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A low fat or a low carb diet for weight-loss?

Naturopath Gemma Hurditch answers for College of Naturopathic Medicine

There is hot debate on whether a low-fat or a low-carb eating regime is the best way to trim down. Mainstream health organisations traditionally recommend the low-fat route, whilst popular culture is embracing the low-carb trend; so which is best? As a naturopath I would offer a third alternative: low-processed.

Problems caused by carbohydrates are usually when they are eaten in processed form – white bread, bakery items, sugary snacks. If instead we get the majority of our carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits and legumes with a moderate amount of minimally processed grains, such as brown rice or quinoa we are satisfied, nourished and our calories are in check. The same goes with fats; swap the processed versions, for example, sunflower oil, and eat sunflower seeds and sunflower sprouts instead.

Eating processed foods usually means that we can consume excess calories but insufficient nutrients. Foods including fats should be enjoyed in their natural organic form – nuts, seeds, eggs, fish and grass fed meats. For weight loss to be permanent it must be achievable and maintainable. Counting calories is rarely so, but focusing on low-processed definitely is, and your health will benefit as well as your waistline!

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