Low-fat, no-fat, green vegetables only, just eat ice cream, Jenny Craig, the 7 day juice fast, “I lost 75 pounds on NutriSystem!” Want to eat nothing but convenience store goodies like Twinkies and Oreos for two months? There’s a diet for that. Limit caloric intake while burning enough to lose the pounds on a fried donut binge and the recipe for the next fad diet could be born. Oh, wait… The number of options can be overwhelming and leave dieters scratching their head, pondering, “What is the best way?”
In a recent study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found a low-carb, fat filled diet increased individual’s weight loss by an average of 7.7 pounds and 1.5 percent body fat than their fellow low-fat dieters. The outcome has led head author of the study Dr. Lydia A. Bazzano of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to advocate a low-carb lifestyle for individuals looking to shed pounds.
The year-long trial started with 148 overweight men and women, ages ranging from 22 to 75, without major weight related problems like diabetes and clinical cardiovascular disease. Selected at random, the low-carb participants were given an allotment of 40 grams of digestible carbohydrates (total carbs minus total fiber) a day. Those selected for the low-fat program were allowed to consume at most 55 percent of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates and no more than 30 percent of their intake was to be from fat.
Along with losing more weight and total body fat, the low-carb participants also had increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, aka, “good cholesterol,” and a decrease in a type of fat found in blood called triglycerides. Low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” blood pressure and the total cholesterol remained constant for each group, debunking former theories that a low-carb diet would cause these levels to increase.
“It’s been thought that your saturated fat is, of course, going to increase, and then your cholesterol is going to go up,” Bazzano says in an article with The New York Times. “And then bad things will happen in general.”
To top it off, the low-carb dieters also saw a decrease in their Framingham risk scores, which is a calculated measurement of an individual’s susceptibility of suffering from a heart attack within the next 10 years of their life, while low fat participants scores remained unchanged.
Looking to improve your own nutrition plan with a flair of flavor? Check out this beef tenderloin steak with a blue cheese and yogurt sauce topping or be inspired by this artichoke and feta stuffed pork tenderloin.