Low Carbs, High Fat, No Problem

Maybe Dr. Atkins was right: a big new study says a low-carb—high fat, high protein diet—is better for us. We’ll look at what that means.

The `country breakfast' plate at the Stamford, Conn., City Limits Diner consists of eggs, house-made hash brown potatoes, sausage, bacon and ham, plus multi-grain toast from bread baked on the premises, as photographed Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2004. (AP)

The `country breakfast’ plate at the Stamford, Conn., City Limits Diner consists of eggs, house-made hash brown potatoes, sausage, bacon and ham, plus multi-grain toast from bread baked on the premises, as photographed Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2004. (AP)

Latest headlines in the unending stream of advice from science on your diet:  ditch the carbs, grab the fats and protein.  Years ago, fat was the taboo.  People fled to carbohydrates.  And boom went the obesity.  A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine now reports that people who avoid carbs and eat more fat and protein end up with better heart health and lower cardiovascular risk.  Even when it’s saturated fat.  If that makes you want to grab a juicy rib-eye steak, it’s not that simple.  But refined carbohydrates are getting the boot again. This hour On Point:  protein and fat versus carbs, again.

– Tom Ashbrook


Dr. Lydia Bazzano, internist and cardio-vascular researcher. Professor of epidemiology and medicine at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. (@DrDavidKatz)

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Michael Moss, investigative reporter at the New York Times. Author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.” (@MossMichaelC)

From Tom’s Reading List

Annals of Internal Medicine: Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat DietsA Randomized Trial — “Low-carbohydrate diets are popular for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have not been well-studied, particularly in diverse populations. A low-carbohydrate diet [can be] more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than a low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.”

New York Times: A Call for a Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat — “Diets low in carbohydrates and higher in fat and protein have been commonly used for weight loss since Dr. Robert Atkins popularized the approach in the 1970s. Among the longstanding criticisms is that these diets cause people to lose weight in the form of water instead of body fat, and thatcholesterol and other heart disease risk factors climb because dieters invariably raise their intake of saturated fat by eating more meat and dairy.”

USA Today: Low-carb diets: Studies differ on whether they are best — “Low fat or low carb, Atkins or Ornish, Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers – which diet is best for weight loss? Two new studies offer ammunition for those who say the popular low-carb approach is superior and for those who say all diets are pretty much the same.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 7, 2015
Students in the new documentary film "Beyond Measure" take part in a project-based learning activity with their peers. (Courtesy the Filmmakers)

Arne Duncan’s headed out as U.S. Education Secretary. What’s next for America’s school kids?

Oct 7, 2015
The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after explosions near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike.  (AP)

The U.S. airstrike on the hospital in Kunduz. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan faces tough questions from Congress. We’re looking for what really happened.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »