Torn between low-fat or low-carb diets

Donovan Grant

Sunday, April 02, 2017

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Dear Donovan,



I am trying to lose weight and I am very open to dieting. Right now I’m torn between whether to take on a low-fat or low-carb diet. I am 4ft 11inches tall and weigh 150 pounds. I figure I am overweight and want to come down to an average size. Which diet is best for me?




I am very happy that you have decided to lose some weight. Based on your height and weight, you are definitely overweight. Your bone structure and where you store fat have to be taken into consideration for your weight-loss process. However, first I must tell you that I never recommend either a high-protein or a high-fat diet for weight loss. To be honest with you, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle should involve eating healthy and doing exercise consistently.


Some studies have shown that people on a diet with high animal protein, for example the Atkins diet, are more likely to develop liver and heart problems. The liver is responsible for the breakdown of proteins taken into the body. Extra intake of protein will put a lot of pressure on the liver. In addition, a high protein diet will also put a lot of pressure on the kidneys, which are responsible for excretion from the body and the breakdown of waste products from protein. In addition, excess animal protein has been associated with arthritis, gout and high cholesterol. An increase in the cholesterol level is associated with many other diseases, such as strokes. A diet high in protein mainly serves to make you feel full and reduce the appetite in order to reduce the overall food intake/calories and induce weight loss. But I would certainly not recommend a high protein diet in view of all the negatives associated with it. In addition, a high fat diet, especially saturated fats from animals, can increase the cholesterol level, which is not healthy.


A weight-loss programme works when the body is forced to use up some of the fat stored. Therefore, there is no need to be on a high fat diet. What I would recommend is a diet that is balanced in protein. In some cases the amount of animal protein, for example, meat and cheese, could be used in half-portion of the usual amount without any serious problem. Also, the choice of healthy fats and oils should be used instead of unhealthy ones. Healthy fats include coconut jelly, pear, ackee, among other things.


In terms of preparing your meal, you should try and make it as healthy as possible. You could start by eating baked chicken instead of fried chicken. The intake of carbohydrates should be just enough to allow you to carry out your daily functions. Reducing your carbohydrate intake, especially starch, will force your body to use up the stored fat and will lead to weight loss, as long as you remain faithful to your diet. Remember to increase your activity/exercise, and consume more fruits, vegetables, vegetables juices, legumes and gener,ally high-fibre food.


Good luck!





We will answer your weight-related questions. Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we’ll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years’ experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG’s Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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