Pippa Middleton powers nation-wide bike race with high protein low carb diet

Think that athletes have to load up on pasta and potatoes to power through an endurance race? Pippa Middleton is determined to prove that theory wrong as she sets off on a cross-country bike race powered by her high protein low carb ketogenic diet, reported the New York Daily News on Monday.

Joined by her brother James, Pippa plans to cross 12 states in eight days. The race, which stretches from California to Maryland, is sponsored by the Race Across America and is for charity.

The endeavor requires both energy and endurance. “Once we get going it’s nonstop, with very little sleep,” revealed Pippa.

For fuel, Pippa will be relying on her high protein low carb ketogenic diet. She avoids carbohydrates, according to the Daily Mail, focusing on protein, fats and vegetables.

And she has company on her plan, which is modeled on the Dukan diet. Pippa’s mother, Carole, also follows the Dukan diet, which Duchess Kate used to slim down for her wedding.

The low carb high protein Dukan diet, which just received a makeover in “The Dukan Diet Made Easy,” consists of four phases. The first phase is designed to jump-start your weight loss and is called the Attack phase, consisting of protein, which can help dieters lose up to 10 pounds in one week.

The second phase, known as the Cruise phase, adds vegetables to the program. The Consolidation phase adds more variety, while the Stabilization phase teaches dieters to maintain their weight loss.

To provide dieters with enough fiber, the Dukan diet requires them to add a few tablespoons of oat bran to their meals. The company manufactures its own Dukan Diet Organic Oat Bran.

In contrast to the Atkins diet, however, the Dukan diet generally emphasizes unprocessed food rather than processed products such as frozen dinners. There’s also a cookbook, “The Dukan Diet Cookbook: The Essential Companion to the Dukan Diet.”

For those who question whether a high fat low carb diet can fuel an extensive cycling race, Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek answer that question in “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.” The two have conducted numerous studies showing that keto-adapted athletes enjoy more than adequate energy levels with regard to glycogen depletion, training and recovery.

In addition to her low-carb diet, Pippa practices Pilates regularly, according to the UK Telegraph. Her instructor, Margot Campbell, earned her own share of fame for her role in shaping the “rear of the year.”

Pippa credits Pilates for her “core strength and posture.” Apparently she prefers not to comment on her caboose.

Sharon Osbourne and Kim Kardashian lose 85 pounds on LCHF Atkins ketogenic diets

For all of us who view going on holiday as an excuse to go off our diets, Sharon Osbourne and Kim Kardashian both are demonstrating weight loss willpower when it comes to their high fat low carb (LCHF) ketogenic diets. A spokeswoman for Atkins, Sharon wrote a blog about her trip to Abu Dhabi and her stick-with-it diet success there. And Kim is staying on her Atkins plan even on her honeymoon, reported Handbag.com on Friday.

Together the two women have lost more than 85 pounds on their low carb diets. Kim shed 56 pounds, while Sharon lost about 30 by following the Atkins weight loss plan.

Kim has been tweeting her success with the low carb diet and posting photos on Instagram of her flat belly. Colette Heimowitz, Vice President of Nutrition at the Atkins Diet, told E News that the new mom shed her baby weight quickly by using the ketogenic approach to shift her body into fat-burning mode.

Author of “The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great — Starting Today,” Colette offered these tips: “”Keep your hunger in check by eating three regular-size meals (and your choice of two snacks) every day. Some people do better with four or five smaller meals each day.”

In addition to the Atkins diet, Kim has been working out with Tracy Anderson. Tracy, creator of “Tracy Anderson: Precision Toning,” is known for her success in helping stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow get their pre-baby bodies back fast. Tracy told Newsday that her goal for Kim is to “make her healthy and as in proportion as she should naturally be.”

As for Sharon Osbourne, a recent visit overseas proved to be no problem with regard to maintaining her 30-pound weight loss, she wrote in a blog entitled “Atkins in Abu Dhabi.” Sharon noted, “It is flexible enough to stick to anywhere you go, from grandma’s house to Abu Dhabi.”

Because she’s in maintenance, Sharon has expanded her diet to include foods such as berries and low-carb bread. The jump-start phase one of the low-carb program, however, consists primarily of protein (from fish to poultry to eggs to meat), fats, oils and measured amounts of cheese and vegetables.

