The Skinny on Low Carb Diets

Low-carbohydrate diets result in greater weight loss compared to Mediterranean and low-fat diets, according to a new two-year study published in the July 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Those following the low-carbohydrate, higher-protein diet experienced a mean weight loss of more than 10 pounds, which was 40% greater than those following the low-fat diet and about 7% greater than those following the Mediterranean diet.

This is not the first study to have similar findings. Check out my other article — KJ 7 Keys to a Healthy Diet — in which I recommend “lean toward protein.” There are several plausible reasons for the extra weight loss: 1) Replacing some carbohydrate with protein and fat increases satiety, so you feel full longer; 2) consuming more protein when you are cutting calories helps preserve your calorie-burning lean muscle mass.

So what’s the best formula for weight loss? There is no one formula for everyone.* There is a trend materializing in the research that points toward choosing more protein, moderate fat (with your fat choices coming from unsaturateed sources such as fish, avocado, olive oil, canola oil and nuts), including some high-fiber, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and drinking plenty of water. This, of course, works a lot better when you couple your new healthy diet with exercise and adequate sleep.

* Low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended if you have specific health conditions such as gout or if you are on medications that may be affected by dietary intake. Consult with your health care provider before making major dietary and activity level changes.

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