Beating the Bulge: Low Carb vs. Low Fat

When it comes to weight loss, you may have noticed that certain fat loss programs include meal plans that are low in carbohydrates such as the Atkins Diet; or the classic low fat diet supported by many nutritionists and diet experts. Both camps have claims of nutritional benefits and efficiency in terms of fat loss. In this light, we have created a section in delineating the benefits of each type of nutrition plan, as well as judging the better option for a dieter.

Low-Fat Diets

Since time immemorial, low fat diets have always been insanely high in popularity primarily because of its contribution towards cardiovascular health while at the same time causing a person to lose weight. Countless health professionals, trainers, diet experts, and even the American Heart Association advocate a low fat diet due to its role in lowering the levels of bad LDL cholesterol which is associated with an increased risk for obesity and heart diseases. Moreover, compared to other protein and carbohydrates, fats contain a higher amount of calories with about 9 calories per gram. Logically speaking, a low-fat diet therefore, is greatly beneficial for one’s health and nutrition.

Low-Carb Diets

On the other hand, low-carb dieting also presents a number of potential benefits. A low-carbohydrate diet is based on the principle that a meal low in carbohydrates causes insulin levels to decline. When a person eats carbohydrates, the digested product is glucose which is essential for energy consumption by the cells. If a person decreases carbohydrate intake, glucose levels also falls forcing the body to utilize other energy sources such as fat and protein from the muscles.

The Verdict

To bring light between the rivalries of these two diets, let us discuss the findings from a major study published in the August 3, 2010 edition of the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine. The study involved 307 participants who were divided to consume low-fat and low-carb meals combined with exercise and behavioural treatment.

In a period of two years, the results of the participants in both diets were similar. During the first year, the average weight loss was 11% of their weight, while on the second year was 7%. However, those on the low-carb diet had greatly reduced their blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels compared to those who did the low-fat diet. Furthermore, low-carb dieters have also markedly improved their good HDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, as a conclusion, both diet plans have are a tie when it comes to weight loss over a long-term period. But the low-carb diet has garnered favourable outcomes in terms of decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular problems.

In the end, weight loss is not a matter of a low-carb or low-fat diet. Because the ultimate challenge for a dieter is to how sustain a diet and favourable lifestyle for a long time.