The risks of high fat diet

The Risks of High-Fat Diets

Last Updated: May 11, 2015 | By David Benjamin

Healthy Eating: Improve Your Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

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Official Partner of the LIVESTRONG Foundation

A plate of fried chicken. Photo Credit harikarn/iStock/Getty Images

In an effort to lose weight, it’s easy to be tempted by various fad diets. One such variation is the high-fat diet. Generally recommended alongside carbohydrate restriction, high-fat diets like the Atkins diet advocate eating a high percentage of calories from fat in an effort to control blood sugar levels and trigger fat burning. Although high-fat diets may have some merit for weight loss, they also present some serious risks which must be considered.

Weight Gain

No matter what type of diet you follow, you must still eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. Fat contains more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates, making it easier to take in too many calories. Although eating high fat foods may be satiating, a diet high in protein will allow you to eat far more food than a high-fat diet will.


High fat diets typically involve limiting your consumption of high-fiber foods like fruits and grains. Without fiber to maintain digestive health, you can easily become constipated and experience abdominal bloating. Nutrition experts such as Mauro Di Pasquale M.D., author of “The Metabolic Diet,” recommend high-fat dieters use a fiber supplement like psyllium husk.

Slower Metabolism

If taken to the extreme, a high-fat diet can result in ketosis, a process in which fats are broken down for energy in the absence of glucose from carbohydrates. Ketosis is a catabolic condition which quickly wastes muscle, slowing your metabolism. A slow metabolism makes it harder to lose weight, undermining your fat loss efforts.

HEARTt Disease

The most serious risk of high fat diets is heart disease. High-fat diets typically recommend foods high in saturated fats like beef, bacon and dark-meat poultry. According to the American Heart Association, a diet high in saturated fat can dramatically raise your cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease. The AHA recommends limiting your total fat intake to between 25 to 35 percent of total calories with only 7 percent coming by way of saturated fats.


•"Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Revised Edition": Dr. Robert Atkins: 2002

•"The Metabolic Diet"; Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale; 2000

•American Heart Association: Know Your Fats

5 Replies

  • Non-specific referencing going on here. Where is it proven that people eating high fat are more susceptible to weight gain for instance?

    We all know the theory that because fat has more energy per gramme if we eat the same weight of food we consume more kcalories, but people tend to eat less on a reduced carbohydrate diet. This has even been confirmed by studies when they were trying to disprove that 'metabolic advantage' caused low-carb dieters to lose weight.

    Sometimes they don't think through the implications of what they're proving.

  • Nothing new here. Same old talks with absolutely no REAL proof. This is just an OPINION and most o f them would shy from really discussing medical reports of diabetics on LCHF but spend time in analyzing how thin the index finger of Dr Bernstein is, in some photo on internet, to prove that body loses muscles on LCHF :)

    But, they won't look at Dr Attia's muscular presence on video, a doctor who lives on < 50 grams carbs for decades. This is how mainstream science works ie ignore the data that is not in line with OPINION (not facts) and keep repeating the same lie over and over again :)

  • Keep reiterating the myth about fat and heart disease demonstrates maintenance of the status quo/dogma; lack of recognition of evidence - the meta-analysis of 72 studies that found no association.

  • Concerned:

    Problem is not about fact finding.

    Problem i guess stems from the fact that how come other diabetics are enjoying great numbers on a diet which AMA/AHA/ADA is opposed to and despite the best attempts, Indian diabetics are still switching to LCHF.

    One bogus study from Ancel Keys far outweighs 72 against it for anti LCHF camp. They won't even believe Professor Richard Feinman also :)

  • (1) Actually my (and 99% of diabetics on LCHF) blood report eliminated all of the risks noted here. BTW, basal metabolism rate is the lowest on a HIGH CARB LOW FAT DIET. Dr Peter Attia proved it wrong by picking one of the studies. The Metabolic rate is in following order:


    Lowest being on High Carb Low fat diet. Even if someone talks logically, how can anything which is harder to digest lower the metabolism. make no sense. It's just a faulty OPINION.

    We don't use any husk or hay for fiber. We get it naturally from what we eat on LCHF (20C:20P:60F) :)

    (2) Ketosis doesn't waste muscles as long as you are taking the desired protein. Muscle wastage is to produce glucose and not ketones. That wastage is zero once you have dietary protein. LCHF diets we keep proteins around 20% of caloric needs. Those who go low on protein will face this issue. BTW, there are elite athletes on LCHF diet. Athletes cannot function if the muscle loss claim was any bit true.

    (3) Calories In/Calories Out theory has been proved to be a failure. Read award winning book by Gary Taubs where he has even covered detailed study on how populations which were underfed were obese. It's far more than calories in calories out. Else can anyone explain how under fed populations got obese?

    (4) SFA has no relation with heart disease. Proved over and over again. Dr Aseem malhotra also must be a quack if he says so. If someone doesn't want to believe just for sake of talking ill against LCHF, then let it be so. Nothing can convince them, not even huge number of studies done.

    (5) SFA improves LIPIDS, contrary to view of AMA/AHA. If they prefer to ignore medical reports of people who really follow LCHF diet so that they can keep pushing the same failed theory, its their wish. It's the TRIGLYCERIDES that is causing all the problem and triglycerides shoot up because of HIGH CARBS. So, don't blame the butter for damage caused by Bread :)

    (6) Though we don't follow Atkins diet, but here's a rebuttal by Atkins to AHA on which AHA just kept silent (they don't want an independent panel of experts from both sides ... how funny ... it's something like Sir Rory Collins saying he will not give STATIN side effect data for analysis to anyone but himself) :

    If one still doesn't agree to above, then can someone from the High Carb Low fat CLUB provide answers to following:

    (1) Why TG falls like a rock on LCHF diet without drugs?

    (2) Why HDL improves on eating high amount of Saturated fat coming from Eggs, VCO etc?

    (3) Why people go off or reduce drastically drugs for diabetes, BP and LIPIDS when they switch to LCHF?

    (4) Why cholesterol doesn't increase despite eating more than twice the American recommendation on LCHF diet?

    (5) Why some nations don't even have a dietary recommendation on Cholesterol?

    Anyone who talks against Low Carb High Fat diet, will have to answer these questions too in order to sound convincing. If they can't, then all the repeated talks against LCHF sounds very hollow and is just nothing but repeating the same old thing which has caused increase in diabetes, obesity, cancer, ibs, ibd, cvd, chd across the world. Surprising how the intelligentsia pretends ignorance about the connection.

    BTW, LOW CARB HIGH FAT doesn't mean 40% Carbs 40% FAT and 20% proteins.

    We follow 20carbs/20proteins/60fat

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