Medical

Best Diet for Weight Loss: Low Carb vs Low Fat

Best Diet for Weight Loss: Low Carb vs Low Fat

A precision nutrition approach to weight loss didn't hold up in a study testing low fat versus low carb depending on dieters' DNA profiles.

Scientists have wondered whether some diets fit a person's biology better than others and this is an area which will continue to be studied. Contrary to what they suspected, there were no associations between the genotype pattern or insulin levels and weight loss.

"We've all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet - it worked great - and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn't work at all", said Christopher Gardner, Professor of medicine at Stanford University in California.

"It's because we're all different, and we're just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity".

"I would bet that if they had implemented their intervention in a way that got the participants actually adhering to the diet recommendations, they would have shown what past studies show, which is that there are individual differences in response to different diets", Roberts, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email.

About half were men and half were women. Researchers aren't sure why people react so differently, just that low-carb vs. low-fat doesn't explain it.

"Also, we advised them to diet in a way that didn't make them feel hungry or deprived - otherwise it's hard to maintain the diet in the long run".

Don't waste money on a diet plan that claims to match meals to your DNA - it won't make a difference, a new study has found.

Gardner emphasizes that it's all about healthy low-fat and low-carb diets.

Study authors did find one common denominator in the weight loss experienced by the dieters, based on their record-keeping of what they ate: Dieters who lost weight universally ate fewer calories on the diet than they had before, Time reported. However, some dropped as much as 60 pounds (27kg), while others, on the opposite end of the spectrum, gained 15 or 20. He's also keen for people to eat more "whole foods" too, whether that's a wheat berry salad or grass-fed beef. "There are short-term studies that show diets that contain more protein and [healthy] fats are satiating", she says, so people are more likely to stay with them.

Moe than 600 individuals participated in the study, which was backed with $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and other groups.

Gardner and his team of researchers assessed 609 overweight adults with ages ranging from 18 to 50 years old over the course of 12 months. In the healthy low-carbohydrate diet group, 37.5% had the low-fat genotype and 31.9% had the low-carbohydrate genotype. Studies on various versions of ADRB2 suggest it can affect weight loss because of its role in burning fat. "But let's cut to the chase: We didn't replicate [our previous] study, we didn't even come close".

But contrary to expectations, individuals randomized to a diet favored by their genotype did not lose more weight than those assigned to the mismatched diet. Craig Pickering of DNAFit said that genes besides the three in the Stanford study can contribute to weight loss as well as fat loss and gain, as a small 2007 study found, and that it is "putting the finishing touches" on a study showing that "subjects on a genetically matched diet lost more weight" than did those on a one-size-fits-all low-carb diet.


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