Low Carb Diet Vs Low Fat Diet, Which is better for weight loss?

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Low carb diets, made famous by Robert Aktins have frequently been reported by the media as faddish, dangerous and have even been said to have been the cause of Dr Aktin’s death.

When it comes to weight loss it seems that there are two camps. On one side shouts “a low fat diet is the only way to lose weight”, and on the other “high carbohydrates are the cause of all evil”. Surely they can’t both be right can they? Perhaps they can.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010 looked at two groups of dieters to see if there was a difference in weight loss between a low fat diet and a low carb diet.

In both groups were overweight men and women who averaged out to over 230lbs or 105kg in weight. They were randomly assigned to either a low carb diet or a low fat diet.

Those in the low fat diet not only had a low fat diet (duh) but also were on calorie restrictions of 1200-1500 calories if female and 1500-1800 if male. In their diet they have approximately 55% of the energy came from carbs.

Those in the low carb diet where initially limited to 20g (2/3 oz) of carbs and they were allowed as many calories as they wished from protein and fat. The number of carbs were slowly raised after the first 12 weeks.

After one year both groups had lost about 24lbs or just over 10kg.

The researches came to the conclusion that both the low fat diet and low carb diet where pretty much the same when it came to weight loss. There was however an interesting finding when it came to other measures of health.

Those who were on the low carb diet were shown to have a quicker reduction in blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL (Low density lipids, the fats in the blood associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke). They also had an increase in HDL, high density lipids that have been shown to protect the heart. Finally those on the low carb diet were also shown to have a lower total cholesterol level then those on the low fat diet.

So what does that mean if you are wanting to lose weight?

Well to put it in a nut shell, both a low fat diet and low carb diet are good to help you lose weight. Low carb diets are now demonstrated to have the edge tho as they also improve many of the measures of health that are associated with heart attacks and strokes.

As part of my own weight loss program I have chosen to go for the low carb choice. I have found it to be much easier then I imagined and now I am reassured to know that apart from the weight loss I am also getting the benefits of protecting my heart. Great news for anyone who is considering going onto a diet to help lose weight don’t you think?

Dr George

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerome January 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Hey Dr George,
any suggestions for books or websites that have low carb diets?


Dr George January 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

Hey there Jerome,
I’m going to be putting up a page on that very topic over the next few days.
I’ll let ya know once it’s up mate :)

Dr George


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