In addition, Sharon uses the Atkins bars. “Toss an Atkins bar in your bag or keep a few in the car so you don’t go without eating if you haven’t got time to stop for lunch,” she advised in a recent blog.

As for her favorite sweet treat? “They have these little chocolate candies that are absolutely fabulous,” she exalted, referring to Atkins Chocolate Candies.

Low carb Paleo dieters lose weight, prevent diabetes and reduce inflammation

More than 29 million people in the nation suffer from diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now a new study is pointing to low carb diets as the way to lose weight and reduce your risk, reported Diabetes Health on Friday.

Swedish researchers conducted a study that lasted for two years comparing overweight people with type 2 diabetes. One group ate a low-fat diet, while the other followed low-carb guidelines.

Both groups lost weight, but the group on the low-carb weight loss plan had lower blood glucose and a reduction in inflammation. Both improvements are key to diabetes prevention and reversal for those with type 2.

The Paleo low carb diet has been shown to reduce inflammation while boosting weight loss, according to CBN News on Friday. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, arthritis, cancer, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues and even dental problems.

Mark Sisson, author of “The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy,” says that he used the Paleo approach to reverse his own health problems. “Most of what ails people today could be, if not cured, substantially mitigated with a few lifestyle corrections, first and foremost being diet,” he stated.

And Mark emphasizes that he has evidence that the Paleo diet works both for weight loss and health. “We’ve got hundreds of thousands of user experiences on my site, Mark’s Daily Apple,” he noted. “Of people who’ve embraced this program who’ve said, ‘Not only did I lose the weight but my blood work improved and my energy levels improved.'”

The plan involves eating protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables while eliminating dairy and grains. And those who claim that removing those two food groups isn’t healthy earn the ire of Robb Wolf, another Paleo diet guru and author of “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.”

“The Paleo template is just Evolutionary Biology applied to food and medicine,” Robb told me in an exclusive interview. “My research associates have published papers demonstrating not only that a Paleo diet provides all the nutrients for health, but that the Paleo diet is, calorie for calorie, the most nutritious way one can eat.”

As for the current food pyramid that emphasizes whole grains, Robb points to the increase in obesity and diabetes. “It has been a complete failure,” he declared.

In terms of using the Paleo diet for weight loss and improving health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol, Robb is an advocate of customizing it. He recommends Chris Kresser’s “Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life” as a guide to personalizing the Paleo diet for individual needs.

Low-fat high carb diets raise risk of heart disease: Eat fat to lose fat

Remember that “healthy” breakfast of orange juice and cereal that many of us grew up eating? The latest studies show that the combination of refined carbohydrates and sugar in that meal raise our risk of heart disease more than the bacon and eggs were told to avoid, said Dr. Richard Gunderman, chancellor’s professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine on Friday. And he cited new evidence showing that high fat diets are the answer to weight loss.

However, because of the traditional food pyramid prescription of whole grains and avoidance of fat, as a nation we have increased our consumption of carbohydrates by 25 percent during the past three decades. And that’s the danger, says Gunderman.

Nutrition scientists have discovered that replacing saturated fats with refined carbohydrates results in a surge in blood sugar levels. As a result, we increase our risk of heart attack.

“Though fat has more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrate, it appears to facilitate weight loss. When groups of obese people were fed diets high in carbohydrates, protein, and fat, the group on the high-fat diet lost the most weight,” he noted, echoing the message that has spread across the nation with the publication of the acclaimed “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.”

In that book, journalist and science researcher Nina Teicholz details precisely how our national Standard American Diet (SAD) became a prescription for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Instead, she reveals, the weight of evidence for what really works for health and weight loss belongs in the court of high fat low carb diets.

Dr. Eric Westman, head of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, believes in the benefits of high fat low carb ketogenic diets as well. “In fact, saturated fat, the fat that we’ve been taught not to eat, raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat,” he declared.

As a result, Dr. Westman has become a vocal proponent of the Atkins diet. He co-authored “New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great.”

In addition, Dr. Westman has teamed up with Jimmy Moore, who lost 180 pounds on a high fat low carb ketogenic diet, to create a book correcting the myth that eating saturated fat raises bad cholesterol. It’s entitled “Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers.”

