For those trying to lose weight, there is a lot of confusion about what type of diet is best. While the trend right now is to eat a low carbohydrate diet, a new study shows a low fat, high-carbohydrate diet is also effective at weight loss -- even when the amount of food is not restricted.
For the research, investigators examined the effect of a 12-week low fat, high-carb diet alone and in combination with exercise. They looked at body weight and composition in 34 participants ages 55 to 80 with impaired glucose tolerance. The individuals were randomly assigned to a low fat, high-carb diet with exercise, the same diet without exercise or a control diet. The control diet consisted of 41 percent fat, 14 percent protein, 45 percent carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. The low fat, high-carb diet consisted of 18 percent fat, 19 percent protein, 63 percent carbohydrates and 26 grams of fiber per 1000 calories. The participants who were in the exercise group did 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four times a week. None of the participants were restricted on the amount of food they could eat.
Study results show no significant difference in the total amount of food intake between the three groups and no change in the energy intake over time. Overall, the participants on the low fat, high-carb diet lost more weight and more body fat than those on the control diet. They also found the thigh area decreased more in the low fat, high-carb groups than in the control group.
Researchers conclude a high-carb, low-fat diet in which one can eat until they are full with or without exercise will result in losses of body weight and body fat in older men and women. The say one benefit of this diet is that the participants never complained of feeling hungry, which is an important consideration in dietary strategies.