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Posted on 09-18-2017

Fat Update – A New Study You Should Know About  Article of the week Sept 18-22

            I sometimes use conversations I've had with patients to form a topic for my article of the week.  A couple of weeks ago I had a young woman tell me about a number of the changes she had been implementing to improve her health.  She told me how she had purchased a new bike and had begun cycling.  She also told      me about a number of the dietary modifications she was making to improve her health, including incorporating low-fat dairy into her diet.


Many products you see on store shelves boast “low-fat” options.  The term “low-fat” has become synonymous with being a healthy choice, in large part due to recommendations from organizations like the American Heart Association.  For decades organizations like the AHA have made low-fat recommendations based on research studies that were published in the 1960's and 70's.  How about some recent science on this topic so we can get it right?


In August 2017 a study was published on this very topic in one of the oldest and most reputable medical journals called The Lancet.  It is known as the PURE study and its research team followed the eating habits of 135,000 people from 18 different countries over a span of 7 years.  It was the participants that had the highest intake of dietary fat (35% of their daily calories) that were 23% less likely to die during the study period compared to those with the lowest fat intake (10% of daily calories from fat).


On the other hand, the participants that had the highest carbohydrate (sugar) intake were 28% more likely to have died than those with the lowest carb intake.  Check out this link if you'd like to see for yourself... http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32252-3/fulltext


Another recent study found that if you reduced your sugar (carb) intake, it reduced liver fat 20% in a matter of 9 days!  What you need to take away from this is that if you are getting too much sugar, particularly fructose, it gets turned into fat in your body, and this appears to be the most harmful to your health.  Fructose is found in soda, fruit juices and many processed foods that are canned, boxed or bagged.  Start reading labels and watch out for products that have fructose added.


One more clarification with regard to fat – not all fat is good.  Continue to avoid the man-made fat known as trans fats or hydrogenated fats.  If you ever read a label and see the words trans fat, hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil, put that product down and run in the other direction.  You want to emphasize healthy fats in your diet. 


The healthy fats I recommend include nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, brazil nuts) and seeds (pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds).  Make sure you read the label to see that no extra oils or sugar have been added to the nuts/seeds, and that the nuts are raw and not roasted as roasting can damage nutrients.  Other healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, eggs (with the yolk) and higher fat dairy products that come from organic and if possible, grass-fed sources.  And yes, butter is healthier than margarine.  Also, wild caught fish like Alaskan or sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies and sardines as well as free range, grass-fed beef.  If you like to count calories, roughly 35% of your calories should come from these sources.


And remember, incorporating these recommendations into your diet will not make you gain weight.  Many people erroneously believe increasing their fat intake will lead to weight gain.  Excess sugar is the primary driver of fat retention and weight gain. 


As always, I welcome your questions or comments.


Yours in Health,

Dr. Tim


Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 – http://gracechiropractic.ca

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