In an exclusive interview on Friday, Jimmy told me that “saturated fat is arguably the healthiest part of the human diet that people are quite literally scared to death to eat. Some people actually believe they will have a heart attack within moments of consuming a food like butter or meat, but this is not based on any solid scientific evidence.”

Jimmy and Dr. Westman have a soon-to-be released book called “Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet.” He noted that they devote part of their book to the truth about fats.

“We dedicate an entire chapter on the subject of fat explaining that it’s the missing key to optimizing health because it controls hunger, cravings, and provides so many health benefits by improving the production of ketone bodies that is the preferred fuel source for the body,” said Jimmy.

The increase in research supporting that statement has exploded in recent years. Gunderman cites two studies as evidence that saturated fat is not the problem in our national epidemic of obesity. The earlier study in 2010 reviewed 21 studies and showed no proof that heart disease is linked to saturated fat consumption. Another study this year evaluated more than 600,000 participants and also indicated no proof that eating a low-fat diet protects your heart.

While Coca-Cola plugs sugar calories, experts preach Paleo low-carb diets

Coca-Cola is hoping to woo dieters with a wacky new advertisement. In it, happy exercisers show how much “fun” they’re having burning off the 140 calories in a can of Coke, reported the Atlantic on Friday.

But even as food companies package up 100-calorie bags of cookies and carefully labeled cans of soda, experts are saying that advising dieters to count calories in order to lose weight is an exercise in futility. Dr. David Ludwig, a professor at Harvard Medical School, revealed the results of his own research: “Very few people can lose weight over the long term with low-calorie diets.”

So what does he advise for those who want to win at weight loss? Steer clear of refined carbohydrates and follow a Paleo-style low carb diet of unprocessed foods.

“Eating too much refined carbohydrate has, by this theory, raised insulin levels and programmed our fat cells to suck in and store too many calories,” said Ludwig. In contrast, Paleo diets emphasize avoidance of processed products and sugar, both of which dominate in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Eat unprocessed food, avoid sugar and you’ll be healthier while slimming down, agree Ludwig and other experts.

And even though they might not concur on precisely what foods to avoid, what they all agree corresponds to Michael Pollan’s advice. Author of “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” he steers clear of complicated calculations and pompous pronouncements. ““Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” he sums up.

An increasing number of nutrition gurus are highlighting low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets and Paleo plans as the way to go for health and weight loss.

“My research associates have published papers demonstrating not only that a Paleo diet provides all the nutrients for health, but that the Paleo diet is, calorie for calorie, the most nutritious way one can eat,” Robb Wolf, author of “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet,” told me in an exclusive interview.

He feels that the Paleo diet success “is merely shining a light on the systemic failure of our current systems.” The use of food as medicine has not dented the traditional medical world, says Robb. As a result, most healthcare experts have failed ” miserably at preventing chronic, degenerative disease. I’m proud of the work I and many other people have done in this area, but I’m also appalled that this is at all a controversial topic.”

And Robb concurs that to say counting calories works better than a low-carb Paleo plan of unprocessed, sugar-free, grain-free foods is absurd. “A cupcake is apparently equal to an apple. Can that possibly be correct? I certainly do not think so,” he states.

In a recent survey conducted by Everyday Health and MedPage Today, 900 medical professionals cast their votes for the best diets. The survey included doctors, registered dietitians, nurse practitioners and clinicians. Among the best: Low carb diets.

High on the list of approved plans, the South Beach Diet is detailed in books, such as “The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health for Life.” The survey noted that it emphasizes a heart-healthy approach to weight loss while controlling hunger. The company reports that you can lose eight to 13 pounds in the first two weeks and emphasizes unprocessed foods in their natural state.

The third most popular diet in the survey, the DASH diet, also focuses on avoiding processed foods while boosting weight loss. It’s also documented in a book: “The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution: 2 Weeks to Drop Pounds, Boost Metabolism, and Get Healthy.”

Celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz recently featured the DASH diet on his talk show. He noted that health experts from US News & World Report repeatedly rank it as number one because of its “nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health.”

Before you ask the Magic 8-Ball to tell you which diet to follow, we recommend focusing on plans that avoid counting calories and emphasize unprocessed Paleo-style food groups of protein, healthy fats and vegetables. And take a moment to pity the calorie, as Dr. William Lagakos suggests in his detailed examination of why calorie-counting fails, and what does work, in “The poor, misunderstood calorie: calories proper.”

