whole grains, or plant proteins was associated with a 6% to 8% lower risk.
The American Diabetes Association:
a healthy eating pattern limits saturated and trans fats, added sugars and sodium. The Association also supports key recommendations to consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats and consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium.
Among many others. However, this does not mean that a low carb diet is all that bad. In fact, since Harvard School of Medicine is quite clear about the health effects of too many high glycemic foods, such as potatoes, it can be beneficial to avoid these foods altogether.
“A cup of potatoes has a similar effect on blood sugar as a can of cola or a handful of jelly beans. This roller-coaster-like effect on blood sugar and insulin can result in people feeling hungry again soon after eating, which may then lead to overeating.”
It is possible and even easy to have a diet that is high carb, or low carb, that avoids both high glycemic carbs like white rice, potatoes, and bread, as well as saturated fats.
For instance, you can just switch out red meats and processed meats with far more healthy options, like lean poultry, egg whites, beans, nuts, seeds, and tofu. You can also switch out rice for cauliflower rice, fries for green bean or asparagus fries, mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower or broccoli, and pasta for zoodles or lentil noodles.
Many low carbers, however, tend to be so far stuck up their rear ends that they think experts in the field of nutrition are biased against them. For instance, I have met thousands of low carbers who are refusing to listen to any of the above-mentioned expert-run organizations due to the fact that these organizations MUST be hiding “the truth” behind nutrition. Meanwhile, the expert consensus in diet and nutrition is mounting, proving over and over that saturated fat is not healthy.
So yes, saturated fats are bad for your health. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is pushing pseudoscience and a conspiracy theory. Anyone who claims scientific consensus is wrong because their diet coach says otherwise should be verbally laughed off the stage and shamed.
Low carb diets are not bad, but good lord, use your brain!