The macronutrient triangle – stay away from the base

Here’s an interesting new graph from Dr. Ted Naiman. I’ll let him explain it himself:

Just stay away from the base of this macro triangle — obesity awaits in the low protein CARBS+FAT zone*.

*[also known as Cupcakelandia™ ??]

Can adding fat to bad carbs making them even worse for people’s weight? I think so, but feel free to leave a comment below if you disagree!


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  1. sandra_nz
    Has there been any research on the impact of combining fats with high carb meals?
    Reply: #8
  2. 1 comment removed
  3. Ted Naiman
    Fat and carbs together is the fastest way to create obesity in any animal model, including humans! We know this thanks to tons of research in animal feed 'efficiency', which is just a term for how fast will an animal gain fat on a certain diet. We also know this thanks to the companies that make obesogenic rodent chow so they can study chronic diseases driven by diet, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. This obesogenic rodent chow is always high in both carbs and fat together, for maximum fattening 'efficiency' (also low in protein so there is less satiety and more food is eaten).

    Basically, the carbs turn on fat storage and prevent fat burning, and then all of the fat goes straight to the adipocytes and stays there forever! Perfect combo for obesity! Much better than just carbs by themselves or fat by itself. Keep protein low to eliminate protein satiety (try to eat ten chicken breasts), and you can eat this stuff all day long. And we know that in humans, all of the most fattening foods are high carb and high fat together, like potato chips (suggested by research to be the single food that is MOST associated with obesity), french fries, ice cream, doughnuts, and the list goes on and on!

  4. Cherise
    I'm not sure of the research, but I have seen graphs of what different foods do to blood sugar. Just carbohydrates = quick high spike; carbohydrates + protein = moderate spike; carbohydrates + fat = equals less of a spike but a longer curve. It completely makes sense to me that carbohydrates + fat, especially in an insulin resistant individual, would be the worst with their insulin/glucose never returning back to normal. I remember Dr. Atkins saying the same thing. Desserts, high fat and carb, are the worst for weight gain. It also makes sense when you look at populations. Simplistically, Asians when back on high rice, low protein, low fat did fine. People from Okinawa did well, substitute rice for sweet potatoes. But the question I have here is what happens to an insulin resistant individual on a high carb/low fat diet. I think that an individual already with insulin resistance would do best low carb. Maybe, if they did pretty much 0 fat like the "rice diet" they could do okay, but I'm sure it would depend on the individual and it would be so unhealthy to do the rice diet for life, nutritional deficiencies galore! Fat soluble vitamins are important.
  5. BobM
    Ok, this thing is complete garbage. I ate NONE of what's on the bottom/base of the triangle and still gained weight. What was I eating? Whole grain, hot "cereals" for breakfast, pasta for lunch (or dinner), brown rice and beans for dinner. Close to vegan, but I allowed myself very low fat meats. I kept my fat very low, less than 10% by calories (used to count calories). While I was working out a ton, I was OK. As soon as I got injured and could no longer workout at all, I gained weight.

    This also implies that fat is bad for you. That's simply not true. While you want to avoid eating any vegetable oils (save maybe olive oil, and I'd not convinced this is good for you), I find animal fat to be filling, way more filling than "protein".

  6. Cherise
    I agree with you that fat isn't bad for you. Just carbs + fats are bad for you. I also remember binging on fat-free sorbets and very low-fat whole grain cereals back when I was trying to lose weight with a low-fat, calorie-counting diet. Binging, meaning falling off my calorie counts and not losing weight. I'm not saying high-carb/low fat will work for everyone. Low-carb works for me. I just think the very worst thing you can eat if you are trying to lose weight is high fat/high carb.
  7. Cherise
    BTW, I eat very high fat, low carb, lowish-moderate protein, and that works well for me. I think some people can do better on more protein, you just have to find out what works for you. I usually cringe when people bring up the Japanese or Okinawan diet. I'm just trying to be fair. Unfortunately, low fat/low protein/high carb populations exist and do well. That doesn't mean I'm going to do well on that diet or that others are.
  8. Lisa
    Can you say, "McDonald's"?
  9. Cherie
    I did Atkins and don’t remember it being this difficult to stay in Ketosis.

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