I am hoping that this latest study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, puts to rest any lingering notion that a calorie is a calorie.
In this study, researchers examined how three different diets affected metabolism in adolescents.
This study is particularly significant because it was a prospective trial. Meaning the participants were assigned a certain diet, followed that diet for a certain period of time, and then crossed over to a different type.
The reason this is important is because most studies that look at diets rely on something called “retrospective sampling.” Meaning they ask participants to remember what they ate.
This is something that’s a running joke among my own patients. I always ask what they ate in the 24 hours prior to seeing me. And guess what? Most of them can’t remember! (Plus, it’s easy to lie.) So this particular study stands out because it didn’t rely on what people remembered eating–but what they actually ate.
These adolescents followed three different types of diets: low fat, low carbohydrate, and low glycemic. But the researchers made sure the teenagers were getting the same number of calories, no matter which diet they were following.
Based on the “calorie is a calorie” theory, the results should have been the same across the board. But, as it turned out, one of the diets blew the others out of the water. And I’m sure you can guess which one it was…
When they followed the low-carb diet, participants’ resting energy expenditure (meaning how many calories they burned simply by sitting down and watching TV) was 67 calories per day higher.
And when the researchers looked at total energy expenditure, the results were even more impressive. When the teenagers followed the low-carb diet, they burned an extra 300 calories per day. That’s the amount of calories you burn in an hour of moderate-intensity exercise.
So, anyway you slice this, the low-carb approach comes out on top. Which is why I believe so strongly in my New Hamptons Health Miracle. It takes the best aspects of low carbohydrate dieting, and makes it even healthier and more satisfying.
Look, the facts don’t lie and neither do I. This study put the diets head to head. And the results were obvious. If you want to be truly healthy there simply is no other choice.