Arguably, the two most popular diets for losing weight are low carbohydrate aka low carb and low fat. The two diets are also touted as being the best for following a healthy lifestyle. For a while, it has appeared like low carb diet was winning. A new study took another look at these two popular diets.
Previous studies have favored either of low fat or low carb diets at different times. This has led to the low car and low fat die trends, fads if you will. And a good dose of confusion to go with it.
You see, it has not just been about low fat or low carb. Enter saturated fats, healthy fats, unhealthy fats and the like. Then there are simple carbs, complex carbs, low glycemic and high glycemic on the side of carbs on the carbs side (is your head already spinning?).
Add to that the studies that show that saturated fats are not unhealthy after all, and recent findings that dietary cholesterol has little to do with blood cholesterol.
Think you’re confused enough already? There’s more.
Not too long ago, another study found that among three diets – not just two – one diet came up on top. And it is neither low fat nor low carb, which were among the three. Which one was it.
Well, that study found the low glycemic diet most effective for weight loss.
In recent years, the low carb diet appeared to be winning as the best way to lose fat. In my own experience, this diet does work. Many scientific and anecdotal reports seem to support the effectiveness of the low carb diet for weight management.
So, Low Carb or Low Fat?
In a recent study published in the JAMA journal, scientists put the two diets, low fat and low carb to test. The researchers randomly placed 609 overweight adults between 18 and 50 years old in eight of the two diets and followed them for one year. 305 participants
The participants were advised to stick to healthy fats or healthy carbs according to the group assigned.
Let’s save you the complex details and tell you the results, okay?
After one year, the researchers found that participants who followed a low fat diet lost almost 12 pounds, while participants low carb lost around 13 pounds. Not a significant difference, and a virtual tie. What gives?
Perhaps you noticed that both groups were placed on healthy foods in their respective category, that is, healthy carbs or healthy fats. The researchers determined that what really matters is the quality of the food consumed. Both groups consumed less sugar and refined carbs and ate more vegetables.
Our take? Forget calorie counting and all the other complicated stuff. Keep it simple. Most people could manage their weight by simply eating healthy and exercising portion control.