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Austin Lifestyle Diet

Reflections from Dr. Ben

Article by Benito Carerra

Photography by Brandon Weber III

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

We are an overnourished nation—or should I say malnourished.  The truth is, no one worried before the World Wars and before food needed to be iced or placed in cans so they could be shipped to our troops in Europe.

That’s when preservatives were added, and since then, the epidemic of obesity began and hasn't disappeared even after nutrition labels have been placed and multiple diets have been suggested.

Because heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the country, the FDA required the implementation of a diet pyramid and labels on all food products, and this is when the low-fat concern was brought up, thinking "fat goes to fat."

Little research was done by the government as to why the number of deaths due to heart attack, diabetes and hypertension did not decline. Soon thereafter, Atkins suggested to increase protein and decrease carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diets, which did nothing as well.

Future diets suggested increasing fish and plant sources of protein, with the decrease in fat being the answer. The rise in obesity continued. All other diets that followed—paleo diet, old vegetarian and new vegan diets—have contributed little to our overall health.

New research suggests that decreasing sugar intake can be done easier when fat (good fat) intake is increased. They explain that the liver functions as a sugar-producing organ. When there is sugar in the blood, which is necessary for our organs to work, the liver stops working and stores energy in the form of fat. On the contrary, if there is no sugar in our blood—only fat and protein—the liver will turn it into sugar. This is the basis of the newest diet that has now changed the food pyramid upside down.

Fewer carbs, more fat. Confused? Many are, but this appears to be the one thing that has not been done yet and is the basis of the so-called keto diet. If you try it, just start at a low pace and slowly turn it into your new lifestyle diet. 

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