Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades Explain The Failure of Low-Fat Diets

Husband and wife, Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Dan Eades, are among the world’s most knowledgeable doctors on diets and disease.

They are popular bloggers, have written multiple books on the subject and are best known for their Protein Power series of books.

They also have decades of experience treating patients with obesity, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

In the interview above, they explain how calorie restricted low-fat, high-carb diets usually don’t deliver very good results for people.

Carbs, Insulin and The Failure of Low Fat Diets

“People who are, through force of will, able to stick to a low-calorie, low-fat diet are miserable most of the time because they’re hungry all the time.”

A meal high in carbs but low in fat and protein gets absorbed rapidly and induces an insulin spike, which makes fat cells hold on to and store fat.

Because low-fat diets are usually calorie restricted, they don’t pack enough bulk to induce satiety. They also start a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to a cycle of hunger and snacking on high-carb foods.

There is no carbohydrate that the body can’t efficiently produce on its own. The same does not apply to protein and certain fats, which are both absolutely required in the diet.

It doesn’t really make much sense to make this non-essential macronutrient the dominant part of the diet, especially when you consider that high-carb foods like sugars and grains are nutritionally inferior to animal foods.

5 Comments

  1. For the whole of my life my mother has been “on a diet”. She did WW in 1976 and got down to 58 kg. In 1981, her weight had crept up to 94 kg, and she joined the slimming club she is now part of. Her goal weight now is a sensible 72 kg – right at the top of the “normal” BMI for her height. She finally reached that goal weight for the first time last month – after 31 years of low-fat dieting. She has attended her weight loss club every Monday faithfully for 31 years (except when out of the country). She has followed to the miserable letter low-fat diets, soup diets, Israeli army diet, the lemon diet. She often complains of hunger and has problems with blood pressure and cholesterol.

    1 year ago I topped the scales at 95.2 kg. I am a similar height to my mother. Following a Paleo/low-carb diet, I reached my goal weight (72 kg) in 9 months, almost effortlessly and without being hungry. Yes, I had followed my mother’s diets for years, have attended WW, and even the same group as my mother. I would lose a bit, gain a bit, lose a bit, gain a lot… I would get frustrated at my lack of progress, I would hit the gym, I would work out. But this time round I did no extra exercise over my job requirements (I’m a nurse), I ate well and I enjoyed my flavorful and tasty food. My previously-high blood pressure has reduced, my blood sugar has evened out and my cholesterol is on the low side of normal.

    My mother tends to look askance at anything which cuts out “healthy whole grains”. She obsessively trims the fat from her meat and refuses to eat chicken skin or pork crackling. She has bad arthritis and has had 3 hip replacements.

    For me, the best outcome of a paleo diet (cutting out all wheat-based products) has been the reduction in arthritis and psoriasis symptoms. When I eat paleo, I feel like a new man.

    So for me the question is: do I want to spend 31 years getting to goal weight, or 9 months? I know which I prefer.

    • These are awesome results, congrats.

      It’s terrible to see how poorly some people fare on low-fat diets. Luckily low-carb is becoming more mainstream as the evidence piles up and professionals are recognizing that there isn’t any “one size fits all” solution. But it’s happening way too slowly IMO, maybe it will take decades to really change things.

  2. Oh! I bought in to that low-fat and fat-free mentality since my teens years in the mid-1980′s until about two-and-a-half years ago. What a difference a fat laden/real foods diet has made in my life. Supple skin, not needing lotion, reduction in anxiety, no more panic attacks, no low blood sugar episodes. Oh gosh! I thought for so long I was just doomed to low blood sugar sickness. Looking back, I’d eat corn grits with sugar and dry, whole wheat toast for breakfast thinking it was awesome because it was nearly fat-free and whole grains! WRONG! Now I feel great eating greasy bacon and eggs fried in coconut oil with cheddar cheese on top…..and maybe some sour cream!

    Please, write some suggestions in your emails about how to incorporate more fat into the diet. Aside from meat, what can we do to get more fatty foods that are good for us in the diet? Nuts are great, but not for weight loss as they have carbs too.

    Thanks.

  3. Hi Kris,

    I love the new site. Just dropped by to wish you a Happy New Year.
    Thanks for all the education and advice you gave us in 2012. I look forward to learning more from your blogs in 2013.
    You should think about planning a visit to Thailand, no Vitamin D deficiency over here.
    -kelly

  4. Great interview,

    I can relate, I am 38 and I started to hit the gym in 2011 because I have been abusing my body with my anti health mentality and it has caught up with me on so many levels.

    When we are in our 20′s we think we can eat everything and abuse our bodies on all levels with our immortal mentality and boom then comes the 30′s and suddenly everything that we took for granted starts to slow down, energy levels, strength, gaining fat, become more stiff etc..

    Since I started my journey on changing my lifestyle and more I study about diet and exercises, more I get shocked on what the heck I was thinking through the years eating all of that crap and not even exercising at all for many years.

    This interview shows also how much bullsh** is out there when it comes to diet and how to stick with a diet that gives the results we are seeking for.

    Thanks for the share Kris.

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