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Low carb omnivore diet cuts cravings, reduces blood pressure, helps weight loss

Two new studies indicate that low carb diets that include animal protein can suppress the appetite, reduce your blood pressure and boost your weight loss. Researchers also found that when it comes to a heart-healthy diet, lean beef deserves its place in the traditional DASH diet, reported the Penn State News.

Mooove over, there's a new theory on diets.
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

"This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State. "This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease."

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is designed to reduce the risk of heart disease and blood pressure. The plan involves low-fat dairy, plant-based protein, fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Mehmet Oz featured the DASH diet on his talk show recently. He noted that in addition to lowering your blood pressure and heart disease risk, it can reduce your risk of diabetes and boost weight loss. However, the traditional DASH diet minimizes red meat.

But beef does more than help your blood pressure. Another new study says that beef and other forms of animal protein can suppress cravings for carbohydrates, reported the Winchester Daily Monitor.

Professor David Raubenheimer conducted research that revealed when we do not get enough protein, we compensate by eating too much of other types of foods, such as carbohydrates and fat. By following a diet with enough protein, you suppress your appetite and lose weight more easily.

But don't assume that you should dash to the diner and order their largest steak, bloody rare, heaped with lashings of bacon. Despite the popularity of what many assume to be the "all you can eat of protein" Atkins diet, evidence shows that humans and their ancestors are not designed to be carnivores, points out Dr. William Lagakos.

In a witty, insightful blog, Lagakos notes that "after reviewing a few studies on the topic (see below), it’s safe to say that plants were eaten, probably frequently, and the types & quantities varied seasonally & geographically. Collectively, the data suggest we aren’t carnivores."

Moreover, eating enough fat is essential for health and weight loss -and perhaps more so, according to the experts cited below.

In an exclusive interview, Professor Tim Noakes told me that eating enough fat as well as protein is essential for both weight loss and health. He feels limiting carbohydrates is essential for controlling hunger.

"Calorie counting and doing huge amounts of exercise to control weight does not work and is in any case completely unnecessary," he told me. As for the percentage of fat to protein? It depends on whether you want to achieve nutritional ketosis.

"When you take carbohydrate out of your diet you have to replace the calories with either fat or protein," he explained. The Dukan diet replaces carbohydrates with protein, while the high fat low carb plan Noakes advocates is a ketogenic approach.

"The more fat you eat, and the less protein and carbohydrate, the more ketogenic the diet becomes. I focus on limiting carbs for everyone with insulin resistance. If you have diabetes, then it makes sense to focus on eating more fat and less protein since protein acts as a partial carbohydrate," he explained.

These studies and Noakes' views complement the research previously conducted by Dr. Stephen Phinney. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Phinney told me that "the concept that humans 'need a certain amount of dietary carbs for proper function of the body' has no basis in science. It is a myth perpetuated by the USDA and the dietetic establishment."

Dr. Phinney defines a ketogenic diet as one with total carbohydrates between 10 to 50 grams daily. The rest of the diet consists of fats (example: avocado, nuts and olive oil) and protein (example: chicken, cheese. beef, eggs, pork and turkey). Add to that copious amounts (5 servings per day) of non-starchy vegetables to provide important minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

But none of this is a surprise to journalist and nutrition researcher Nina Teicholz. In what's become the well-deserved bestseller of the year, she's the author of ""The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet." I talked with Nina in an exclusive interview to learn about her unique insights after years dedicated to researching the truth about low carb high fat diets versus high carb low fat diets.

And here's what I'm calling the 'big fat message" from these gurus, summed up tastefully by Nina: Ignore the current food pyramid with its massive servings of grains.

In the perfect food pyramid, Nina feels that the area allotted to foods to enjoy freely belongs to meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, lard, butter, unheated olive oil and other oils such as coconut. Nuts earn space as well. And as for the traditional "five a day" fruits and vegetables? Nina recommends limiting them to the non-starchy veggies such as mushrooms and the low-sugar fruits such as berries.

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