Low carb or low fat – it is the seemingly eternal question that seems to be bouncing around the nutrition community. It seems as though each couple of months a new version of one or other of these diets starts to surface online and we see beautiful recipes and interesting snack ideas that could make us want to give it a go. However, we do not appear to have a definitive answer about which one is best when it comes down to losing weight and then keeping the weight off. Here is our investigation into which diet is best:
The Argument For Low Carb
The main argument for a diet low in carbohydrates works on the principle that our body breaks down refined carbohydrates very quickly and converts them into sugar, leaving you with mood swings, energy spikes and lulls, and a feeling of hunger soon after eating. By lowing your carbohydrate intake, you will begin to burn the fat stored in your body for energy instead, allowing you to lose weight quickly. One study suggests that people who follow low-carb diets tend to burn more calories during the day than those on higher-carb diets, but results were inconclusive as to the weight loss differences.
The Argument For Low Fat
This side of the argument says that fatty foods like butter and meat should be avoided in order to lose weight because, for one thing, fat has more calories than carbohydrates and protein. Fats help us to absorb certain nutrients and do help with the feeling of fullness, but they are also associated with increased cholesterol and weight gain. By eating a low-fat diet, you will be using your daily calorie intake for more nutritious foods that are more filling but less calorie-dense, thereby allowing you to lose weight much more easily.
It probably does not matter. In a recent study at the Stanford University School of Medicine, over 600 people were studied for a year in two groups; one who ate a low carb diet and the other a low-fat diet. After the full year, those in the low-fat group had lost an average of 5.3kg, while the low carb group had lost an average of 6kg. As you can see, there is not much difference at all between the groups. However, both groups managed to improve in other health areas such as body fat percentage, blood pressure, waist circumference, and BMI – which shows that both diets worked in some capacity, though this may be because both groups were asked to reduce their intake of processed foods and added sugar. A diet that is balanced is the most crucial thing when it comes to weight loss, and all of our bodies react in a different way to different diets and foods. Therefore, the conclusion is that you should probably try whichever one you think you will enjoy the most, and the one that you think you will be able to stick to the most.
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