Researchers assigned 148 obese men and women—they averaged about 215 pounds—to either a “low-carb” diet (goal: less than 40 grams of carbs a day) or a “low-fat” diet (goal: less than 30 percent of calories from fat).
After one year, people on the low-carb diet had lost more weight (12 pounds) than those on the low-fat diet (4 pounds). That’s not surprising, given that people in the low-carb group made bigger changes.
They cut carbs from 242 grams a day to 127 grams (and cut fat from 76 grams to 69 grams). The low-fat group cut fat from 35 percent of calories to 30 percent (from 81 grams a day to 52 grams).
What’s more, triglycerides were lower and HDL (“good”) cholesterol was higher in the low-carb group, but there was no difference between groups in waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin, or LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
What to do: If you want to lose weight, try cutting carbs. But don’t load up on fat (or anything else). Odds are, people who cut carbs also cut fat (and calories) because many carbs—like pizza, french fries, burritos, pad thai, sandwiches, lasagna, cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, chips, popcorn, pastries, and chocolate—are also high in fat.
Source: Ann. Intern. Med. 2014. doi:10.7326/M14-0180.
Other relevant links:
- Cut calories not wheat to lose weight. See: Does Eating Wheat Pack on the Pounds?
- Gluten-free foods can be just as bad as their regular counterparts. See: Eating Gluten Free Isn’t Always Healthy
- The myths behind gluten-free diets. See: Gluten-Free Diets and Weight Loss