Is Low-Fat Better Than Low-Carb When it Comes to Weight Loss?
For diabetics, a low-carb eating plan is one of the most commonly prescribed diets.
Yet a new study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health suggests that cutting down on dietary fat leads to greater fat loss than cutting carbs.
The study was conducted by Dr. Kevin Hall, a metabolism researcher who studies how nutrients affect body weight. For the current research, Hall measured how metabolism was affected in patients when carbs were cut from the diet while fat remained at a baseline, and vice versa.
"I wanted to rigorously test the theory that carbohydrate restriction is particularly effective for losing body fat since this idea has been influencing many people's decisions about their diets," Hall said.
Calories aren't created equal
Hall recruited 19 adults with obesity to be part of the study, where researchers measured how much fat participants burned - and how total fat loss was affected - depending on what they ate.
Results showed that participants lost more body fat when they restricted dietary fat intake compared to when they restricted carbohydrate intake.
Hall did point out, however, that results might vary had the participants adopted the diet for a longer period of time - and that the study results don't indicate that cutting fat is a better solution than cutting carbs for the purposes of fat loss.
"We are trying to do very careful studies in humans to better understand the underlying physiology that will one day be able to help generate better recommendations about day-to-day dieting," Hall said. "But there is currently a gap between our understanding of the physiology and our ability to make effective diet recommendations for lasting weight loss."
Source: Cell Press