Low-fat diet benefits body more
Earlier this week experts told us that carbs boosted brain power, and now it's been claimed that a low-carbohydrate diet is better for losing weight, but not for overall health. So is it time to reacquaint yourself with potatoes, pasta and rice?
Scientists from America's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases pitted a low-carb diet against a low-fat one, and found cutting out fat had more beneficial effects to health.
They came to their conclusion by looking at a group of 19 obese men and women. The test group completed two, two week trials; one week they ate a low-carb diet and the following seven days they consumed less fat.
The calorie intake was the same on both diet plans, but more weight was shed with the low-carb meals. However more fat was lost on the low-fat diet, and as fat is more harmful to health, the results were better for the body.
Results have been published in journal Cell Metabolism and reveal that almost twice as much fat was lost on the low-fat plan.
"There is one set of beliefs that says all calories are exactly equal when it comes to body fat loss, and there's another that says carbohydrate calories are particularly fattening, so cutting those should lead to more fat loss," researcher Dr Kevin Hall said. "Our results showed that, actually, not all calories are created equal when it comes to body fat loss, but over the long term, it's pretty close.
"Obesity is a disorder of excess body fat and loss of fat is what is important for health. While people may have been more excited to see greater weight loss with the carb restricted diet, most of this weight was from water, not fat."
Dr Hall was hasty to add that his team were not making "sweeping conclusions" about how to diet, and that their research group were placed in a controlled environment for a short amount of time.
"We did not investigate whether one diet would be easier to stick to over another but this is likely to be a more important factor for people with obesity attempting to lose body fat in the real world," he added.