A study comparing the benefits of low-carb and low-fat diets has declared a winner, and the reason why might surprise you.
Doctors have long argued over which dietary component is more responsible for uncontrolled weight gain: fats or carbohydrates? According to the BBC, recent research shows that people who cut down their fat intake lost the most weight compared to folks who only reduced carbohydrate intake.
Both diets were analyzed by the National Institutes of Health, who stressed that the best diet overall is whichever one people can follow on a regular basis.
Still, the science behind why cutting fat over carbs is better for you is fascinating. Fewer carbohydrates lead to lower insulin levels, which in turn releases fat from the body’s reserves.
“All of those things do happen with carb reduction and you do lose body fat, but not as much as when you cut out the fat,” said lead researcher Dr. Kevin Hall of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the US.
19 obese people in the study were given 2,700 calories each day. Over a period of two weeks, they tried diets that lowered their calorie intake by 33 percent, either by reducing intake of carbohydrates or fats.
Researchers analyzed the chemical makeup of the participants’ breath and urine to figure out exactly which chemical processes were occurring inside the body.
The results, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, reveal that lowering fat intake resulted in 80 percent more weight loss than a diet that just dropped the carbs. The study all but refutes claims that low-carb diets are the way to lose weight, but the researchers reminded readers that the best way to lose weight is to stick with a diet plan that works for you.