Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

HealthWatch: Low-Carb Vs. Low-Fat? Probably Doesn't Matter

HealthWatch: Low-Carb Vs. Low-Fat? Probably Doesn't Matter

"High quality" is an important point, because you could consume nothing but soft drink and accurately claim you're on a low-fat diet, or eat nothing but bacon (heaven) and say you're on a low-carb diet - but those diets wouldn't be healthy.

A new study reveals that neither is better than the other and the only factor that matters is a good, balanced diet.

Even though the previous study used the same genotype patterns that were tested in the new study, researchers were not able to confirm the results in the larger study, Gardner said. The reason being all are varied, and we are just commencing to comprehend the basis for this diversity.

Dr. Frank Hu, nutrition chief at Harvard's School of Public Health, has called precision nutrition a promising approach and said the study wasn't a comprehensive test of all gene variations that might affect individual responses to weight loss diets.

About half were men and half were women.

Confused whether to follow a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet to shed weight?

The study found that after one year on either diet, which included more than 20 nutrition-education classes, participants lost a little more than 10 lbs.

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After the second month, Gardner's team instructed the groups to make incremental small adjustments as needed, adding back 5 to 15 grams of fat or carbs gradually, aiming to reach a balance they felt they could maintain for the rest of their lives.

At the end of the year, people on the low-fat diet lost an average of nearly 12 pounds, compared with about 13 pounds for the low-carb diet. Some lost a lot more weight than others - 60 pounds or more, while others actually gained weight. They were also given common-sense advice about eating more vegetables and whole grains and less fatty and sugary junk food.

A recent trend in healthy eating circles has been a "genotype" diet. This well-conducted study suggests that both can work well, so long as people stick to them, eat less overall, and eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and little sugar or refined grain.

Individual results after a year were quite varied - one person lost 60 pounds, while another gained 20 - but the average weight loss in each group was nearly identical: 11 pounds in the low-fat group, compared to 13 pounds in the low-carb group. Yet another theory is that carbs and fats are the main sources of calories in American diets, so if you significantly cut back on one or the other you're nearly certain to cut back on calories too. Researchers also sought to determine whether three single-nucelotide polymorphism multilocus genotype responsiveness patterns (PPARG, ADRB2 and FABP2), which have been considered to predispose one to respond to a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet, or insulin secretion (INS-30; blood concentration of insulin 30 minutes after a glucose challenge) were associated with weight loss; mean INS-30 was 93 µIU/mL in all participants.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, discovered that both diets led to the participants losing a similar amount of weight.

"I'm hoping that we can come up with signatures of sorts", he added.

"We made sure to tell everybody, regardless of which diet they were on, to go to the farmer's market, and don't buy processed convenience food crap".

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