With the turn of the new year, millions of Americans will be eager to try to shed those excess pounds. Within a few months, we’ll see the explosion of discounter-gym commercials, radio ads about dedication, and daily articles about weight loss on Facebook.
But what type of diet has shown the most success?
Over the years, there has been a war between two major diets: low-fat and low-carb. Well, researchers set out to answer the question of diet effectiveness, between low-fat diets and low-carb diets.
Food is the source of calorie and energy for all your body activities. Carbohydrates (also known as carbs) are the primary source of the body’s fuel along with fats and protein (macronutrients). There are healthy carbohydrates like milk, bread, fruits … and unhealthy carbs like soda, popcorn, cookies … There are three types of Carbohydrates: Sugar, Starch, and Fiber. The body turns any bad or good carbohydrates (sugars and starches) into sugar.
Simple carbohydrates (like candy, honey, fruits, …) provide a quick boost of energy. Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates (beans, potato, rice) provide energy over a longer period and are harder to digest. The “Standard American Diet” (S.A.D.) recommends 65% of your diet consists of carbs and 35% consist of fat.
When you eat simple carbs like fruits, you eat a lot of it because it does not fill you up. The carbs turn into sugar which flows into your bloodstream. The pancreas produces a hormone called Insulin, which signals the cell that energy is up for grabs. Insulin also takes the extra energy from the carbs and turns it into fat. That is why soda and a double cheese hamburger both are bad for your waistline and your heart.
If you follow a low-carb, high-fat diet especially, the wrong kind of carbs can backfire on you. Remember not all carbs the same!
Popular Diets Tested:
- Low-Carb Diet – Dr. Rober Atkins
- Low-Fat Diet – Dr. Dean Ornish
- High-Fat Diet- Mediterranean Diets
After analyzing 53 studies of various diets from low-carb to low-fat, there were no final winners. None. No diet proved to be effective over another diet.
Overall, the diets reflected no differences between the low-fat and high-fat diets. The only difference is that low-fat diets showed about 2.5 pounds more weight loss after a year. But researchers say this is so small as to statistically insignificant.
“We thought (comparing) low vs. high-fat diets would help us identify the optimal diet, but it’s clear that just focusing on how much fat is in your diet is not what is going to help address the obesity epidemic,” said Dr. Deirdre Tobias, epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Researchers are surprised that of all the various diets analyzed, none showed significant promise. However, despite the lack of weight loss, it’s still recommended to limit saturated fat to 10% of daily intake.
“The main conclusion (of this study) is not that low-fat diets are pretty bad compared to other diets, but that they’re all bad,” said Kevin D. Hall, the senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Average Weight Loss After One Year: 8.5 Pounds
Another finding is that maintaining a dedication to the diet is especially difficult. The easy to follow low-carb diets easy to follow may be beneficial in the short run, but after enough time, most participants will fall off the wagon.
Solution to Obesity
Avoid and Substitute These Four Common Foods:
– Avoid high sugar food and reduce your sugar intake.
– Avoid eating bread and replace it with whole-grain bread.
– Avoid margarine and stick to butter, especially grass-fed butter.
– Avoid potato chips and eat real potatoes instead.[/blue_box]
Significant, sustained weight loss is possible with bariatric surgery. With bariatric surgery, patients are given a major advantage of restriction or malabsorption. Studies of bariatric surgery efficacy show that bariatric surgery can help reduce excess weight by 60 to 70% – within a year. Bariatric surgery is a permanent, long-term solution to obesity as it lowers your body set-point and brain thermostat by changing the neurohormonal system.
Reference – CNN Report