Study Finds Food Quality Matters For Weight Loss, Not Calories

Why You Probably Shouldn't Waste Your Money on DNA-Based Diets

They were also urged to consume healthy low-fat and low-carb diets, as opposed to bacon, which is low in carbs, or soda, which is low in fat.

A new study from Stanford had about 500 people commit to either a low-fat or low-carb diet for a year.

According to the DIETFITS (Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success) trial, weight loss after 12 months was similar between the diet types, with an average weight loss of 11.68 pounds for the healthy low-fat (HLF) diet and 12.23 pounds for the healthy low-carbohydrate group (HLC) (mean between-group difference, 1.54 pounds, 95% CI -0.44 to 3.53 pounds). Several companies now sell DNA tests that claim to identify certain genetic markers that can reveal whether a person is better suited to a low-carb or low-fat diet.

Twelve months later, the low-fat diet group reported intaking 57 grams of grams on average while the low-carb group consumed 132 grams of carbohydrates per day. Those in the low-fat group were told to cut back on fatty meats, whole-fat dairy products, and nuts, for instance; and those in the low carb group were instructed to cut down on rice, cereals, bread and pasta (eg, grain-based foods). "In the context of these two common weight-loss diet approaches, neither of the two hypothesized predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom".

However, the results differed considerably.

The researchers found that the mean 12-month macronutrient distributions were 48 versus 30% for carbohydrates, 29 versus 45% for fat, and 21 versus 23% for protein in the HLF versus HLC diets.

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‘We've all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet which worked great and then another friend tried the same diet and it didn't work at all, ' he said. Ultimately, none of the preliminary metabolic and insulin tests proved that they were good indicators of a proper diet. Low-carbohydrate diets had no significant adverse effect on serum lipid, fasting serum glucose, and fasting serum insulin levels, or blood pressure.There is insufficient evidence to make recommendations for or against the use of low-carbohydrate diets, particularly among participants older than age 50 years, for use longer than 90 days, or for diets of 20 g/d or less of carbohydrates. A new study that could have a major impact on the way food is produced and marketed finds that the quality of the food ingested trumps all else when it comes to controlling weight.

Arguments over whether reducing fat or carbohydrate is more important for weight loss have raged for years.

Study leader Professor Christopher Gardner said fizzy drinks, for example, may be low in fat but they are not healthy.

Gardner and his team are determined to dig deep into the voluminous trove of data gathered from the study looking for some kind of clear signature that runs through all the participants. PPARG is involved with how the body metabolizes fats. Within each diet group, there was an individual who lost as much as 60 lbs.

Lead study author and director of nutrition studies explained, "We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains".

Moe than 600 individuals participated in the study, which was backed with $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and other groups. I feel we owe it to people to be smarter than to just say "eat less".

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