Nutrition News

NIH Study: Low-Fat Diet Better Than Low-Carb For Weight Reduction

Trying to slim down?

A new health study by the National Institutes of Health shows that you are more likely to lose weight cutting fatty foods than lowering carbohydrate intake.

In the study, researchers did an in depth analysis of a group of nineteen overweight individuals, controlling what they ate and monitoring their exercise.

The results showed that 53 grams of body fat were lost every day the test subjects were on the low-carb diet. On the low-fat diet, each person lost 89 grabs of fat per day.

While the results clearly lean in favor of cutting the fat, the study lead author Dr. Kevin Hall asserted that it is more important for people to choose a sustainable diet that they can maintain for a long period of time than it is to focus exclusively on cutting fat or carbs.

In the real world, people couldn’t possibly control or monitor their food intake as carefully as was done in our study. Therefore, it is likely more important to choose a diet that leads to a reduction in calorie intake that can be sustained for long periods of time.

BBC reports that many believe the low-carb path is better due to the effect it has on the body’s metabolism.

The theory goes that fewer carbohydrates lead to lower levels of insulin, which in turn lead to fat being released from the body’s stores.

According to Dr. Hall, “those things do happen with carb reduction and you do lose body fat, but not as much as when you cut out the fat.”

The results do show that progress can be made with either a low-fat or low-carb diet, and though one might edge out the other in terms of effectiveness, the most important thing is that caloric intake goes down overall.

In a previous study by the NIH, contradictory results suggested that a low-carb diet would be more effective than a low-fat diet, however the variables in this study were less controlled due to it being over a longer period of time.

The NIH has an educational section of their website aimed at providing people low-fat alternatives to the foods they may eat, and is a great place for the overweight to begin their weight-loss journey.

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