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Weight management foods. How to control weight permanently without constant dieting.

Weight management foods.

Weight control has been one of the major health concerns of the Western World for many years. Obesity in the UK is fast approaching approaching the chart-topping statistics of the USA and it's not just the adults that are getting bigger - child weight management is an increasing worry.

All this is happening despite the concentration on high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diets which we are told are required for weight management. In fact, the rate of increase is accelerating, suggesting that this might not be the best way to control weight at all.

Macronutrients - Carbohydrate, protein & fat

Everyone has heard of the concept of a "balanced diet" and most of this probably try, in at least some ways to achieve this. Unfortunately, there is no universal agreement on what the balance should be, and it is probable that the overemphasis on low-fat (a product of the cholesterol myth) is, at least in part, responsible.

In both the USA and UK, dieticians propose diets that get most of their energy from carbohydrates, although the proportions vary. The realities are somewhat different. In the UK the average diet gets about 44% of energy from fat, 15% from protein and 41% from carbohydrate. In the USA, the figures are 48% fat, and 26% each for protein and carbohydrates.

This as if the diets of the two countries are very high-fat, but when you consider that fat metabolism produces twice as much energy per gram as either carbohydrate or protein, fat content of the diet appears much lower.

Clearly, the diets proposed by Government are not working. What is needed is a simple, long-term solution, free from vested interests and dogma.

The difference between diet and dieting.

Dieting, or the temporary change in what we eat in order to fulfil a specific objective over a given timeframe, has been the mainstay of weight control for so long that it is difficult to believe it will not continue indefinitely. Apart from the fact that many diets are unpalatable, restrictive, unpleasant or downright dangerous, those who follow a prescribed diet for a few days, weeks or months invariably return to their old habits again afterwards - that is human nature. Diets don't work in the long term!

Returning to your previous diet means that you will return to your previous shape / size weight - there is no getting away from it. The only way to overcome this, therefore, is to make a complete and permanent change to the things that you eat. This, in turn, can only be achieved if the food you are to eat is attractive, tasty, varied and enjoyable as well as being nutritious.

Thankfully, this is not hard to achieve, but before we propose the right way to achieve it, we must first consider what is is that's wrong with the Western diet.

Carbohydrate craziness.

For many years, dieticians and their ilk have insisted that the ideal diet is high in carbohydrates. Whilst, in general, most fruits and vegetables are (when grown on soil that has not been depleted of its minerals or chemically poisoned) both tasty and nutritious, most people don't think of these as carbohydrates and instead think of pasta, bread, potatoes and rice - commonly known as "complex carbohydrates".

As we have shown, these foods are high glycaemic index (GI) foods, meaning that they readily convert to blood sugar and stimulate the release of insulin, which both stops fat metabolism and encourages fat storage. this situation is made much worse in the absence of sufficient chromium, which helps insulin to encourage sugar uptake by the tissues, so reducing blood sugar. Lack of chromium is known to be one of the risk factors of developing diabetes.

Note - the body is stimulated to store fat not by eating fat, but by eating high GI carbohydrates. This is the principle contributor to obesity on both the USA and Britain, not least because many people rely these days on fast food and prepared meals, which not only contain high GI foods, but also sugar and trans fats, which we will deal with next.

One of the best ways to counter this is to convert to a low grain or no-grain diet.

Margarine kills - stick to butter!

In addition to eating the wrong type of carbohydrates, many people also eat not only too little fat, but the wrong kind of fat.

Fats derived from animals are not only completely natural, they have been part of our diet for millennia. Many of the "unsaturated" fats sold nowadays, however, have only been in existence for a few decades and are not natural at all. Top of this list are the trans-fats that are produced when making hydrogenated vegetable oils.

These trans-fats, created by the very people who started the cholesterol myth, have been directly linked to both heart disease and cancer, which cannot be shown for animal fats. In fact, when proper grass-fed meat is consumed (grain-fed meat has different nutritional values), we gain many benefits other than just the protein and fat content, including vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

The fats most often missing from the diet are often the most important. In a recent study, over 25% of all Americans tested had so little omega-3 fatty acid in their blood that it was undetectable, despite the fact that this essential fatty acid is one of the main components of the brain and nerves among many other cellular functions.

Conclusions

Those who eat a varied diet which is derived from low GI foods, fresh (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, organically-reared meats and fish, natural fats and adequate dietary fibre, such as the low grain diet, will not only limit their susceptibility to disease, but will also have a much more enjoyable and active life.

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