by Jessica Sanders

The idea is simple: the more fat you eat, the more satiated you’ll feel, and for longer periods of time; this eliminates the need to eat often. It also keeps you from relying on “low fat,” high-sugar foods for an energy boost; the kind of foods and drinks that can lead to diabetes and potential weight can.

However, wrapping your mind around eating more fat isn’t quite as simple as it first seems. For decades, the USDA has been pushing low fat, processed food options on us. With this so deeply ingrained, it’s hard to shake.

However, there are a variety of benefits to tossing that old thinking aside for the low-carb, high-fat concept. So much so that Sweden has changed their dietary guidelines to reflect this style of eating; the first country ever to do so.

But the change didn’t come without plenty of data to back it up. Once you see the research, you just might want to make the switch yourself.

A Quick Science Lesson

Your body on carbsThis is your body on carbs:

You eat a piece of bread, for example, and it turns into sugar once it starts to digest in your body. The excess sugar triggers a release of insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The insulin tries to place this excess sugar somewhere so it goes to your muscles, where there may be empty glycogen stores. When there’s no room there, it moves to your fat cells, where the sugar is stored as fat. The more carbs you eat, the more sugar is turned into fat.

Now that you know the lifecycle of carbs in your body, let the research do the talking.

The Research You Can’t Deny

The Dietary Treatment for Obesity is a publication that holds two years worth of research from the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. It’s left many health professionals wondering if it will be the basis for future dietary guidelines around the world.

Their findings? A low-carb, high-fat diet is the key to solving obesity in children and adults. Not to mention, it’s crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and the onset of diabetes. Most importantly, however, is the finding that this diet increases good cholesterol (HDL) without increasing your bad cholesterol (LDL), at the same time.

While this may sound familiar—doesn’t every new fad diet promise these results—the research done in Sweden is rooted deeply in science. These findings are the result of reviewing 16,000 studies on diet and obesity.

And the Swedes aren’t the only ones boasting such theories. The British Journal of Nutrition published a study in October 2013 in which they had similar findings. All participants following a low-carb diet had a decreased body weight, decreased blood pressure and increased HDL.

Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut also believes in the importance of this diet. “Lower-fat varieties of foods are often higher in sugars and carbohydrates, which is simply counter-intuitive for people who need to control metabolism-related conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity, all of which are related to obesity,” says Volek.

So, what does this mean for you? Perhaps it’s time to give it a try.

Try the Diet

Chicken and high fat low carb meal choicesIf you’ve tried the Atkins Diet, you may be familiar with this style of eating. If not, here’s what you need to know.

The high-fat, low-carb basics are:

It’s as simple as that. Here are a few meal ideas to get started with:

  • Omelet with spinach, broccoli and raw cheddar
  • Lean chicken cutlet with steamed asparagus, topped with olive oil and herbed butter
  • Beef stew
  • Whole-fat yogurt with pepitas and berries
  • Steak and mashed cauliflower topped with seasoned, wilted cabbage and a drizzle of olive oil

While USDA and a slew of popular food trends have made everyone believe that a diet high in fat is bad, the Swedes, and many who came before them, have proved otherwise. With one major caveat: avoid fatty processed foods like ice cream, cupcakes and imitation butter.

Couple that with fewer carbs and you may have just found your perfect weight loss recipe. Regardless, this diet supports clean eating and whole foods, which is always a healthy choice.

How do you reverse your carb intake? Comment below!

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