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The Diet Wars: Which is Best Low Cal or Low Fat

In 2004 Frontline had an extremely good special on the diet wars; which debated the validity of the best way to  lose weight and be in the best health. The debate concerned low carbs or the Atkins diet compared to low fat, such as the Pritkin and Dr. Ornish Diets for heart health.  Although the special is many years old it still applies to today.

The Atkins Diet

Atkins at the time was being laughed at for his philosophy on high fat diet and cutting the carbs.  Giving up bread, white flour and rice were its main concepts.  Could a dieter lose weight and be happy eating steak?  The concept of eating a greasy T-bone steak with a pat of butter on top with two fried eggs seem so appealing to most dieters.

Now would a dieter lose weight eating 3000 calories on Atkins diet compared to eating 3000 calories on a vegetarian diet?  The truth is 3000 calories is 3000 calories and both would lose weight on their diet, but what about healthy hearts and cholesterol?

In order to fully understand the Atkins philosophy you first need to understand how a simple baked potato can be more hazardous to your health than eating raw sugar.  The spike in sugar in your system will cause your pancreas to over work and your system is now in sugar shock.  What is good to eat is whole wheat and grains.

Interviews of Many Diet Plans

On the other side of the coin there are many diets including the South Beach Diet which focuses on good fats; not just any saturated fats, that contradict the Atkins diet and are more popular.  Eating saturated fats daily will clog your arteries and no matter what they say eating bacon, ham, burgers and steak is not healthy.  Red meat has been proven to cause cancer and other illnesses.

So the search is on for the perfect diet as it is proven that most dieters will gain the weight back.  Up to 90% of dieters will go back to their old habits and regain the weight they lost and even more. So from all the diets that were shown, Weight Watchers seemed to have the best support program. The overall support seem to be the best ticket for losing weight.

Weight Watchers claims to have and show how to live an entire life, not just reduce the weight.  Although there are many success stories there no diet is right for everyone.  Overeaters Anonymous also has a great support program. OA has support in 75 countries and the author of this article has tried both programs and favors OA the most.  Weight Watchers tends to highlight how much weight you lost or didn't lose.  You are weighed in groups and your privacy is not as guarded as some may wish.

Low Fat Labels May be Misleading

As Americans everywhere sought to have low fat alternatives with the new craze in the 1990's, thousands of low fat alternatives were produced.  Low fat ice cream was made with less cream, but more sugar was added. So the benefits were nothing like the advertisements showed.  If you remove the fat, something else must be added.  If you look at the calorie differences you will see there are very little difference.

Those who saw low fat labels did not bother to watch their portion sizes either and Americans got fatter and fatter.  Low fat foods caused more hunger and more people thought "oh well" it is low fat.  Read your labels and treat your diet to good fats not low fats.

Conclusion of the Program

No matter how you look at this program and the surveys they took eating healthy and exercising is the way to live longer and be healthier.  Sedentary life styles are never successful.  Whether you walk daily or jump on a mini-trampoline you need to move.

Read this excellent article on the benefits of mini-trampolines as the best form of exercise. Read more.