The Perfect Diet

Many people feel overwhelmed by information on diets, and just want to know what to do. After all, there are so many diets out there right now, most doctors are every bit as confused as their patients. For many years, the American Heart Association has been recommending a low-fat diet with less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, and 30% of calories from fat. But while they pursued this heart-healthy diet, Americans got fatter and fatter. About a decade ago, nutrition experts began to wonder whether we were doing something drastically wrong.

When low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins Diet came along, cardiologists recoiled at the notion of so much fat. The Atkins Diet actually has 68% of total calories from fat, which in the past would have been considered a sure road to a heart attack. What these cardiologists didn't take into account was that these low-carbohydrate diets actually led to overall decreases in caloric intake. With the resulting weight loss, cardiac risk factors often improve.

The problem with low-carbohydrate diets is that most people cannot sustain them, and they regain the weight they lost. In addition, experts continue to be nervous about the long-term effects of such a high-fat diet on overall health.

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