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Low-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Study Shows They Work About the Same

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A study of low-fat and low-carb diets showed neither is significantly more successful than the other. (Azurita/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018 04:48 PM

A low-fat vs. low-carb diet study conducted on 600 overweight people to compare the two very different weight loss methods found that neither one worked significantly better in helping participants lose weight overall, even when genetic factors were considered. 

The yearlong study by the Stanford Prevention Research Center included participants between 18 and 50 years old who were overweight or obese but otherwise healthy, Time Magazine reported. Participants were split randomly into two groups, one of which was told to decrease their carbohydrate intake and the other to cut back on fat consumption.

Both groups were given the same nutrition classes and were told to minimize sugars, refined flours, and trans fats while eating large amounts of vegetables and other foods high in nutrients, Time reported. Calories were not explicitly restricted, but all participants were encouraged to cook at home, eat structured meals with family members, and adopt other healthy eating habits. 

Although results varied greatly among the participants — one lost 60 pounds while another gained 20 — and 200 participants dropped out before the end of the study, the results at the end were similar. The low-fat group lost on average 11 pounds across the group, while the low-carb group averaged 13 pounds of weight loss per person, a statistically insignificant difference, Time reported. 

Additionally, genetic testing was inconclusive in predicting weight loss, Business Insider reported. Some whose genetic markers indicated a low-carb diet would work better for them did not lose significantly more or less weight on either kind of diet, and the same was true for low-fat dieters.

Study authors did find one common denominator in the weight loss experienced by the dieters, based on their record-keeping of what they ate: Dieters who lost weight universally ate fewer calories on the diet than they had before, Time reported. 

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A low-fat vs. low-carb diet study found that neither method worked significantly better than the other in helping participants lose weight overall.
low-fat, low-carb, diet, study
Tuesday, 20 Feb 2018 04:48 PM
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