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  • One of the hottest fitness topics today has been the curious case of low carb diets.

  • Hinging on the idea that restricting carbs can prove beneficial primarily through insulin

  • modulation, the low carb craze grew even more popular as its weight loss potential was enthralled

  • by nutrition experts and struggling dieters alike.

  • Unfortunately, much of the current research don't exactly have stellar praise for the

  • low-carb agenda, struggling to outperform any other diet as long as protein and calories

  • are matched.

  • Not to be rifled by the evidence, low-carb advocates disagree with much of the said research,

  • citing issues like the studies were too short, there were not enough subjects, and/or conflicts

  • of interest.

  • Along with existence of PRO-low-carb studies, which themselves have a fair share of conflicts,

  • the low-carb narrative continues to truck along.

  • Fortunately for us, science is persistent.

  • A new study coming out of Stanford University and from the lab of Dr. Christopher Gardner

  • and his colleagues might finally put the brakes on the low-carb hype.

  • This randomized clinical trial bolsters an impressive 609 participants.

  • Setting it apart even more is that the intervention was 12 months long with an impressive 79 percent

  • participant retention rate.

  • And not to settle for knocking out two of the three issues of past studies, the research

  • was also funded by the US National Institutes of Health AND the Nutrition Science Initiative,

  • aka NuSI.

  • NuSI was co-founded by nutrition expert and prominent low-carb advocate, Gary Taubes.

  • The mission of the study: Pitting low-fat versus low-carb diets.

  • Which one is better for weight loss?

  • Out of the 609 subjects, 305 were randomized to the low-fat diet group and 304 were randomized

  • into low-carbs.

  • Additionally, all subjects were stratified into different genotype groups.

  • The hypothesis is that each individual might perform better on a specific diet that their

  • genotype favored.

  • Subjects were also given oral glucose tolerance tests to see if insulin production levels

  • have any association to the effects of either diet.

  • The subjects at hand were both men and women, on average roughly 40 years old, and classified

  • as obese on the BMI scale (33).

  • Throughout the entire 12-month intervention, 22 instructional sessions led by registered

  • dietitians were given for each group.

  • The goal was to educate the participants on eating habits such as eating whole foods instead

  • of processed food and mindful vs mindless eating.

  • As for the diet, each group were told to limit either fat or carb intake to 20 grams or fewer

  • per day for the first 2 months.

  • Afterwards, they had the opportunity to add more carbs or fat but only up to the point

  • where they felt that they can sustain the diet indefinitely.

  • Participants were also given random 24-hour dietary multi-pass recalls, a program that

  • is essentially myfitnesspal on steroids.

  • They also had blood lipid profiles and respiratory exchange ratio changes measured, which can

  • indicate changes in energy metabolism favoring fat or carbs.

  • By the end of the study, the low-fat group on average consumed 57 grams of fat per day

  • and the low-carb group went up to 132 grams of carbs per day.

  • And finally, the results: The little things first:

  • As mentioned earlier, 79% of the participants, or 481, completed the entire intervention.

  • There we no significant differences in calorie intake between both groups.

  • No significant differences in protein intake but low-carb did consume a slight 12 grams

  • more per day.

  • No significant differences in fiber intake but low-fat did tend to consume slightly more

  • due to the diet's high-carb nature.

  • No differences in physical activity.

  • Low-carb group did see greater changes favoring a healthier cholesterol profile by roughly

  • 5%.

  • Plus, no significant effects based on genotype patterns nor insulin level production.

  • And finally, At the end of the 12-month program, the low-carb

  • group lost 13.2 pounds (6kg) and the low-fat group lost 11.7 pounds.

  • For a 12-month span, the difference is not considered statistically significant nor clinically

  • relevant.

  • And there we have it.

  • After a rigorous 12 months, this study shows that there's simply no practical advantage

  • to either diet when it comes to weight loss.

  • But what's fascinating about this study to me is the absence of counting calories.

  • That's not to say that calories aren't important.

  • Based on the participants' reports, they were still achieving a calorie deficit of

  • around 4 to 500 calories, inaccuracies not withheld.

  • But the fact that they didn't count AND achieved a deficit ties the importance of

  • the other factors in this study: creating a sustainable approach by having participants

  • choose their OWN level of carb/fat restriction, and counseling them to make better food decisions

  • and eating habits.

  • Granted, to some, the final tally of 132 grams of carbs in the low-carb group wouldn't

  • exactly be considered a low-carb diet, but it's still significantly lower than where

  • the participants started.

  • In an interview with Examine.com, Dr. Christopher Gardner, the lead author, explained the rationale

  • of this approach.

  • The goal was to find the lowest level of carb or fat intake participants could achieve without

  • feeling hungry.

  • If hunger was an issue with lower intakes, that can lead to people jumping off the diet

  • and revert back to old eating habits.

  • The goal was to create new eating patterns that were sustainable without thinking of

  • it as a “diet.”

  • ADHERENCE was the goal and something so often ignored when it comes to dieting that needs

  • the utmost attention.

  • I fully agree with the rationale of this study.

  • Stick with the plan that allows YOU to feel full, satisfied, and consume fewer calories.

  • If that means fewer carbs, then great.

  • If that means less fat, then awesome as well.

  • As long as the foundation of eating more whole foods and less processed junk is in order,

  • which Dr. Gardner also suggests, then everything else, and everyONE else, is simply noise.

  • Except protein.

  • Get your protein.

  • If you want a more in-depth look at this study, check out Examine.com's amazing analysis

  • and breakdown of it in the link below.

  • I also wanted to thank them for allowing me the permission to use their work to support

  • this video.

  • You can also check out the study itself in the link below.

  • Also, let me know your thoughts on this study and the whole low-carb/low-fat debate in general.

  • What's your take on the matter?

  • Feel free to also check out some of my merch and my patreon if you want to further support

  • study breakdowns like this or all the other content you might enjoy on my channel.

  • I know this was a longer video, but as always, thank you so much for watching and get your

  • protein!

One of the hottest fitness topics today has been the curious case of low carb diets.

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B2 US carb fat diet carbs study intake

Low-Carb vs Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/09
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