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Low carb vs. Low Fat diets

 

The scientific and medical community continues to ask the question, what is healthier? Low carb or low fat diets?  Although there has been more movement towards the low-carb diets in the last couple of years, the real evidence is still very slim towards either methods.

 

In particular:

  • In one trial, after 12 months, the low carb group reduced their weight by an average of 4.4% (for a 60kg person, 2.6kg) compared with 2.5% on the low fat diet (for a 60kg person, 1.5kg), a very small difference over a long period of time.
  • With either diet, most people put the weight back on after 12 months.
  • Although this is rare, a small number of people on a low-carb diet will have a large increase in their bad cholesterol blood markers (LDL). This is a hyper-responsive effect. This tends to occur in more muscular males, but is inconsistent.  However, other blood markers such as triglycerides don’t get worse and the overall heart health risk improves. So, deciding what this means and if is it a real risk is still being analysed.

 

Although the world has moved more towards lower carb diets, the evidence is still very inconclusive and inconsistent.  In general, the principles of:

  • Good quality, low fat (<10%) protein during meals.
  • Slow acting carbohydrates such as green leafy vegetables.
  • Fast acting carbohydrates at the right time, after a workout to help build and maintain muscles.

Are still great foundations in constructing your daily meals for the best of health.

 

Wilson, C (2021) Breaking with Bread.  New Scientist, 9th January 2021, No. 3316.  P32-37

 

 

 

 

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