In order to find out whether your own body will respond better to weight management issues on a low-carb, low-fat, or balanced diet, you have to find out how your blood and cholesterol tests respond to all three diets. You could try each diet for a year or two and have your blood tested.
You could find out whether you gained or lost weight or felt well and healthy on any of those three diets, or you could tailor your diet to your body shape, genes, or metabolic response to each type of diet. You might check out Barry Sears’ book, Toxic Fat: When Good Fat Turns Bad.
Also you could check out the website of Inherent Health, the company that appeared recently on the Dr. Oz TV show that specializes in genetic tests to see whether you’d benefit by a low-carb, low-fat, or balanced diet.You also could get a genetic test for weight Management, heart health, nutritional needs, or bone health. Research the site and the technique.
Then make up your mind if you’d rather go with metabolic and body shape or with genetic testing for nutrition. Some scientists report that you need to test your entire genome before you can get answers about genetic risks. Other scientists emphasize that all you need to test are specific genes to get a handle on how your body responds to specific types of nutrition such as balanced, or low-carb or low-fat diets.
That’s why you need to research your needs with your health care team–nutritionists trained both in metabolic and genetic dietetics as well as your physician. A lot of people can’t afford any of this. So they are left to look at body shape, how food makes you react or respond, and standard blood tests for cholesterol levels and other health tests in your routine physical exam. How does the food make you feel? Are you allergic to the food you most likely crave?
For example, if you’re pear-shaped, would you do better on a low-fat diet? And if you’re apple-shaped would you do better on a low-carb diet? What happens is that apple-shaped people are more likely to gain weight in the abdomen. By going on a low-carb diet of approximately 30% protein, 30% carbs, and 40% healthy fats, they are less likely to respond with blood sugar/glucose spikes, metabolic syndrome symptoms, hypertension, and other symptoms that point to insulin resistance due to too many carbs in a person with the genes for a low-carb diet. It’s not so simple as body shape, but at least you are pointed to clues in how your body reacts to foods.
There are people with mixed genes who need a balanced diet, such as the modified Mediterranean diet, the “Zone Diet” or other forms that emphasize balance. So basically, it’s not so simple as whether you’re pear shaped or apple shaped. It’s about a lot of other signs your body is giving you. Maybe you’re genes are mixed enough to require a healthy balanced diet rather than emphasizing low-carb or low-fat.
On the other hand, if you’re pear-shaped and eat too much fat, maybe you need a low-fat diet. That’s why looking at your body shape and response to high carb or low fat diets can at least give you a clue. The final word is between you and your health care team on what diet works best as you tailor your food to your genes.
For those who benefit by a low-carb diet, particularly those with wide waists who gain weight in the abdomen, in a new study, a low-carb diet during a two-year period did work well to raise the ‘good’ cholesterol that you want raised, the HDL. Again, your choice of diet is between you and your health care team, based on how your body responds individually to certain foods.
The National Institutes of Health funded the latest study conducted by Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education published in the August 3, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Atkins™ Nutritionals, Inc. (“Atkins”) applauds the study, according to an August 4, 2010 press release, “Atkins Diet Used in a Study That Found Low-Carb Diets Improved Heart Health as Reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.” Atkins provided the book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet, New Revolution, to researchers to be used as a guide.
The study concludes that a low-carbohydrate diet is associated with favorable changes in weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The Temple University researchers used the 2002 version of the Atkins Diet™ described in “Dr. Atkins‘ New Diet Revolution” as the model for the low-carbohydrate diet used in the study.
“We are very excited about this study, which is the latest of many that demonstrate the positive effects of the Atkins Diet,” said Monty Sharma, CEO of Atkins Nutritionals, according to the August 4, 2010 news release. “I’m confident that the results would have been even more profound had the study participants followed the latest version of the Atkins Diet introduced in ‘The New Atkins for a New You.'”
Fireside published the new best-selling book, “The New Atkins for a New You” in March 2010 and authored by Dr. Eric C. Westman (Duke University), Dr. Stephen D. Phinney (University of California at Davis) and Dr. Jeff S. Volek (University of Connecticut). The book spent 18 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List (paperback/advice) after its debut.
The two-year, federally funded Temple University study focused on 307 adults, of whom two-thirds were women. Half of the participants followed the Induction phase of the Atkins Diet for three months before increasing their carbohydrate intake by five grams a week until they reached a stable weight. The other participants followed a low-fat diet, consisting of 1,200-1,800 daily calories of which less than 30 percent was fat.
Results showed that while both the low-fat and low-carb diets promote successful weight loss, the Atkins Diet increased the body’s levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 23 percent – nearly twice as much as a low-fat diet, which increased HDL levels by only 12 percent. Many other studies of up to one year’s duration have reported similar beneficial results, but this is the second two-year study.