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Low carb diet popularity melts butter supply: Full-fat dairy boosts weight loss

Bring on the butter.
Bring on the butter.
Simon & Schuster, republished by permission

With celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne publicizing the weight loss benefits of low carb diets, butter has become the hot new commodity. As a result, butter supplies are decreasing as prices are rising, reported Bloomberg News on Aug. 29.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the second-highest increase in butter consumption this year, with data tracked since 1965. Compared to 2013, butter shipments have skyrocketed 42 percent.

And it's not just celebrities who have changed butter into a weight loss and health food. A book called "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet" has become a bestseller. It shows the faulty studies behind recommendations to eat a high carb, low-fat diet and has motivated many dieters to make the switch to high fat low carb weight loss plans.

In addition, sports scientist Tim Noakes has attracted attention for his work showing that high fat low carb diets are the most effective approach both for weight loss and conditions such as diabetes. He has cited research showing that for those who are carbohydrate-intolerant, a high carb low fat diet is linked to concerns such as elevated blood glucose and high triglyceride. Those levels, in turn, are associated with heart disease.

While butter has replaced bread as the staff of life, margarine sales are suffering, reports researcher Nielsen NV. And that's made at least one food corporation so frustrated that it's funding protests against high fat low carb diets.

Unilever manufactures reduced-fat margarine, a product disdained by diets such as the Atkins ketogenic diet and the high fat low carb plan recommended by Noakes, sometimes called the Banting plan. The corporation sponsored an event with speakers warning against low carb diets and butter, reported the Times Live on Aug. 29.

Dietician Claire Julsing Strydom claimed that she had to help seven patients who experienced health problems caused by fad diets. One patient had kidney issues, which Strydom blamed on a high protein diet.

Other speakers included representatives from Unilever. The company tried to melt myths about margarine while sponsoring speakers who disdained diets high in protein and fat.

But the latest studies show that protein-rich foods and healthy fats are best for weight loss. Researchers have found that some foods are particularly powerful for burning more fat, reported Yahoo Health on Aug. 29.

And dairy foods rank high on that list. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham discovered that women who ate foods and beverages such as yogurt and milk lost the most abdominal fat. Other fat-burning foods include nuts and salmon, both of which are high in protein and healthy fats.