Low Carb Versus Low Fat

Low Carb Versus  Low Fat

Many people who want to lose weight try “fad”
diets that involve drastically reducing consumption of one food type (macronutrient) and replacing
it with another. In the 1960s, low-fat diets, as initially recommended by the American Heart
Association,[1] became popular, a trend encouraged by the sugar industry.[2] Low-fat diets are
still popular, despite evidence from randomized trials indicating that low-fat diets are no
more successful than other diets.[3,4] The low-fat diet is also associated with high
carbohydrate consumption, which has been linked with increased mortality risk.[5] More recently,
low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets, such as the Atkins diet, have also been widely
adopted, having shown short- and long-term benefits in weight loss in clinical trials,
although they were also associated with increases in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.[6]
However, whichever macronutrient patients decide to focus on, adherence to any of these
diets is poor. “I’m awfully suspicious of the whole paradigm
of these different diets,” Dr Lin says. “A [traditional] Mediterranean diet or the DASH
(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet are the ones that I usually talk about
with patients. It’s pointless to focus on how much fat is in a food, especially when
it is labeled as ‘low-fat’ and there is no particular reason for fat to be in it in the
first place.” Dr Lin notes that dietary guidelines now concentrate on restricting intake of saturated
and trans fats rather than all fats.[7] The Mediterranean diet is more likely to contain
poly- and monounsaturated fats, the so-called “good” fats, he points out. Verdict: A balanced diet is preferable to
any macronutrient-focused diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *