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Low carb diet studies flip food pyramid: Eat eggs, bacon, butter for weight loss

Butter up for weight loss.
Butter up for weight loss.

Generations of dieters have consumed fat-free cereal with skim milk for breakfast, eaten pasta topped with fat-free cheese for lunch and dished up diet butter with their baked potatoes for dinner. Just one problem: Based on the increasing percentage of Americans who are obese, the low-fat, high carb food pyramid is a big fat failure when it comes to weight loss. "The low-fat message in the past two to three decades has not been helpful, and it may have backfired," said Frank Hu, co-director of the Obesity Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Harvard School of Public Health, in an Aug. 25 interview with U.S. News.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has revised its guidelines only slightly, despite new evidence showing that saturated fat is not the enemy. The new guidelines limits saturated fat to the equivalent of two tablespoons of butter for someone on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet.

Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz researched the history of those and similar guidelines and pointed out the multiple errors. Or as Shakespeare might have said if he were contemplating the bogus background: "The fault, dear dieters, is not in our stars, But in our low-fat legends, that we are underlings."

Nina sums it all up in her book: “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.” And she has an increasing number of experts agreeing with her claims that low carb diets trump low-fat plans.

What about eggs, which supposedly are linked to high cholesterol and other horrors? Go ahead, eat that egg. New research shows that an egg a day just might keep the heart doctor away, reported the "Today" show on Aug. 25.

The type of LDL cholesterol affected by eggs do not harm. And that egg yolk that so many dieters toss out while preparing egg white omelets? It actually contains protein and vitamins that boost your weight loss and health, says Dr. Roshini Raj.

In a reversal of previous results, researchers now say that eating bacon or sausages along with eggs for breakfast beats bran. By kick-starting your metabolism with protein in the morning, you're less apt to feel tempted by that mid-morning doughnut or post-lunch ice cream bar, reported the Tallahassee Democrat on Aug. 25.

Conducted at the University of Missouri by Heather Leidy, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, the study showed that women who ate high protein diet breakfasts experienced improvements in glucose and insulin control.

"Eating a protein-rich breakfast impacts the drive to eat later in the day, when people are more likely to consume high-fat or high-sugar snacks," explained Leidy. "These data suggest that eating a protein-rich breakfast is one potential strategy to prevent overeating and improve diet quality by replacing unhealthy snacks with high quality breakfast foods."

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