Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss and Health?
Low-fat, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, intermittent fasting, commercial slimming programs, the Mediterranean approach ... which one is best?
Nutrition academics from the University of Glasgow set out to determine whether there really is an optimal diet for weight management and metabolic health.
Their review of major dietary studies confirms that there is not.
“There is no optimal macronutrient distribution for weight management,” conclude George Thom and Professor Mike Lean in the journal Gastroenterology.
Weight loss itself is the key, they say, and sticking to a diet, pretty much any diet, is the best bet.
“Weight loss improves almost all obesity related co-morbidities and metabolic markers, regardless of the macronutrient composition of the diet,” write the researchers.
Their study shows that low-fat diets tend to improve LDL-cholesterol most, while lower-carbohydrate diets are probably better at improving triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. However, differences between diets are marginal.
“There appears to be little weight loss advantage or difference in metabolic health outcomes between dietary approaches and improvements in health are relative to degree of weight loss,” they write.
As caloric restriction is the fundamental premise of every successful weight loss strategy, it doesn’t matter whether that is achieved by lowering fat, carbohydrate, fasting or using meal replacements.
Ultimately, the best diet is the one you can stick to, they say.
“We are told the era of personalised nutrition is drawing closer, and there may at some point be a time when we can make recommendations based on genotype. However, if this does materialise, that will not detract from the challenges of achieving dietary adherence,” write the researchers.
Extract from a medical newletter at www.6Minutes.com.au