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Low carb versus low fat diets equally effective says study

Low carb versus low fat diets equally effective says study

The battle between low-fat and low-carb diets seems to be at a standstill.

He and colleagues investigated the biological nuances that that might encourage a person's body to favor a low-carb diet over a low-fat diet with weight loss as the main objective. A string of studies have found that the average person fares about as well on one diet as they do on the other. It all depends on the person - although they haven't yet been able to determine the all important characteristics that determine which camp you fall into.

The Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) randomized clinical trial lasted 12 months and included 609 adults aged 18 to 50 years without diabetes who had a body mass index (BMI) between 28 and 40, which generally generally indicates that the individual is slightly overweight to borderline extremely obese, although BMI is not a ideal measure of a healthy weight. ‘It's because we're all very different and we're just starting to understand the reasons'.

"Unfortunately, it still remains unclear which diet is the best for weight loss, and who the true demons really are ... carbs or fat", she says.

Researchers recruited 609 participants, split evenly between men and women, aged 18-50.

A small, but comprehensive, study from Stanford University researchers has pitted low-fat diets against low-carb diets. (0.7 kg) - the difference within each diet group was more varied and more interesting, Gardner said.

For the first eight weeks of the study, participants were told to limit their carbohydrate or fat intake to just 20 grams a day - roughly 1.5 slices of whole wheat bread or a generous handful of nuts.

After that they added back five to 15 grams of fat or carbs gradually, aiming to reach a balance they believed they could maintain for the rest of their lives.

By the end of the study, individuals in both groups lost weight, on average about 13 pounds (almost 6kg). Some lost a lot more weight than others - 60 pounds or more, while others actually gained weight. The theory is that people whose bodies respond in a more extreme way to a giant slug of sweetness might do better on a low-carb diet.

The study was well-conducted but because participants were not provided with specific foods and self-reported their food choices, it wasn't rigorous enough to disprove the idea that certain genes and insulin levels may affect which types of diets lead to weight loss, said Dr. David Ludwig, a Boston Children's Hospital obesity researcher. But blood type diets have also been shown to be of dubious use.

Further, genotype pattern and baseline insulin secretion were not associated with the dietary effects on weight loss, according to the researchers. The most successful dieters, regardless of which group they were assigned to, credited their achievement to a reframed relationship with food - that is, they began eating more mindfully, cooking at home more often and focusing on whole foods. Some whose genetic markers indicated a low-carb diet would work better for them did not lose significantly more or less weight on either kind of diet, and the same was true for low-fat dieters. "I'm hoping that we can come up with signatures of sorts", he said. "I feel like we owe it to Americans to be smarter than to just say 'eat less.' I still think there is an opportunity to discover some personalization to it - now we just need to work on tying the pieces together".


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