Evolutionary weight loss model involves high fat low carb Paleo diet: Go Wild

By following the lifestyle of humans in the wild, we can benefit our bodies today. Give up sugar, give up grains, cut the carbohydrates and you’ll win at weight loss and health. That’s the message in a new book that preaches Paleo and other low-carb diets for health and weight loss: “Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization.”

We interviewed the authors to learn more about their belief that eating fat, avoiding refined carbohydrates and steering clear of sugar provide the keys to a good life/

“The best evidence comes from paleoanthropology and from two centuries worth of investigations of diseases of civilization. The former has compiled about fifty years worth of mostly skeletal evidence from around the world looking at the remains of early agricultural people and their contemporaries who were hunter-gatherers,” they said.

“The overwhelming conclusion is the hunter-gatherers, the “primitive” people, were healthier. Meantime, data collected as Western imperialism spread the Western high-carbohydrate diet found that afflictions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease suddenly appeared among people who had no history of these diseases coincident with the arrival of the Western diet.”

By using today’s scientific methods to comprehend the reasons, they’ve found that “all of these diseases and many others are in one way or another rooted in insulin resistance and inflammation that results from excessive carbohydrates, especially sugar. Sugars and carbohydrates were in very short supply in human diet before the invention of agriculture allowed us to produce grain. Agriculture has been with us only a few thousand years, and our bodies have not had time to evolve to deal with this radical change.”

For those who stress about doing the Paleo diet correctly, the authors say to relax.

“The good news is, we don’t have to get diet exactly right. Our ancestors certainly didn’t and humans are evolved to tolerate some variability. What we are not evolved to tolerate are excessive carbohydrates. Thus, over recent years, a number of diets have been developed to address this: Atkins, the Zone, low-carb, ketogenic and of course Paleo. All of these head us in the right direction. We like Paleo a lot, but if your situation and preferences steer you toward a low-carb variation that works for you, fine.”

Are you seeking a way to lose weight and repeatedly failing? The authors make it simple.

Taking an evolutionary approach to weight loss introduces some ideas that we think may help a great deal. First, we need to understand that our bodies have built in feedback loops that tell us when we are eating right. The problem is, excessive carbohydrates short-circuit those feedback loops. Eliminating those carbohydrates re-sets your body to its default settings, so you can start trusting what it is telling you. And one of the first things it will tell you is you no longer like sugar. The taste for it goes away in a matter of weeks.

But in evolutionary thinking, we also understand that hunger and starvation are truly powerful psychological forces that demand attention. Research done on starving subjects has shown the experience is deeply disturbing and often psychologically damages people for life. The message here is don’t starve yourself to lose weight. You’ll make yourself crazy. Don’t diet; simply change the way you eat. Forever. This begins by understanding that by eliminating carbohydrates, you eliminate a lot of calories and you need to replace those calories. You do this with fats, healthy fats. Nuts are great, but also the whole list of natural fats, especially from meat, eggs, fish and olive oil.

And here’s the good news: Your food tastes will change as you evolve. “As your tastes change, follow them in a positive direction. Eat what you like to eat. Our bodies are made up of and powered by more than protein, carbohydrates and fats. We need an incredible array of minerals, vitamins and micronutients, and we get these by eating a wide array of fresh foods. As your defaults re-set, taste will steer you toward these, and you will find yourself enjoying the experience.”

In addition, the book discusses life beyond diet.

“Finally, realize that your weight problem is not simply a factor of what you eat. All of your body’s systems are connected, an idea we explore fully in our book. Losing weight may also depend of exercise, of course, but also sleep, state of mind, even the quality of your relationships with other people and with the species of bacteria you happen to have in your digestive system. This is the most important lesson an evolutionary approach teaches us: Stop being reductionist. Everything is connected.”

