Low Carb vs. Low Fat – Not Just Calorie Count


Not all calories have an immediate effect on our weight

Diets are like seaside sand and new ones are added every week. Who should follow? In a recent large-scale nutritional study, several diets have been observed over a long period of time to identify which diet is ahead in weight loss. It also happens that losing weight is not just about calories. Although all participants received the same number of calories over the course of 20 weeks, one particular group decreased more.

An American research team at Boston Children's Hospital and Framingham State University observed and controlled overweight individuals over a 20-week period while following the prescribed diet plans. During this time, body weight, insulin levels, metabolic hormones and calories burned were measured at regular intervals. It has shown that weight loss is more important than just the number of calories. The results of the study were recently published in the journal "The BMJ".

Which diet is best for losing weight? American researchers have discovered that not only the number but also the type of calories consumed decides. (Photo: exclusive-design / fotolia.com)

Obesity and obesity – a growing health problem

Overweight and obesity are a growing health problem, not only in America, but also in Germany. Obesity promotes numerous heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes and depression (see: Obesity can cause depression). Doctors and scientists are desperately searching for effective methods to counteract this. Diets are good measures to lose weight, but for many the success is short-lived. A few months later, the weight returned, sometimes even more than before.

Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss?

Which diet is most effective for lasting weight loss? This question was answered by the American research team. The researchers compared three diets to a group of obese over a 20-week period. Nutrition has been completely provided by the university to ensure that all participants receive the same number of calories.

Three Diets – Same Calorie Count, Different Weight Loss

Participants were divided into three groups. One group received a diet consisting of 20% carbohydrates, 40% carbohydrates in the second group and 60% carbohydrates in the third group. Although the calorie count was exactly the same in all three groups, participants in the low carbohydrate group had the largest reduction and sustained weight loss for longer.

Calories are not equal to calories

Researchers have concluded that carbohydrate calories lead to faster fat storage. "Carbohydrates increased insulin levels during the diet and led fat cells to store more calories," says the research director. med. David Ludwig in a press release on the results of the study. Increased storage would be available for the rest of the body less calories. The result: metabolism decreases and hunger increases, so does the nutrition expert. Out of this condition, a rapid weight gain can arise.

The weight loss in the low-carb group was significantly higher

As the researchers documented, the total energy expenditure in the low carbohydrate diet group was higher at 20 weeks. With the same average body weight and caloric intake, participants who followed a low-carbohydrate diet burned about 250 kcal per day more than those with higher carbohydrate intake. People who already had high levels of insulin at the start of the study were even more drastic. Here, the low-carb group burned an incredible 400 more calories a day.

The carbohydrate insulin model

The study provides evidence that the so-called carbohydrate-insulin model is suitable for the treatment of obesity. Researchers were able to show that carbohydrate intake leads to greater insulin release. This promotes accumulation of stored fat, slows metabolism, inhibits satiety, and promotes hunger. "Our observations challenge the belief that all calories are the same for the body," summarizes the second study director, Cara Ebbeling. (Vb)


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