By in Nutrition

Calorie Counting is So Last Century!

There is a lot of talk about fats at the moment. For many years we were told that following a low-fat diet was the way to good health and required to maintain a healthy weight. The reasoning behind it was that fat has more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates. The ‘calorie equation’ states that ‘calories out’ must be greater than ‘calories in’ and you will lose weight. Cut fat, and you will considerably cut your calories. Turns out, however, that it is not that simple. Researchers keep finding time and time again that our metabolism is much more complicated than that simple equation and that calorie counting is not working.

What matters more than calories is to control insulin levels. Insulin makes sure that carbohydrates (sugar as well as more complex carbohydrates, e. g. from baked goods, pasta, rice and bread) are quickly converted into fat and stored away – preferably around the abdomen and internal organs. In the presence of insulin, energy stored as fat cannot be released, so instead of burning our fat stores when we run out of fuel, we just get very hungry and tempted to top up our carbs again, which triggers the release of insulin and thus the cycle begins afresh. It is not dietary fat, after all, that makes us put on weight, it’s a diet high in simple carbohydrates.

What’s more: Insulin is not just implicated with weight gain and diabetes II, but also promotes inflammation, which means that it is now known to contribute to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and a whole host of other chronic conditions.