Is a low-carb or low-fat diet more effective?

By on February 21, 2018


Is a low-carb or low-fat diet more effective?

Is a low-carb or low-fat diet more effective?

A new study surveyed people who stuck to both eating plans for a year to test which one had better results, when it came to weight loss. 

Photo: iStock

A new study helmed by Dr Christopher Gardener, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, has analysed which diet – low-carb or low-fat – is more effective, when it comes to weight loss.

Turns out, neither approach is superior, regardless of the ample diet advice out there that recommends people cut their carb or fat intake in order to drop weight.

Dr Gardener’s study also found that a person’s genetics or insulin metabolism is not necessarily a discriminating factor when it comes to a diet’s effectiveness, despite the advent and popularity of DNA diets in the weight loss industry currently.

Dr Gardner’s study analysed results from 609 participates – 57 per cent women, aged between 18 and 20 – who were assigned a low-carb or low-fat eating plan at random, and were required to stick with it for a year.

Within the 12 month period, an average of 13 pounds were lost per person – that’s just under 6 kgs – although some participants lost up 60 pounds (27.5 kgs) while others gained 20 pounds (9 kgs).

Still, despite these varied results, searchers found no link between one diet and weight loss, over another.

What they did find, though, was that cutting down on sugar and refined flower while upping your intake of vegetables and wholefoods would lead to weight loss.

“We’ve all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet — it worked great — and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn’t work at all. It’s because we’re all very different, and we’re just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking what’s the best diet, but what’s the best diet for whom?” said Dr Gardener, who’s report elucidated “there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet."

At the start of the year, “participants got part of their genome sequenced, allowing scientists to look for specific gene patterns associated with producing proteins that modify carbohydrate or fat metabolism” but “neither genotype pattern nor baseline insulin secretion was associated with the dietary effects on weight loss,” per a report on the study by Citizen.

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