We will probably never hear the end of the ‘best diet’ debate. Is it Paleo, is it Mediterranean, is it low-fat or low-carb?
A new study comes to suggest that if what we are looking for is long term healthy fat loss, a low-fat diet is more efficient than a low-carb diet. Provided, of course that our metabolism is fit for either one or the other.
As such, the low-fat diet takes a few inches heed in front of low-carb diets, without pointing to a frenzy of low-fat products intake that are, in most cases, brimming with other unhealthy additives.
The main take of the NIH-led study is that cutting carbs is efficient in curbing insulin levels and thus activating fat burn in the body. However, a low fat intake is more efficient in cutting unhealthy fat levels and the risks associated with it.
Be reminded that a nutrient balanced diet is the healthiest and perhaps smartest choice on the long term.
Kevin Hall of the NIH decided to test whether a low-fat or a low-carb diet is more efficient for fat loss after studying data from both nutrient plans’ results. As such, 19 consenting adults were brought in a controlled environment – the metabolic ward. All participants were obese at the time the study was initiated.
Over a course of two weeks, the researchers controlled everything from the participants’ diet to their levels of physical activity. Being constricted to the metabolic ward was easier to control all factors involved. No sudden cravings that asked for immediate resolve, no guilty foody pleasures.
In the beginning, all participants were on a balanced 2,700 calorie diet. This program lasted for five days. For one week afterwards, the participants were split in two groups. One was assigned a low-fat diet, while the other was assigned a low-carb diet.
A small break ensued, after which the groups continued with their diet for another week. During the period of the study, the levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide expired by the participants, as well as metabolites levels and hormones were measured regularly to understand how each diet, coupled with one hour of compulsory physical activity affects the groups.
Overall, the results are telling. The participants who were assigned the low-fat diet shed on average 463 grams of fat, while the rest of the participants shed on average 245 grams.
According to projections, the first group will lose on average six pounds more than the second group over the following six months, provided participants in both groups stick to the plan.
The study is published in the Cell Metabolism journal.
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