Their general guidelines include:

Eliminate sugar and carbohydrates from grains, maybe even starchy tubers like potatoes. Don’t drink any form of sugar water, even fruit juices. Sugar dissolved in water is an especially potent factor in insulin resistance, and natural sugar in fruit juices is still sugar. These are the foundation of the insulin resistance and inflammation at the core of diseases of civilization.
Eliminate trans fats — the processed vegetable oils that are the mainstay of processed and fast foods. Trans fats are artificial fats and our bodies aren’t quite sure how to handle them because they have no evolutionary precedent, so our bodies respond as they do to any alien invader: with inflammation.
Don’t eat processed foods and fast foods.
Seek out a wide variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables and high-quality protein from grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs and wild-caught cold water fish.
Eat fats: For years we have been told wrong. These fats are healthy and essential to our health. They are, in fact, valuable tools for re-gaining our health. We are not fat because we eat fat; we are fat because we eat sugar.

How one town won the battle of the bulge and lost 15000 pounds in 17 weeks

One town. One woman. Both located in one of the nation’s fattest and poorest states. In an exclusive interview, Linda Fondren told us how she succeeded in helping the citizens of that town lose 15,000 pounds in 17 weeks. She’s documented the journey in “Shape Up Sisters!: What It Took for My Town in One of America’s Fattest and Poorest States to Lose 15,000 Pounds.”

“After having transformed my life from poverty and disempowerment to success, I went back to my hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was after the death of my sister that I discovered my true passion,” recalls Linda.

“My sister was obese when she passed away from cancer at the age of 54. Cancer took her life, but obesity restricted her from living it. Before she died, she confessed to me that she wished she had lived her life more for herself,” added Linda.

To help others live their lives to the fullest, Linda opened a gym called “Shape Up Sisters.” Its slogan: “Positively Reshaping Women.” The gym was designed specifically “for women like my sister, who suffer low self esteem, and because no woman should take to her grave the regret my sister took to hers.”

Linda’s Shape Up Vicksburg organization involved several steps:

Our first step with Shape Up Vicksburg was to share accountability with the community -to build awareness and educate people about healthy living from the ground up – get people moving who otherwise felt stuck.
Through our outreach, we’ve created partnerships with elected officials, hospitals, schools, and our Military Park. We’ve seen notable commitments from parents, business leaders and churches through encouraging weight management activities, joining our walking club and community support for a farmer’s market and community garden.
Our goal is to help recreate the “norm” of what healthy living looks like.

And Vicksburg is symptomatic of many other towns across the nation.

Twenty years ago no state had an obesity rate above 15%. Now there are thirteen states that have obesity rates over 30% and 41 states have rates above 25%. Obesity is a widespread issue and stems from a lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. Cost, conveniences, competing requirements and habits are factors that affect how healthy we are no matter what city you live in. We know what the problems are, and we have got to break the habits that we have formed.

No time or money? Take responsibility for overcoming obstacles, says Linda.

“We have a responsibility to be honest with ourselves about why this is so. Being honest about what we’ve been up to is the first step to know what actions we need to take to overcome our perceived limitations. If you don’t make time to be healthy, you’d better schedule in time to be sick. You must make your health a priority and schedule it in like you do everything else in your life that is important.”

For those who are overweight, “money or time likely has little to do with it. It is the result of choices you’ve made year after year. Don’t get locked in the illusion of not having time. Practice letting go of the clock and just do what is at hand at this very moment, and a magical thing will happen – There will be more time and you will feel less confusion. The goal is to grow past where you are. In my book I’ve included many tips on how to squeeze a workout into your day, and how to shop for healthy foods at the grocery store on a limited budget.”

And the organization goes beyond numbers on a scale, she adds.

Shape Up Vicksburg is no longer about numbers on a scale. It’s about turning skepticism into motivation, citizens encouraging each other. It is about a community-wide movement to weave fitness and healthy eating into our culture. The weight lost among the 2,500 participants at the time of the Shape Up Vicksburg challenge amounted to 15,000 pounds. By writing Shape Up Sisters my hope is that this kind of transformation will spread to other communities across the country.

Dr. Oz: Cancer scare, blood pressure diet and nut butter weight loss guide

“The Little Couple” reality TV show has won praise for its heart-warming approach to overcoming challenges. Dr. Mehmet Oz invited the stars to talk about their cancer scare on his talk show Tuesday. Plus: Discover how your diet can reduce your blood pressure and get a guide to using nut butter for weight loss.

Jen Arnold revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer while adopting the couple’s second child. Her husband Bill stayed behind while she coped with her treatment.

Because Jen is smaller, she chose to be treated at Texas Children’s Hospital so that her chemotherapy and other treatments could be customized for her needs. She now is cancer-free.

