Low-fat diet as effective as low-carb for losing weight

Which Is Better for Weight Loss, a Low-Fat Diet or a Low-Carb Diet?

The answer, in both cases, was no.

"We've all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet - it worked great - and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn't work at all", explains lead author of the study, Christopher Gardner.

"It's because we're all different, and we're just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity. Maybe we shouldn't be asking what's the best diet, but what's the best diet for whom?" he said.

Past research has shown that a range of factors including genetics, insulin levels and microorganisms found in the body can impact weight loss. Gardner told Live Science.

Gardner and his team are determined to dig deep into the voluminous trove of data gathered from the study looking for some kind of clear signature that runs through all the participants. About half were men and half were women. (4.5 kilograms): People on the low-fat diet lost an average of 11.5 lbs. Each group was instructed to maintain the diet for one year.

As for genetics, certain genotype patterns, specifically related to three genes that help regulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism, are believed to predict who will do well on different diets.

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She says: "There are pros and cons of both low carb and low fat diets but the fundamental take home message should focus on the commonalties of the two diets, i.e. what the participants were advised to eat, aside from restricting either carbs or fat". Those statistics pleased Gardner, given that average fat consumption for the participants before the study started was around 87 grams a day, and average carbohydrate intake was about 247 grams.

Considering some facilities have cashed in on DNA-based diets, the results are important in disproving the notion that DNA plays any significant role in how efficiently a person loses weight. Lard may be low-carb, but an avocado would be healthier.

Dr Gardener's study also found that a person's genetics or insulin metabolism is not necessarily a discriminating factor when it comes to a diet's effectiveness, despite the advent and popularity of DNA diets in the weight loss industry now.

After two months they then began gradually increasing their daily carbohydrate or fat intake in small amounts in order to reach a sustainable balance.

The results were identical as participants in both groups lost an average of 13lb (5.9kg). Some people lost 40 or more pounds, he says, while others gained 10 or 20.

But a study yesterday found neither approach is better than the other.

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So, by answering some questions, the research is opening the door to new ones.

"The unique thing is that we didn't ever set a number for them to follow", Gardner said.

In the HLF group, 42.6% of participants had the low-fat genotype, while 27.2% had the low-carb genotype.

"It would have been sweet to say we have a simple clinical test that will point out whether you're insulin resistant or not and whether you should eat more or less carbs", he added. The low-carb group was trained to choose nutritious foods like olive oil, salmon, avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, nut butters, nuts and seeds, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

"Over one year, the low-fat group lost 12 pounds on average", he tells EndocrineWeb, and "group following the low carb diet lost about 13 pounds". "But let's cut to the chase: We didn't replicate [our previous] study, we didn't even come close". "I still think there is an opportunity to discover some personalisation to it [dieting] - now we just need to work on tying the pieces together".

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