During my ninth grade year, I decided to go on an intense weight-loss regimen. I didn’t consume any fats, nor did I eat a lot: just a spoon of rice and that was it. My diet went on for weeks, and when I finally reached my goal, I stopped. As a result, I lost twenty pounds, but also suffered a few side effects that tortured me for the next few months, and unfortunately my usual weight returned.
Just like me, when people usually think of low fat or high fat diets (not the weight-loss, but composition of what is consumed and its effect on health), they assume that low fat diets are healthier and more efficient for them. However, according to the myriad of research done, a high fat diet might be more beneficial to people’s health.
According to a Minnesota study, written by Peter Whoriskey for the Washington Post, reducing blood cholesterol didn’t prevent heart disease nor did it make people healthier. In this research, the scientists used a sample of nine-thousand people with heart disease and divided them into two groups, assigning one group high fat diets and the other group low fat diets. Unlike everyone’s expectations, the low fat diet group indeed did reduce their cholesterol level, but this had no effect on their rate of heart disease compared to those in the high fat diet group. Therefore, the researchers concluded that low fat diets don’t make people with heart disease healthier. Unlike Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in which the government prefers their citizens to consume less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat, the results of the Minnesota study undermine this claim.
Additionally, an article published in Eat This, Not That lists the benefits of numerous high fat foods, displaying their positive effect on people’s health. Similarly, this article revokes the American Heart Association’s statement, which urges people to cut down on fat, and instead supports high fat foods.
For instance, many people assume that grass-fed butter is unhealthy because it is a saturated fat, but because it contains vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, it provides essential nutrients to people’s bodies. Furthermore, many believe that fat free ice-creams are better than regular ice-cream when it actually contains higher levels of sugar, which stimulate hormone insulin that leads to weight gain and inflammatory reactions. Finally, although some might think salad dressings are unhealthy, when it is eaten with vegetables, the body is able to absorb lycopene and beta-carotene, which fights cancer and supports the heart system.
It is true that low fat diets aids short term weight loss, but according to “Low-Fat Diet: Facts, Benefits & Risks” by Alina Bradford, the weight loss is not permanent and it will most likely return to its original state. Moreover, Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) discovered that low fat diet doesn’t help breast cancer, health disease, or weight loss, but rather can cause depression and vitamin deficiencies. On the other hand, just because a high fat diet isn’t as harmful as it used to be thought of doesn’t mean that it is always beneficial.
There should be balance between these two diets. Further research is required about high fat diet because nowadays there are biases about the positive effects of high fat food. Some people believe that eating more fat would help weight loss because it is more satiating, preventing them from consuming more. Also, others believe high fat foods allow faster metabolism, which causes body to burn more fat. On the contrary, the data from Science Nutrition refute these ideas. Therefore, there should more research done about high fat diet and also about prevention of heart disease to enlighten the people with valid and reliable information.