On the same episode, Dr. Oz talked about some ways to reduce your blood pressure without medication. The key: Increase your potassium intake with foods rather than supplements.

In addition to eating foods high in potassium, Dr. Oz previously has recommended the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. It’s been shown to reduce blood pressure by reducing sodium intake and increasing foods such as vegetables, dairy and protein.

Dr. Oz’s expert Marla Heller authored “The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution: 2 Weeks to Drop Pounds, Boost Metabolism, and Get Healthy.” She emphasizes that by eating foods shown to reduce blood pressure as well as boost weight loss, you can make significant improvements in your blood pressure readings in just two weeks.

Studies also show that you can lower your blood pressure by performing handgrip exercises 10 minutes daily. Just squeeze a stress ball for a few minutes throughout the day.

Can nut butter really help you lose weight? Yes, says Dr. Oz.

For example, walnut butter cuts cravings while improving your cholesterol and heart health. Peanut butter boosts your energy and keeps your blood sugar stable. And macadamia nut butter improves your mood while keeping you full.

Don’t want to use nut butter but like to nibble? Go for almonds, according to a recent study.

Researchers assigned 137 adults with high risks for diabetes to eat either 43 grams of almond daily or no almonds for four weeks. The almond eaters experienced a decrease in hunger and reductions in their postprandial blood glucose levels. They also did not gain weight.

Fasting helps reduce cholesterol, prevent diabetes and increase weight loss

As researchers analyze intermittent fasting, studies have shown benefits ranging from anti-aging to weight loss. Now a new study has revealed that fasting can reduce cholesterol while preventing diabetes, reported Diabetes UK on Monday.

Participants in the study, which was conducted by Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, had three of five diabetes risks. Among the measurements considered: High fasting blood glucose levels, low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), hypertension, high triglyceride levels and waist measurements.

However, in contrast to intermittent fasting diets that consist of restricted calories, this study involved sipping only water on the fasting days. Researchers found that cholesterol levels improved while fat percentages decreased.

While those researchers plan additional studies, Dr. Michael Mosley recently created a documentary about 5:2 intermittent fasting plans, reported the Epoch Times on Monday. His study used an unusually willing guinea pig: His own body.

After discovering that restricted-calorie intake two days a week (500 calories for women; 600 calories for men) had benefits similar to those unveiled by the Intermountain Medical Center, Mosley created a detailed intermittent fasting diet. It became a bestseller because of its promise that you can feast five days a week, then semi-fast two days and still lose weight: “The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.”

But not everyone agrees that restricting calories just two days a week is the best approach for weight loss. Dr. Krista Varady, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, says that her research shows dieters find it easier to alternate days.

In her book, “The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off,” Varady describes how to restrict calories on alternate days. While the title says that you can eat all you want on the other days, she notes that dieters typically cut calories naturally because they become accustomed to reducing their food intake.

In yet another variation on the restricted calorie concept of fasting, natural foods chef Pooja Mottl recommends using different types of three-day detox diets to cleanse the body and jump-start healthy eating. “The 3-Day Reset: Restore Your Cravings For Healthy Foods in Three Easy, Empowering Days” offers different ways to cut cravings for foods such as sugar and wheat through semi-fasts.

Cholesterol conundrum thickens: Low-carb versus low-fat diets debated

In recent years, doctors increasingly have treated high cholesterol with statins and advice to go on low-fat diets in an assumption that the drugs and avoidance of saturated fat can “fix” the problem. But despite increasing research, even the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) can muster up only “qualified” endorsements of potential solutions, reported the AAFP News on Wednesday.

Key among the concerns that make cholesterol such a conundrum: How LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular risk relate and when and how statins should be used to lower cardiovascular risk. And both issues remain highly controversial as both physicians and patients become vocal about the side-effects and questionable benefits of statins for treatment.

Now a new study is pointing to the use of a natural remedy for the problem: Rapeseed oil, reported the UK Telegraph on Wednesday. Researchers discovered that in addition to helping with diabetes, the oil “significantly reduced” bad cholesterol in almost all patients.

Known as canola oil in the United States, the benefits highlight the potential to use food as medicine to treat cholesterol rather than prescriptions. The problem: Even some physicians don’t understand how to interpret cholesterol levels or the truth about low-carb versus low-fat diets.

