Fats or carbohydrates? What is better to limit? Scientific approach

3 min

My Sprintally

Nutritionist and weight loss expert Anna Chaykina tells what opinion the scientific community has about fat and carbohydrates, and helps to make a choice in favour of a balanced diet.

The opinion of the scientific community

Until now, doctors and scientists have not come to a consensus that it is better to limit the diet – fat or carbohydrates. At the last European Congress on Obesity, held in Vienna last month, this issue was discussed, as always, but scientists again could not unequivocally say that it is better to exclude a person who reduces weight from the diet. Disputes go endlessly, but there are no concrete conclusions. There are several points of view.

Against fat

It seems to me logical that it is better and more effective to restrict the consumption of fats. The fact is that fats are faster synthesized into fat in the human body.

Here it is important to make a reservation that carbohydrates release insulin into the blood, which also triggers the process of gaining weight. However, now the situation with carbohydrates has changed. People think that they eat sweet, but together with sugar, they eat fat. More often, carbohydrate food is understood as the so-called heavy desserts: cakes, cookies, buns and others. These are not pure carbohydrates, but carbohydrates with fats, which further exacerbates the situation. If you use complex carbohydrates (whole grains) without adding fat, there will not be a jump in blood sugar, as will excess calories, and the feeling of satiety will persist for a long time.

But, nevertheless, if we talk about what is more profitable to exclude from the diet for weight loss, I insist that it is better to give up fat. At least because in 1 g of fat – about 9 kcal, and in 1 g of carbohydrates – about 4 kcal. If you count in 100 g, then this is 900 kcal fat and 400 kcal carbohydrates. Therefore, by reducing the consumption of fat and heavy desserts containing fats, you will greatly alleviate the diet by calorie content.

Note that “hidden” fats are present in many products: semi-finished products, sausages, cheeses, sauces, frozen dishes and others.


Choosing a low-fat diet

The diet with restriction of fats is first of all Mediterranean. Olive oil is probably the main source of fat in this diet, as well as fat from marine fish. Seafood practically does not contain fats. In this diet, a lot of fibre – from fresh vegetables and carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice).

It is also effective to simply begin to restrict fat in the daily regime. The easiest way out is to change the way you cook. Stop frying the foods and start baking them or cooking them on the grill. In addition, it is useful to exclude fatty sauces and semi-finished products from the diet. Observe the “one-touch” rule, when the product falls into your hands without preliminary processing.

Reducing caloric content due to the elimination of fats, you can keep the number of servings due to a large number of fresh vegetables, fruits, side dishes without oil. It is tasty, satisfying and at the same time low-calorie.

In the diet of modern man, there is such a flow of fat that it is useful for everyone to reduce its use. And especially people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes.

Useful and harmful fats

At the same time, fats are the building material of the cell membrane. Fats are necessary for the assimilation of vitally important fat-soluble vitamins, for the synthesis of hormones and the nutrition of the heart muscle. The brain is also made up of fat, and it must be nourished. Therefore, it is not necessary to completely eliminate fats.

“Good” fats are fats from vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, fatty fish.

“Bad” fats are saturated fats of animal origin, which “freeze”, and, of course, trans fats.

Non-carbohydrate diets

The protein diet is the most vivid example of nutrition with a restriction of carbohydrates. It contains only proteins and fibre. Protein diet is close to sports nutrition, allows you to increase muscle mass, dry the body and make it more embossed. At the same time, it significantly loads the kidneys and is not suitable for many gastrointestinal problems.

The carbohydrate diet, close to sports nutrition, can be shown to absolutely healthy athletes under certain requests.


Useful and harmful carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are primarily a source of energy, good mood and well-being. We need carbohydrates, and categorically refusing them is very unreasonable. Cells of the brain, eyeball, renal tubules are fed only with glucose, and in the absence of carbohydrates in the diet, they will die.

Distinguish between complex carbohydrates and simple. Complex – it’s whole grain cereals, pasta from durum wheat, bread with bran. This carbohydrate is useful, which should be part of a person’s diet.

There are carbohydrates simple, or fast, without which you can live and which lead to weight gain. This, for example, sugar, honey, jam, products from white flour.


If you decide to lose weight, definitely exclude fats from the diet. A couple tablespoons of vegetable oil a day will be enough. If you dream of a relief body and do athletics – your protein diet with the addition of complex carbohydrates. And ideally, and for the greatest health benefits, your diet should be as balanced as possible in composition.

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