New diet study: fat versus carbs
Have you ever thought about cutting fat or carbs from your diet in order to lose weight? A joint study by Stanford University, the National Institute of Health, the Nutrition Science Initiative and a team of nutrition experts looked at diets low in carbohydrates and fat.
The framework of the study
The study, whose results were published in 2018, overcame the most important weaknesses of similar studies in the past. In fact, more than 600 participants were observed for a period of 12 months and their diets were followed carefully to ensure the accuracy of the results.
The participants were divided into two groups. One group had to reduce carbohydrate intake for 12 months and the other had to reduce fat intake. In the 12 months of the study, all participants followed training session with nutritionists to ensure the quality of their diet.
The nutritionists gave no calorie goal to the participants. However, they told participants to:
– Maximize their vegetable intake.
– Minimize their intake of added sugar, refined flour and trans fat.
– Emphasize foods that are minimally processed, nutrient-rich and home-made.
Nutritionists asked participants to focus on their satiety signals and to stop eating when they were full. If participants stopped eating while they were still hungry, the results and eating habits would be unsustainable in the long run.
To practice mindful eating, participants were encouraged not to eat in a car or in front of a screen and to eat with family or friends.
The results of the study demonstrated a similar weight loss between the low carbohydrate diet and the low fat diet. With similar dietary intakes with the exception of the carbohydrate-fat ratio, this study shows that one should not spend too much time and energy on cutting one nutrient or the other. According to the study, participants who were the most successful at losing weight and maintaining it were those who changed their relationship with food.
All good diets are subject to basic rules: more whole foods, more vegetables, less added sugar and less refined grains. These key elements in the diet are more important than carbohydrate or fat intake. For a sustainable weight loss, it is important to learn to listen to your body and develop a healthy relationship with food.
Gardner, Christopher D. “Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss in Overweight Adults.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 20 Feb. 2018.
Hull, Michael. “Low-Fat vs Low-Carb, Major Study Concludes: It Doesn’t Matter for Weight Loss.” Examine, Examine, 21 Feb. 2018.