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Fat vs. Carbs: What’s Better for you?

You’ve been told almost your whole life to avoid fatty foods. You bought fat-free foods in the ’90s and suffered through countless fad diets in the 2000s, and still, obesity rates in America are on the rise.

It’s a known fact that obesity can take a toll on your heart health and there’s a plethora of research to back it up. For instance, a study published in April 2018 in the journal JAMA Cardiology concluded that adults between ages 40 and 59 who are overweight or obese have a significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease as compared with their normal weight peers.

A current popular debate is the discussion over fat and carbs. There’s a lot of new research making the rounds. So what’s better? Fats or carbs?

“That debate will continue for some time,” says Aspirus cardiologist Timothy Logemann, MD. “For now, the best thing to do is focus on whole healthy foods.  People don’t eat “fats” or “carbs.” They eat food, so let’s focus on eating whole healthy foods. 

“Healthy fats that promote health are monounsaturated and include olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, and tree nuts.  Sugar in all its forms should be avoided, including sweets, soda, and fruit juice.  Processed foods such as chips, pretzels and crackers really aren’t food. Let’s get back to eating things that grandma would recognize as food.”

Eating whole foods can make life easier. It’s easier to eat less of the unhealthy fats such as trans fats and unsaturated fats. At the same time, you’ll be boosting the amount of healthier fats such as omega-3 oils from fish, nuts like walnuts, and plants like linseed and chia; and monounsaturated fat from plant sources such as avocado, and nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts. Dr. Logemann says that eating lean, free range and grass-fed meats are best.

If you need help getting your diet on track, Aspirus offers nutrition counseling services and weight loss programs that focus on healthy eating. For more information, go online to aspirus.org or call the Aspirus Customer Contact Center at 800.847.4707.

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