CarbohydrateFatFood & NutritionHealth & FitnessWeight Loss

A very low fat diet vs. a not low carb diet

Last week’s big news story, in the real food/managed carb world in which I live, was captured by this BBC headline: “Low-fat diets 'better than cutting carbs' for weight loss”. This story was the result of a paper being published in Cell Metabolism. The summary is here and the full paper is here.

The early results from this study were presented in March 2015 at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego. The story was not widely covered back in March, but the same BBC reporter, James Gallagher, (Health Editor for BBC online), wrote about it here.

The quick response

If you have people saying “There you go – cutting calories is best” – here are the quick rebuttals of this premature conclusion. The first point is the only point you need to make in reality:

1) This was not a low fat vs. a low carb study.

The carbohydrate intake, as a percentage of total calorie intake, was 30% for the ‘low carb’ intervention. For a typical female consuming approximately 2,000 calories a day, that’s 600 calories of carbohydrate – approximately 150 grams of carbohydrate for the day. People doing low carb diets, to achieve optimal fat burning (ketosis), are consuming approximately 25 grams of carbohydrate a day. The fat intake, on the other hand was low fat – dangerously low fat – at approximately 7%.

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