Style & ShowbizHealth

Low-fat doesn’t aid weight loss

HealthBy Sunday World
Low-fat doesn’t aid weight loss

Cutting fat will help you lose weight, right? Wrong, says new research.

Most of us have been on some sort of diet, whether it’s going the whole hog with a plan like the Atkins, having a juice cleanse, or just simply cutting down on the fat you consume. But a major new study has found no real evidence to support the notion that low-fat diets help to shed weight.

The Harvard researchers analysed data from more than 68,000 adults to reach their conclusion, and say that instead of focusing on fat and carbohydrates, health officials should advise diet plans based on portion sizes and unprocessed foods.

“There is no good evidence for recommending low-fat diets,” lead researcher Dr Deirdre Tobias said. “Despite the pervasive dogma that one needs to cut fat to lose weight, the scientific evidence does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”

This again casts doubt on the NHS guidelines warning people to avoid butter, full fat milk and other high-fat foods. The advice was first given by the British health body 32 years ago, but recent research has shunned suggestions fat is bad. Also Mediterranean diets, full of fatty foods like olive oil, fish and nuts, are known for boosting health, especially for the heart.

If the latest research leaves you at a loss when it comes to your healthy eating plan, perhaps another new study may be the answer to slimming down. Researchers from America’s Brigham Young University found that counting your food bites, rather than calories, was a great way to lose weight. During a study led by Dr Josh West, it was found people who counted their bites over the course of four weeks lost around four pounds. This occurred because participants counted how many bites they took each day, then made sure they took 20 to 30 fewer bites over the next month.

“This study confirms what we already knew, consuming less food makes a difference,” Dr West said. “We're not advocating people starve themselves, what we're talking about is people eating less than they're currently eating.'

Cover Media