There is not much difference between low-fat and low-carb diets when it comes to losing weight, a new research states, effectively putting an end to the debate on which of the two is the more efficient at shedding pounds.
The study tracked around 600 adults who had been between 15 and 100 pounds overweight. The participants went on either a low-fat or a low-carb supervised diet for a year, UPI reports. The group was composed of people between the ages of 18 and 50, and around six out of 10 were women.
Christopher Gardner, study author and a professor of medicine with the Stanford Prevention Research Center’s department of medicine at Stanford University Medical School, said,
In short, we hypothesized that we would be able to use information from previous studies of the past decade to come up with factors that we could test that would help determine which diet is better for whom.
Both diets induced the same amount of weight loss, Gardner said, in addition, the researchers did not gain any new insights as to why some of the participants lost more weight compared to others, regardless of the diet method they used.
“The data and results we generated will not help clinicians guide patients, or [help] people to pick for themselves, one of these diet approaches over the other,” Gardner said.
The study participants were not told to count calories or anything, but had to limit either their fat or carbohydrate intake. They were also told to keep from consuming processed junk-foods or similar products with labels like “low-fat” or “low-carb.” Instead, they were advised to cook at home, snack less, eat with friends and family, avoid dining in front of the television, restrict their intake of sugar or refined grains, eat plenty of vegetables and choose whole foods when possible.
At the end of the study period, the researchers found varying results. Some of the participants lost as much as 60 pounds, while others even gained weight.
But the reason behind these discrepancies could not be pinpointed. On average, weight loss was 13 pounds by the end of one year for low-carb dieters, while it was an average of 12 pounds for those who did low-fat diets.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.