Low-Fat Diet, Low-Carb Diet -- or 'Low Both'?

Low-Fat Diet, Low-Carb Diet -- or 'Low Both'?

Low-carb diets are often thought of as fad diets that might yield a rapid initial weight loss, but aren't sustainable or necessarily healthy. But when there's academic research behind the approach, it's worth taking a second look.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

A study from Tulane University made headlines for showing that a low-carbohydrate diet (think Atkins and South Beach, to name a few) is more effective at losing weight and lowering heart disease risk than a low-fat diet.

Here are the details.

Study participants were divided into two groups. One group followed a diet with less than 40 grams of carbohydrates a day while the other went on a diet with less than 30 percent of daily calories coming from fat. After one year, the low-carb group had lost an average of nearly 8 pounds more than the low-fat group and saw a boost in their good cholesterol levels.

If you want to try this approach, a carb counter will help you make appropriate choices. In general, your allowable carbs will come from non-starchy vegetables that have very few digestible or "net carbs." That's the number of carbs once the fiber is backed out.

When it comes to fruit, berries are among those with the highest nutrients among low-carb choices.

Grains are almost all carbohydrate, even the better-for-you whole grains. These are still the best choices in the category, however. White flour- and sugar-based foods not only have the most carbs, but also the least nutritious ones. (Cutting out those foods alone could result in some weight loss.)

Fat sources count, too. While the low-carb dieters got 41 percent of their calories from fat, these were most healthy fats from plants like olive or canola oil, rather than butter or other saturated fats.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

Just remember that you'll still need to count all your calories to stay within guidelines for weight loss.

More information

The Harvard School of Public Health has more on results of studies on low-carb diets and how they could affect health.


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

Understanding the Anxious Self: An Original Series on Anxiety Disorder
Understanding the Anxious Self: An Original Series on Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder affects 40 million adults in the U.S., making it the most commo...

Read more
New Series: Understanding the Anxious Self
New Series: Understanding the Anxious Self

Access all 7 episodes of our first video series instantly on Oct 15....

Read more
Dr. Ramani on Why Talk Therapy Is so Important
Dr. Ramani on Why Talk Therapy Is so Important

Have you tried talk therapy? A lot of people think talk therapy is a waste of ti...

Read more
Road Rage: The Psychology Behind It & How to Prevent It
Road Rage: The Psychology Behind It & How to Prevent It

Road rage: it’s a feeling we all know too well. But does it have more serious me...

Read more
How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Look in Men vs. Women?
How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Look in Men vs. Women?

She's booked out three months in advance, but we got a rare chance to sit down w...

Read more
Researchers Want Doctors To Be Able To Prescribe Magic Mushrooms For Depression
Researchers Want Doctors To Be Able To Prescribe Magic Mushrooms For Depression

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University think it’s time to change the drug class...

Read more