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Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat: The Most Pointless Debate Ever
I know it’s been a long time since our last blog was released, educating you on how to improve your health and make informed decisions, but we are finally back!
And just before we jump into this juicy blog, it would be great to get your opinion on what you would like to know and how we could help you to get closer to your goal. To give us some ideas, comment below this blog or click here to message me directly
Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat: The Most Pointless Debate Ever.
It’s been going for ages, this argument between Low Carb and Low Fat diets. But it seems as though everyone has forgotten about the science and studies. So, initially with the intention to discover which is best – a diet with a low contribution from carbohydrates or a diet with a low contribution from fats – I have looked more into Low Carb and Low Fat diets to figure out what is better and more affective.
Here’s what the majority of the best studies showed:
Initial Response – In the short term (3 Months) the Low Carb diet was more beneficial than the Low Fat diet.
After 6 months – both diets had reached the same total weight loss.
This pretty much shows that, although results start off quicker in a low carbohydrate diet, they even out after six months with the low fat group
However, one of the studies randomly assigned 63 individuals to either a low-fat diet group, or a Low Carb diet group. The low-fat group was calorie restricted. This study went on for 12 months.
Weight loss: Low Carb group lost 7.3 % of total body weight compared to low-fat group, with lost 4.5% of body weight.
There was more weight loss in the Low Carb group, significant at 3 and 6 months, but not 12. The Low-Carb group had greater improvements in blood triglycerides and HDL, but other biomarkers were similar between groups.
This is example just of one study from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022207
But really the significance is not that the diet is comprised more of fats and less of carbs, it’s that the total calories consumed is reduced.
We can speculate over whether one will make you lose 2 or 3 lbs more in the long term, but really it goes back to the basic science that, the size of your calorie deficit is almost exactly correlated to the amount and rate of weight loss.
So, after a thorough review (I’ll reference a bunch of the studies below), this diet summary about Low Carbs or Low Fats and what is better for you is over, and I can conclude that
‘Unless you’re looking at the minute variations, it does not have a very big effect in the long term what your nutrient ratio is like.’
…So long as you follow these principles:
High Protein intake (>1g per kg bodyweight)
Calorie Deficit (ALWAYS above your resting requirements)
Limited consumption of processed food (less than 20% of your diet)
But, ultimately you’ve got to have the diet that you can sustain in the long term (at least a year) and will actually enjoy!
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022637 – Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538279 – Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets
http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(02)40206-5/abstract – Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight