Saturday, February 24, 2018

Diet Quality, Not Quantity

Researchers at Stanford Prevention Research Center conducted a large scale study to see if reduction in fat and carbohydrates without cutting calories affected weight loss in individuals suffering from obesity. The researchers recruited 600 people from the bay area and split the group into two categories: one group focusing on a low fat diet while another group focused on a low carbohydrate diet. All participants in the study met weekly with dieticians to learn how to manage their new diet and how to prepare healthy home cooked meals. Throughout the study the researchers emphasized for the participants to eat unprocessed foods, that are not high in sugar or have a lot of preservatives. In a year, the average weight loss for participants in the low carbohydrate group was 13 pounds and for the those in the low fat group it was 11.7 pounds.
To go even deeper each individual was DNA tested to see if there was any variants that affected their response to the diet. The scientists found no variants that affected their response and when testing the low carbohydrate diet group they did not find variants for higher secretions of insulin. Besides overall weight loss, an improvement in waist size, blood pressure, body fat percent, and blood sugar was found. The researchers concluded that by focusing on better quality foods the participants unknowingly consumed less calories and felt full more often. With more research, those at the Stanford Prevention Research Center hope that there will be more of an emphasis on what we eat not how much we eat. As a person who struggles with weight I find this article fascinating because those of us who struggle with weight may not have to cut calories and essentially starve ourselves to achieve healthy weight loss.

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