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Low carb high protein diet reduces strokes, cuts cravings, promotes weight loss

Go for low carb high protein diets for health.
Go for low carb high protein diets for health.Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Two new studies offer meaty evidence that high protein low carb diets are more beneficial than low-fat high carb diets for health and for weight loss. In the first study, dieters who ate more protein reduced their risk of stroke, reported Live Science on Wednesday.

Dr. Xinfeng Liu, a neurologist at the Jinling Hospital in China analyzed protein consumption and stroke studies. After locating seven that included the desired data, he found a positive correlation between increased protein intake and reduced stroke risk.

Moreover, Dr. Liu discovered that higher protein diets boosted the reduction. Dieters who ate 20 grams of protein daily experienced a 26 percent lower risk of stroke.

In addition to reducing stroke risk, diets higher in protein and fats and lower in carbohydrates facilitate weight loss, according to another new study. Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab have discovered that low-fat dieters consume 28 percent more calories when compared to those on low carb diets, reported Fox News on Wednesday.

Low-fat, low calorie foods cause weight problems because they are missing the satiety provided by foods such as avocado, nuts and cheese, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, author of "The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear--with Fiber."

"Fat adds flavor and texture to food, which explains why foods that contain fat are so pleasing," explained Tanya. Moreover, fat-free foods often contain sugar in place of fat, causing the product to be higher in carbohydrates.

"Excess carbohydrates not burned for energy get stored as fat, resulting in weight gain," says Tanya. When the researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab compared the impact of low-fat diets, they discovered that low-fat dieters also thought that they were eating fewer calories than they were.

So what should you eat? "Most of the fat you eat should be unsaturated, such as monounsaturated fats, which help raise good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol, and protect against plaque buildup in your arteries," says Tanya. She recommends olive oil and olives, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, fish and avocados.

If you want to focus on using a low-carb diet to slim down fast for bikini season, we asked JJ Virgin to offer her insights in an exclusive interview. She is the author of "The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days."

To get more protein in your diet and reduce your stroke risk while you're boosting your weight loss, JJ suggests drinking protein shakes in place of solid food for two meals a day.

"Blend non-soy, non-dairy plant-based or defatted beef protein powder with frozen raspberries, avocado, kale or other leafy greens, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk for a fast, filling, fat-burning shake," JJ added. "I'm all for healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and olive oil."

And her number one suggestion: "Get rid of the processed food."In addition, JJ suggests being aware of possible food intolerances such as soy.

"Taper off the higher-glycemic carbohydrates, and bump up your protein," she emphasized. For those who are vegans, she suggests quinoa and legumes. "Healthy fats like avocado and coconut are important for vegans and vegetarians too."

Greasing the conversation about the benefits of high fat low carb diets is investigative journalist Nina Teicholz. After years of researching the facts about high carb, low-fat diets, she's produced a volume providing evidence that high fat fat diets are healthier: "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet."

"When the dietary recommendations came out in 1961 saying that saturated fat causes heart disease, that was based on total cholesterol," Teicholz told CNN. "But our understanding of heart disease has evolved enormously."

As a result, her research, coupled with the newest studies such as the high protein diet study, are turning the tide in favor of low carb diets. Even Dr. Mehmet Oz has recently changed his recommendations in favor of reducing grains and increasing healthy fats.