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Low-Carb Diet War: High-Protein vs. High-Fat

Both Work for Weight Loss -- But How Healthy Is High-Fat?
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Forget High-Fat continued...

"Getting half your daily calories from fat is not conducive to good health in the long run, with the kind of lifestyle Americans lead," Zanecosky tells WebMD. "Even if you're getting the healthiest of fats -- the omega-3s and the monounsaturateds -- it's still not a good idea. There are lots of good, scientific data showing that high-fat diets are not good for the long term."

The diet's carb content is healthy, says Zanecosky. "But 45% of calories from fat is too high. Even though cholesterol levels and other factors weren't changed, this study doesn't make me comfortable recommending a high-fat diet."

The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and other health advocacy organizations "have good evidence showing that high-fat diets are not good for long-term health, no matter what kind of fat it is," she says.

"In a high-fat diet, you end up leaving out a majority of fruits and vegetables that have been very much applauded for positive effects on long-term health and weight," says Zanecosky. "For 25 years I've been a dietitian, and I've always advised fruits and vegetables. They are very pleasant foods to eat. To not have a banana on my cereal or strawberries over my yogurt would be awful!"

Rather than focusing on low-carb diets -- or any other strict diet -- find what works best for your body, she advises. "You'll be more likely to stick with it over the long run. Part of eating should be the pleasure of eating. It's possible to have delicious eating that is also healthy."

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