Medical

Low-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Study Shows They Work About the Same

Low-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Study Shows They Work About the Same

Dieting "represents a temporary, often punitive approach to weight loss". If you've ever dieted, chances are you'll have followed either a low-carb (Atkins) or low-fat plan. Studies on various versions of ADRB2 suggest it can affect weight loss because of its role in burning fat.

The variation in weight loss results has baffled researchers for a number of years. And don't buy low-fat chips, no matter what it says on the package. In fact, it's an idea that's taken off in recent years, with companies promoting "DNA diets" that will help you shed pounds.

"We've all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet - it worked great - and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn't work at all", Gardner said in a statement.

Study participants were not told to count calories, but rather to restrict either fat intake or carb intake.

Dr Gardner's study analysed results from 609 participates - 57 per cent women, aged between 18 and 20 - who were assigned a low-carb or low-fat eating plan at random, and were required to stick with it for a year.

At the start of the year, "participants got part of their genome sequenced, allowing scientists to look for specific gene patterns associated with producing proteins that modify carbohydrate or fat metabolism" but "neither genotype pattern nor baseline insulin secretion was associated with the dietary effects on weight loss", per a report on the study by Citizen.

For the first eight weeks of the study, participants were told to limit their carbohydrate or fat intake to just 20 grams a day - roughly 1.5 slices of whole wheat bread or a generous handful of nuts.




But in the months that followed, participants were encouraged to gradually add in small amounts of carbs or fat until they reached a daily amount that satisfied them (which ended up being around 57g fat and 132g carbohydrate, still well below the amounts they'd regularly eaten before the study).

Craig Pickering of DNAFit said that genes besides the three in the Stanford study can contribute to weight loss as well as fat loss and gain, as a small 2007 study found, and that it is "putting the finishing touches" on a study showing that "subjects on a genetically matched diet lost more weight" than did those on a one-size-fits-all low-carb diet. They also cut their daily caloric intake by about 500 calories.

"If it says low-fat on the package, think: They're brownies!"

At the end, the average weight loss was 13 pounds in both groups. There was still, however, vast weight loss variability among them. Similarly, a few women whose DNA did not "match" went through a divorce or other upheaval, ate for emotional comfort, gained weight, and made the mismatched group look awful - a reminder that so many emotional, economic, metabolic, social, and other forces affect someone's chance of losing weight that the effect of genes gets lost in the noise. Contrary to what they suspected, there were no associations between the genotype pattern or insulin levels and weight loss.

Sure, it seems like a good idea: Lose weight following a diet that's tailored to your own unique genetic makeup instead of trying a one-size-fits-all approach. Nobody should have foods with refined sugar. Participants on both diets who consumed the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks, unhealthy fats and ate the most vegetables lost the most weight.

"I'm hoping that we can come up with signatures of sorts", says Gardner.


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