Low carb versus low fat diets equally effective says study

Low carb versus low fat diets equally effective says study

Although no diet is better than another, researchers say the fundamental strategy for weight loss is consuming less sugar, less refined flour and eating more vegetables. "It's because we're all very different, and we're just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity".

Christopher Gardner, who has been researching the impacts of variety of diets at Stanford University Medical School said that the guidance for shedding weight has not changed over the years, eat less, and make what you do eat nutritious.

"The data and results we generated will not help clinicians guide patients, or [help] people to pick for themselves, one of these diet approaches over the other", Gardner said.

You're determined to lose weight this time and find yourself debating whether to go low-fat or low-carb?

Gardner and his team of researchers assessed 609 overweight adults across the United Kingdom with ages ranging from 18 to 50 years over a period of 12 months.

The 600 volunteers were randomly assigned to either a low-fat or low-processed-carbohydrate diet.

Similarly, there was also no interaction between the extent of weight loss after a year with diet-insulin secretion (INS-30) (ß 0.08, -0.13 to 0.28, P=0.47).

People in this study were tested for a range of genetic variations previously identified with diet response, but were no more likely to lose weight if assigned the "right" diet for their genotype.

The individuals began by limiting their daily carbohydrate or fat intake to 20 grams for the first eight weeks.

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One of the key aspects of the study was ensuring that all of the participants did eat healthily throughout. This was to allow scientists to investigate any gene patterns that might be associated with weight loss from carb or fat metabolism.

LDLC was found to increase in the low-carb group over 12 months.

Besides genetic testing, the participants were also given a test to measure whether they were "insulin resistant", that is, whether or not the individual's body responds properly to the hormone insulin, which governs how easily the person absorbs glucose from food.

No significant differences were observed between the two groups for mean 12-month weight changes (low-fat diet group, -5.3 kg vs. low-carbohydrate diet group, -6 kg). Some lost a lot more weight than others - 60 pounds or more, while others actually gained weight.

"It's a huge market and readers are hungry for the "next diet fad" to try". Researchers also looked at insulin response, also previously linked to diet response, but found this didn't affect which diet worked best either.

So, by answering some questions, the research is opening the door to new ones.

For you the reader, the biggest takeaways would be that there isn't a clear-cut victor between low-fat and low-carb. In fact it's not the diet that you should be mindful of, but your body.

So what's the takeaway from this study, other than "eat less" or "eat healthy"?

"Eliminating refined grains, added sugars and maximizing vegetable intake in both groups seems to suggest that steering individuals toward either a low-fat or low-carb diet is not as helpful as the diet quality", Sheth, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email. "But let's cut to the chase: We didn't replicate that study, we didn't even come close".

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