If you want to lose weight, forget eating a low-fat diet. Low-fat foods, which achieve billions of dollars of sales every year, will help you lose some weight – but it’s nothing compared to other diets, a major new study has discovered.
The Atkins low-carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight, and it is followed closely by a balanced Mediterranean diet. A low-fat diet came in a poor third, and people who used it lost around 40 per cent less weight than those who were on the Atkins regime.
Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel put 322 people who were moderately obese on one of the three weight-losing approaches, and monitored their progress for two years.
At the end of the study, those on a low-fat diet had lost an average of 3.3 kg, while those eating a Mediterranean diet lost 4.6 kg and the Atkins diet achieved an average weight loss of 5.5 kg.
The Atkins diet was also the most effective for lowering the ‘bad’ HDL cholesterol, which fell by 20 per cent over the two years.
(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2008; 359: 229-41).
Atkins is the best of the low-carbs (and a high-fat diet doesn’t cause heart problems)
The much-maligned Atkins Diet is the best of the low-carb options, a new study has concluded. Even so, it still achieved only a modest weight loss over a year of just 4.7kg (10.4lbs).
The diet came out on top when it was compared with the Zone, the Ornish and the LEARN low-carb diets.
In all, 311 overweight or obese women were randomly put on one of the four diets to discover which was the most effective over 12 months.
Women on the Atkins diet lost on average 4.7kg (10.4lbs), the LEARN diet group lost on average 2.6kg (5.7lbs), the Ornish dieters lost 2.2kg (4.8lbs), and the Zone diet group lost an average of 1.6kg (3.5lbs).
The researchers, from Stanford University, also dispelled concerns that the Atkins diet was unhealthy and increased the risk of heart problems. After blood tests on the women, they concluded that a diet that was rich in saturated fats didn’t affect blood lipid levels.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 297: 969-77).