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You Call That Low-Fat?!

With blaring headlines like that of CBS News (Study Tips Scales In Atkins Diet’s Favor) or the UK Telegraph (Low fat diets ‘not as effective for weight loss’), it’s no wonder people are confused.

Not atypically, the diet described as low-fat was hardly worthy of the appellation. It followed the guidelines of the American Heart Association, which amazingly still sets the bar at 30% of calories from fat. This despite studies, such as those of Dr. Esselstyn, showing it to be insufficient for reversing heart disease. He recommends less than 10% and Dr. McDougall 7%.

What I find exciting though is the paper itself, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, makes it clear the low-carbers were encouraged to get their protein from vegetarian sources and to limit saturated and trans fats. That’s not the Atkins diet at all!

Seems we’re looking at a vindication, not of that unhealthy plan, but rather of a low-calorie, plant-based lifestyle, with little actually said about a truly low-fat diet.


2 Responses to “You Call That Low-Fat?!”

  1. Dave says:

    Good catch. One thing you might want to point out is that one of the organizations that supported this research was the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Research Foundation.

    Here’s McDougall’s take on it:


  2. Erin says:

    Thanks, Dave. Yeah, I’d seen his comments, but decided they were too brief to include; Ornish had a much lengthier response. I’m glad you mentioned it though, in case others hadn’t. Interesting about the funding. You’d think they’d want the Atkin’s diet more accurately represented. Then again, maybe they weren’t that confident and were happy to let a healthier and not-as-low-carb version serve as stand-in. ;)

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