Too Many Carbs Or Too Much Fat? What Actually Makes Us Overweight Anyway?

Too Many Carbs Or Too Much Fat? What Actually Makes Us Overweight Anyway?

Too Many Carbs Or Too Much Fat? What Actually Makes Us Overweight Anyway?

Too Many Carbs Or Too Much Fat? What Actually Makes Us Overweight Anyway?

We know that the statistics on obesity are alarming. In the USA alone, more than two-thirds of adults are considered to be overweight, and 1 in 20 suffers from extreme obesity.

Obesity is not our friend. It’s linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, not to mention it’s extremely expensive in medical bills.

In order to really get to the root of why obesity is such an epidemic, it’s vital to understand why it exists in such alarming proportions today.

What is it that actually makes us overweight?

In health circles you will hear a lot of different opinions on whether people are overweight due to eating too many carbs or too many fats.

The ‘low carb’ argument:

Those who advocate for low carbs and sugar to lose weight, base it on the following premise:

Carbs increase glucose levels, which leads to higher insulin in turning making us overweight. Lowering carbs, means lowering glucose.

Let’s dive in to the argument proposed here in detail:

The idea is that an excess consumption of carbs spikes your glucose levels and in turn increases insulin, which in turn increases fat storage. According to this argument, the only way to solve the problem is to eat a low-carb diet. That way, you lower your glucose and insulin levels, and you will not gain weight (fat).

The truth, however is that this line of reasoning is not accurate. It supposes that only carbs elevate your insulin, when the truth is,a diet high in protein and high in fat will also raise insulin.

The insulin response is not always proportional to blood glucose levels, OR the carb content of your meal.

We eat too much fat.

Numerous scientific studies actually show that it is a diet that is high in fat that causes diabetes, for example, not a diet high in carbs or sugar.

When you have too much fat in your system, the insulin cannot carry glucose into your cells, because the fat blocks the way in. Your sugar level rises because the insulin cannot effectively carry it to your cells, and eventually you create the condition of diabetes.

The truth is, our overweight problems are primarily caused by an overconsumption of fats and oils, and to a lesser extent, refined, processed carbs.

According to studies, in the USA, we now eat almost 500 extra calories a day. Between 1970 and 2010, our fat intake increased by 67 %. That is a lot of of fat! Most of those extra 500 calories we eat each day come from fat, the rest come from refined (not whole) grains.

So, overall we eat way too much butter, oils, cheese, salt and meat - all of which contain high fat and sodium content. We are not getting enough fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

The best thing to do is to reduce your consumption of fats (above all saturated fats found in animal-based foods) and choose a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet.

The Takeaway:

Carbs are not the enemy! Your body actually needs healthy, complex, fiber-rich carbohydrates to make up at least 50% of your diet.

Going on a strict no-carb diet might result in some short-term weight loss, but it will mainly be from lean tissue and water loss.

If you want to lose weight long-term and maintain a super healthy, well-nourished body then the studies are clear - following a predominately plant-based, low-fat, highly nutritious, varied diet is the answer.