A short-term low-carb diet is slightly more effective at causing weight loss than a low-fat diet, says a new study from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and roughly 45 million Americans diet each year.
For the purposes of the study, low-carb diets were defined as those containing anywhere from 4% to 46% of daily calories from carbohydrate. To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of these diets for weight loss, heart health, and metabolic health compared to low-fat diets, researchers looked at data from 41 trials and reviews from January 2005 through April 2016 on diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and Paleo. They found that, after six months, people on low-carb diets lost between two-and-a-half and nearly nine pounds more than those on low-fat diets. During this period, the low-carb diets also did not appear to have negative effects on blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
According to Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO, who was not involved in the study, “As an osteopathic physician, I tell patients there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health. When you think of what dieters want — and what they need to stay motivated — it is the satisfaction of results. They want to see significant weight loss, and fast. For many, a low-carb lifestyle provides the answer they are looking for.” For people trying to lower insulin resistance or blood sugar levels, she adds that low-carb diets can provide early results.
The researchers note that, above all, those trying to lose weight should “eat real food and avoid highly processed foods, especially processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and ham, when following any particular diet.”
For more information, see the American Osteopathic Assocation press release “Low-Carb Diets Safe in Short Term, More Effective for Weight Loss Than Low-Fat Diets” or the study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. And for more information about low-carb diets and diabetes, read “Low-Carb Diabetes: What You Need to Know,” by nurse David Spero.
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