If you’ve researched low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets at all, you’ve probably seen Dr. McDougall’s famous phrase: The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Doctors can tell you that this is literally true because they can actually biopsy your fat cells and tell you exactly what you ate. For instance, they can tell if the source of fat came from meat, dairy, vegetable oil, and so on. If you’re curious, you can read a snippet from the study here.
Why is it so easy to store the fat you eat as the fat you’re wearing? An enzyme called LPL easily slips excess fat in your diet right into your fat cells. Carbs, on the other hand, are easier to burn for energy or even as to disperse as excess heat. In other words, the other old saying about food going right from your lips to your hips is never more true than when it refers to dietary fat.
That’s why most doctors who have had good success treating people’s weight and health problems with a high-carb, low-fat diet do not suggest something like the Eco Atkins vegan or vegetarian diet plan.
Yes, you still need to consume some dietary fat. For one thing, fat helps you absorb other nutrients. Also, fat may be satiating. Plus, a bit of fat makes food taste good. Some studies have even linked the lack of dietary fat to poor moods. It’s just that if you’re trying to control your weight and even stave off disease, you should take care to limit fat, especially the kinds of saturated fats that are mostly found in animal products.
How much fat should you consume on a low-fat diet? Doctors disagree a lot on this issue. The definition of a low-fat diet could range from 10 percent to 30 or 35 percent of calories from fat. While ten percent is very low, 30 to 35 percent appears to be creeping into the high range.
As with so many things, the right answer about how much fat you should consume could vary, depending upon your requirements, activity level, and health. If you’re relatively healthy and active, you might aim for the upper ranges; however, if you’re quite overweight and already suffering from weight-related health conditions, you might consider minimizing your fat intake.
For instance, doctors who treat heart disease with diet may suggest 10 to 15 percent; however, they may relax fat restrictions to twice that much for people who don’t suffer from health problems.
What are good sources of fat on a LCHF diet? LCHF doctors usually suggest getting fat from such sources as nuts, seeds, and avocados. Just be careful about serving sizes. An ounce or a handful of walnuts is a serving; however a bag of walnuts is not. It’s a good idea to sprinkle that handful of raisins or slices of avocado on your health bowl of greens to spread it out and aid with nutrient absorption.