According to a recent review paper, low-fat diets are not more beneficial than low-carb diets. Scientist sifted through more than 50 scientific studies on weight loss and diets and found that there is no hard evidence to back the commonly held belief that low-fat regimes can shed the extra pounds quicker than other weight loss strategies.
Deirdre Tobias, lead author of the research and researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts, explained that the reviewed studies contained data on about 70,000 adults, but there was no ‘good evidence’ of low-fat diets’ effectiveness on the long run.
Researchers also learned that low-carb diets may be more effective than low-fat diets. Study participants that were on a low-fat eating plan shed only 13 ounces, while those on low-carb diets lost 2.5 pounds on average.
For years, researchers looked for the perfect weight loss plan. Many of them thought that low-fat diets are more effective because every ounce of fat is the equivalent of double the amount of calories an ounce of carbohydrates or protein generates. But studies often yielded contradictory results.
In September, a small study found that low-fat diets helped obese patients lose weight faster than low-carb diets. But the recent review paper, which analyzed data gathered in 53 studies, reached the opposite conclusion.
Tobias explained that most people now think that by simply cutting fat from diet they will ‘naturally’ shed the extra pounds, but there is ‘robust evidence’ that such idea doesn’t hold water.
Tobias believes that more studies need to be carried out before one could say that removing fat from diet may have a beneficial effect. More research is also needed to find better strategies when it comes to long-term weight loss and weight control.
But the study also revealed that current strategies employed in the battle against obesity showed very poor results regardless of diets employed. Kevin Hall, a researcher not involved in the study who commented on the findings said that results of both low-crab and low-fat diets were ‘abysmal’ on the long term.
Tom Sanders, a researcher at King’s College London, thinks that the best diet one could embrace is to eat less and exercise more. He explained that the recent meta-analysis clearly shows that energy intake is crucial when we try to shed those extra pounds, not carbohydrates or fats in our diets.
The review paper was recently published in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
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