The diet debate continues!!!
There have been a couple of diet studies in the news this past week that need to be mentioned. The first one compared a low fat diet with a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors. (Effects of Low Carbohydrate and Low-fat Diets: A Randomized Trial, Annals of Internal Medicine 2014; 161(5): 309-318). You can read the major findings of this study HERE.
I have read this study and found that the low carbohydrate group’s mean caloric intake was less than the low-fat group at each assessment period, (3, 6, and 12 months) indicating that they ate less food than the low-fat group. This may have accounted for the differences in the effects on cardiovascular risk factors. Nevertheless, the risk factor data is somewhat impressive. Often we dwell only on diets and weight loss and not on the fact that some diets may be healthier overall than others. In this study, many of these parameters were positively affected more by the low carbohydrate diet than the low fat diet, primarily HDL-C, the so–called good cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels. LDL-C, the so-called bad cholesterol was not affected by either diet.
Another study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, entitled: Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Meta Analysis. JAMA 2014; 312(9):923-933. You can find the main findings HERE.
The conclusions were: Significant weight loss was observed with any low carbohydrate or low-fat diet. The median weight loss; at 12 months, it was just over seven kilograms for both types of diets. Their results support the idea of recommending any diet that a patient will stick with in order to lose weight.
In other words, the diet chosen has to be one that is not so restrictive as to allow the follower to “go off the diet” and experience another weight loss failure. Every diet should be one that a person can live with for an extended period of time. One obesity expert, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff says he doesn’t believe in weight loss by suffering and it is not sustainable over the long term.