Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate.........I honestly love it when a study like this is released!
This study is particularly interesting due to its large group of participants, a staggering 12 month duration and the careful dietary monitoring. Also, it was partially funded by NuSI, an organisation co-founded by low-carb advocates.
They randomly assigned 609 participants to either a healthy low-fat diet or a healthy low-carb diet for 12 months. During those 12 months, everyone was instructed to attend 22 dietary counselling sessions with a dietitian. While no calories targets were given, both groups were instructed to consume high-quality whole foods and drinks. They were told to maximise intake of vegetables and minimise intake of added sugars, refined flours and and trans fats, also to focus on whole foods that were minimally processed, nutrient dense, and prepared at home when possible.
The researchers looked to see if genotype or insulin production could predict weight loss on either a low-fat or a low-carb diet. Other health outcomes measured were weight change, body fat (DXA), cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting glucose.
Main findings were...
- No significant weight-loss differences were observed between the low-fat and low-carb groups!
- Neither genetics nor insulin production could predict weight-loss success on either diet!
- There were also no significant differences between groups for most other health markers tested!
The DIETFITS study replicates the results of numerous other studies, showing that when calorie intake and protein intake are consistent the amount of carbs or fat doesn't matter too much.
There will always be diet trends, people will always say "I have the diet for you!!" but.......in the end......it comes down to having a diet that you can stick with! Also, one that is abundant with whole and nutrient dense foods whilst rich in protein.
The DIETFITS Randomised Clinical Trial