Cut the carbs and enjoy the fat
Eggs benedict with bacon and creamy hollandaise is great – just hold the bread.
AUT University professor Grant Schofield and his team at the Human Potential Centre are going against the grain of traditional health principles by advocating a high-fat and lowcarbohydrate diet.
Dr Schofield says fat is an essential nutrient that our bodies want to use for energy. But eating lots of carbohydrates makes it harder to access.
‘‘It’s the opposite of what people are used to,’’ he says.
‘‘Everyone has been so caught up in the whole sugarfat thing, wrongly thinking it was the best way.
‘‘We’ve come to realise it’s not just a simple calories argument.’’
Endurance athletes including New Zealand Ironman representative Graham Brewster are among some of the first to trial the controversial diet.
After almost a year devour- ing full-fat meals Mr Brewster is a convert.
‘‘I am one of Grant’s first guinea pigs. He sat me down and said, ‘look mate, how come you’re training so much and are still fat?’.’’
Within months Mr Brewster dropped 7kg, with just 7.3 per cent body fat.
The unconventional approach was tough to get used to but Mr Brewster says it is paying dividends.
In July he placed fourth in his age group at the ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships. The diet cuts out sugar and processed carbohydrates, instead focusing on meats, eggs, vegetables and as much unprocessed fat as your body craves.
‘‘We are so used to carboloading for energy thing. It’s taken a bit of experimenting to get the right level of fuel for training but I feel better.’’
Also known as a ketogenic diet, the concept stems from our ancestors’ eating habits.
‘‘Humans have only started eating the way we do because of essential means, coming in off the fields and processing stuff to feed the masses cheaply,’’ Mr Bewster says.
Dr Schofield says key foods do not come out of a packet.
‘‘We’re talking about stuff your grandma recognises, food that rots.’’
Eating good fats in combination with low carbohydrate foods switches your body into a fat-burning stage called ketosis.
Mr Brewster says: ‘‘Your body cannot store fat when it’s in ketosis.
‘‘If it doesn’t need it you’ll get rid of it.’’
Full fat: AUT University professor Grant Schofield is advocating a controversial high-fat low-carbohydrate diet.