The Key To Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, A New Study Finds
People who have tried a diet know that usually, they are recommended to decrease the amount of calorie intake in order to lose weight. However, one study revealed something completely different.
In fact, the study revealed that people who avoid refined grains, processed foods, and added sugar, while consuming a lot of fruits and veggies, and whole foods, and without counting calories lost a lot of weight during one year.
Interestingly, this worked for both groups of people who were consuming foods low in fat and those who were consuming foods low in carbs. The success that people achieved was not influenced by their response of insulin to carbs or genetics.
This finding questions the famous idea that people should get different diets according to their tolerance for fat or carbs and DNA makeup. In fact, the study says that the quality is what matters, not quantity.
Also, Dr. Mozaffarian recommends that the authorities of health should advise the Americans to stay away from processed foods made with added sugar and refined starches such as white bread, sugary snacks, bagels, beverage, refined sugar and so on.
According to the doctor, this is the way to decreasing the obesity epidemic across the USA. The US and the rest of the national policies should put an end to focusing on calorie counting.
Furthermore, Christopher D. Gardner was the lead author of the large and pricey trial which was carried out on above six hundred people with 8,000,000 dollars in funding.
The study was designed to compare how obese and overweight people would react on low-fat and low-carb diets. Also, they wanted to test a hypothesis from former studies that genetics and people’s ability to metabolize fats and carbs matters.
People from the Bay Area were included in the study and they were divided into two groups. One group was called healthy “low carb” and the other group was named “healthy” low fat.
The participants attended classes where they were trained to consume nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods, and they should cook at home (when possible).
Technically, fruit juices, white bread, soft drinks, as well as white rice are low in fat, but the group that was on low-fat food was recommended to stay away from these foods.
So, they were advised to eat barley, lentils, brown rice, lean meat, quinoa, legumes, fresh fruits, low-fat dairies, and steel-cut oats.
The other group was trained to eat foods like salmon, hard cheeses, olive oil, salmon, veggies, nuts, seeds, nut butter, grass-fed as well as pasture-raised animal foods.
The people included in the study were recommended to meet the guidelines for physical exercise, but they did not increase the level of exercise. During the classes, there were discussions about food and behavioral strategies to support their food changes.
The study is unique because it did not include restrictive fat, carb, or calorie limits. There was no number to be followed. Usually, most people regain the lost weight, but the study cannot say whether the people will continue with their eating habits.
The results showed that some people lost fifty to sixty pounds. And, some said that the study made a change in their relation with food. These people no longer ate in front of the TV or in the car. Instead, they spend more time cooking and eating with their family.
According to Dr. Gardner, people were advised to cut back on refined grains and added sugar and consume more whole foods and veggies. They did not recommend them to go and buy some low-fat brownie.
A lot of people were surprised as well as relieved because there were no restrictions. Even though the CDC says that it is all about the number of calories people eat and burn, the new study says that is not essential.
After one year of consuming foods with good quality, people managed to lose weight. So, numbers do not matter. The participants of the low-carb group lost more than 13 pounds on average. And, those on low-fat, about 11.7.
Also, there were other improvements such as decreasing of body fat, waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. And, the subjects’ genotypes showed that they did not have an impact people’s responses to diets.
It was a surprise that people who secreted more insulin as a response to carbs intake did not do better on a low-carb diet.
According to the chairman of the nutrition department at the public health graduate school of Harvard University, there was no “precision medicine” approach to nutrition. Anyway, new studies would be likely to look at other genetic factors that may be important.
Nonetheless, it is very important that consuming foods of high quality can help people lose weight and it is good for the overall health. Less added sugar and less refined grains, but more fruits and veggies are what matters, not the number of calories.
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