Patients typically are advised to go on low-fat diets based on the model of the American Heart Association (AHA), which advises those seeking to protect themselves from heart disease with healthy cholesterol levels to steer clear of fats and go for grains. Its diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts “while limiting red meat and sugary foods and beverages.”

But “this idea that you eat something, it gets into your bloodstream and it clogs your arteries is just false. Nothing remotely like that is happening,” says cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, who notes that a recent survey showed less than half of people understand cholesterol.

And the advice to avoid red meat and use low-fat dairy rather than full-fat dairy while eating more whole grains may lead to its own set of problems, warned Jonny Bowden, author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will.” In an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Jonny told me why he feels the AHA advice is problematic.

Urging consumers to avoid red meat and full-fat dairy raises the question of “whether it matters at all,” says Jonny. “Saturated fat in the diet as a direct cause of increased risk for heart disease has been completely debunked by a number of recent studies, most recently in the March Annals of Internal Medicine.”

And even when saturated fat raises cholesterol, “it raises HDL and the big bouyant LDL molecules.” As a result, it improves rather than worsens the blood lipid profile,” explained Jonny, who also authored “Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss.”

Describing the AHA advice as “way past its expiration date,” Jonny advises focusing on “whole, unprocessed foods, with the fat intact, plenty of vegetables, nuts, berries, grass-fed meat and wild salmon, and stop worrying about cholesterol.” It’s a low-carb Paleo-style approach that is echoed by Jimmy Moore, who experienced his own cholesterol crisis prior to losing 180 pounds on a Paleo ketogenic diet.

For those who are told that their cholesterol is too high, Jimmy told me in an exclusive interview that there’s an “inherent problem with looking at total cholesterol. It is comprised of one number you want to be high (HDL-C), one number that is calculated based on a mathematical formula called The Friedewald Equation (LDL-C), and completely misses one of the most important blood fats that is a major sign of cardiovascular risk (triglycerides).”

Co-author of “Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers,” Jimmy feels that physicians “should be looking at are the true culprits in heart disease–inflammation and oxidative stress.” The foods that consumers are advised to eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD) such as whole grains and omega-6 vegetable oils such as rapeseed or canola oil are the ones that result in inflammation and oxidative stress.

“Interestingly, these foods will drop your LDL-C number on your cholesterol panel, but what they do is shift your LDL particles to more of the small, dense, and dangerous kind you don’t want. This isn’t healthy and yet the health authorities couldn’t care less,” sums up Jimmy.

He agrees with Jonny that the AHA advice to cut saturated fats and consume more whole grains makes no sense, terming it “one of the dumbest, most ill-advised pieces of nutritional advice for you.” Instead, he recommends “reducing the intake of foods that are most inflammatory–carbohydrates and vegetable oils–and consuming more of the anti-inflammatory foods such as butter, coconut oil, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy.”

Jimmy, who has co-authored an upcoming book on low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets (“Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet”) with Dr. Eric Westman, also notes that our national fear of fat is causing part of our problems. “Saturated fat is arguably the healthiest part of the human diet that people are quite literally scared to death to eat. Some people actually believe they will have a heart attack within moments of consuming a food like butter or meat, but this is not based on any solid scientific evidence.”

Moreover, for those seeking to lose weight and improve their health, fat is “the missing key to optimizing health because it controls hunger, cravings, and provides so many health benefits by improving the production of ketone bodies that is the preferred fuel source for the body.” And multiple studies have demonstrated the benefits of this approach, says Dr. William Lagakos, author of “The poor, misunderstood calorie: calories proper.”

In a trio of studies, “reducing carbohydrate intake led to a substantial, spontaneous reduction in appetite,” noted Dr. Lagakos. Moreover, “weight loss was significantly greater” for those on high fat low carb ketogenic diets.

As for the cholesterol conundrum, Dr. Lagakos cites research showing that “there is not a strong causal relationship between dietary fats with blood cholesterol levels, and blood cholesterol levels with disease outcomes.” In addition, studies have shown that sacrificing that steak and biting into biscuits topped with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” instead sends you in the wrong direction with regard to reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your cholesterol levels.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers compared low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets to low-fat diets to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. Co-led by Dr. Westman, the study concluded that high-fat low carb diets had significantly more favorable outcomes.

“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet,” they wrote.