Low-Carb Vs. Low-Fat: Which Diet Is Better For Losing Weight?

Low-Carb Vs. Low-Fat: Which Diet Is Better For Losing Weight?

For decades, two diets have ruled the roost when it comes to weight loss.

Gardner emphasizes that it's all about healthy low-fat and low-carb diets.

"Whichever diet you prefer could work", Dr. Gardner, PhD, indicating this was one key finding from the studypublished in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Even though cutting calories wasn't a goal for these dieters, people might still achieve this by replacing junk food with healthier alternatives, said Kevin Hall, a researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases who wasn't involved in the study.

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The study was carried out by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in the US. It really depends on your body, so if you fail on low-carb, try low-fat, and vice-versa.

Christopher D. Gardner, lead author of the study, said: "I think one place we go wrong is telling people to figure out how many calories they eat and then telling them to cut back on 500 calories, which makes them miserable". "It's because we're all very different, and we're just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity".

The trend of tailoring diets to suit people's genetic make-up is set to be short-lived, with the latest evidence suggesting genes have nothing to do with weight loss. Those on each diet were told to limit either fats or carbohydrates to 20 grams a day the first 8 weeks, then to slowly phase in the lowest level of intake on either fats or carbs they believed they could maintain.

The team studied over 609 men and women, aged between 18 and 50 years. The participants went on either a low-fat or a low-carb supervised diet for a year, UPI reports.

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People were remarkably compliant about following their assigned low-fat or low-carb diet. Before the study started, the average fat consumption for the participants was around 87 grams a day, and average carbohydrate intake was about 247 grams.

They monitored the progress of the subjects for 12 months by measuring weight, body composition, baseline insulin levels and how many grams of fat or carbohydrate they consumed daily. There was virtually no difference in weight loss between the two groups after 12 months: 11.7 pounds in the low-fat group and 13.2 in the low-carb one, a difference that was not statistically significant or meaningful in real life. There was still, however, huge weight loss variability among them.

However, the researchers did note that some of the results did differ greatly, with some people losing around 60 pounds and others gaining around 20 pounds. Researchers also looked at insulin response, also previously linked to diet response, but found this didn't affect which diet worked best either. "This study closes the door on some questions - but it opens the door to others". The volunteers got 22 hourlong classes with dietitians on healthy low-fat diets (eat less oils, fatty meats, full-fat dairy, and nuts) or low-carb ones (reduce cereals, grains, rice, starchy vegetables, and legumes), as well as on the dangers of eating mindlessly. The low-carb group was advised to eat foods such as avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, olive oil, salmon, nut butter, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

"I'm hoping that we can come up with signatures of sorts", he added.

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