Nutrition & Dieting/Low fat diet

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Question
Stacy
I have several new friends from south asia. Most eat a diet high in carbs and low in saturated fat, little or no meat, maybe a bit of chicken. They are all trim and healthy.
I decided to give up my 'low carb diet', which has not really worked like its supposed to, and now I eat a diet of very little fat, hardly any meat, maybe some lean chicken or tuna.
To my surprise, I am losing weight, have more energy, and feel great. My digestion is better, and I am not hungry all the time. In fact when I am hungry I eat to my fill with no after effects.
Is it possible that, for some people like me anyway, fats are not good for the body, and a low fat/high carb is the way to go?

Answer
Hello Bud,
Great question.  In general, the diets of people from Asia tend to be predominantly vegetarian.  When you say that they are high in carbs I assume that you are referring to the abundance of rice or grains that are typically included with meals. The major portion of the plate is filled with vegetables.  

Alternately, in North America, carbs are the major focus of the meal as opposed to a side.  Carbs are not the only food source to avoid to avoid in a weight loss program. Carbs, in general have a bad reputation for being the culprit in weight-gain.  A diet that avoids carbs entirely is typically not balanced and difficult to maintain in the long-term.  We all need carbs in our diet. The goal is to avoid carbs that are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar. Generally, foods that come in a box or bag are the ones that you should keep to a minimum.  

It sounds like you are watching your fat intake overall. As a result your caloric intake has likely decreased.  A plant based diet is a good idea as long as you are including all the major food groups.  Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin B-12 and include some nuts and fish to make sure you are getting your omegas (healthy fats). Any drastic change in the diet is likely to cause some initial gastric distress but the effects will subside.  

Bottom line: healthy fats in moderation, whole grain carbs that are not processed, fill your plate with vegetables and choose lean protein (fish & chicken) as your side dish.

Hope this answers your question and please let me know if you need additional information.  

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Stacy Ostrager, M.A.,M.S.

Expertise

I am qualified to answer your questions on nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, disease management,obesity and obesity related issues. I am experienced with nutrition aspect of managing the following: Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, pregnancy, allergies, IBS, diabetes, heart disease, fitness, wellness, healthy cooking, and many more.

Experience

Over 20 years in premier hospitals, consulting and private counseling practice for nutrition.

Organizations
New York State Dietetic Association, Long Island Dietetic Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Center for Science of Public Interest

Education/Credentials
Masters of Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.) 1999 Masters of Science in Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University (Ypslanti, M.I.) 2012 Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Ithaca College (Ithaca, N.Y) 1994

Past/Present Clients
NYU Medical Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

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