Which is Better Diet Low Fat or Low Carbs

Overview

A popular diet question in recent years has been, Which is better diet low fat or low carbs? It’s a question even the experts argue, and after years of scientific studies, they claim both aid in weight loss, improved health and reduction in insulin issues. Both have their drawbacks as well. 

The Low-Fat Diet

The low-fat diet focuses on removing as many high-fat foods from your diet as possible. It is a diet high in protein and allows acceptable amounts of good carbohydrate foods such as high-fiber, whole-grain products. This allows the dieter to feel more satiated than with a low-carb diet while also supplying important vitamins and minerals missing from a low-carb diet. The low-fat diet also lowers cholesterol, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

The Low-Carb Diet

There are many popular low-carb diets, such as Atkins and South Beach. These diets focus on the consumption of a high amount of protein and fats and have been found to promote rapid weight loss in dieters.

Recent studies have shown that a low-carb diet is more successful at improving metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high blood pressure, low “good” cholesterol levels, obesity, high glucose and high insulin levels. When metabolic syndrome is present, it suggests diabetes, stroke and heart disease. By following a low-carb diet, the risk of metabolic syndrome can be reduced.

Conclusion

While both diets lead to weight loss, health experts suggest the best method for a healthier lifestyle is to decrease calories and increase activity. When lowering either carbohydrates or fats from the diet, you are in essence lowering the amount of calories you consume.

If you want to lose weight quickly, the low-carb diet tends to show faster results than the low-fat diet. It is also not recommended however for an individual to follow a low-carb diet long-term, especially if you are at high risk for heart disease. Instead, experts suggest that simply lowering calories, using fats sparingly and limiting sugar and simple carbohydrates combined with a regular exercise program is the healthiest, most sustainable, long-term diet plan.

References

Harvard Medical School, Low carb or Low fat diet? The Harvard Health Letter investigates the debate, July 2004

Science Daily, Low-Carb Diet Better Than Low-Fat Diet At Improving Metabolic Syndrome, November 2005

CNN Health, Low fat? Low carbs? Answering best diet question, February 2009


Beau Giannini
Beau Giannini

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