There are so many things wrong with this article I just read, I’m not sure where to even begin. The first sentence along is enough to make my head explode “In a large, randomized trial, 1-year weight loss was similar with a healthy low-fat diet or a healthy low-carbohydrate diet.”
Honestly. How many times am I going to have to do this?
First of all, there is no such thing as a “healthy” low-fat diet. Second, we already know that weight loss is similar with any diet at the one-year mark. It’s after that initial weight loss when things start to go awry for the low-fat followers. Maintenance is key.
But at least now we know why researchers continue to waste money on studies that tell us the same things over and over. It’s because eventually, they’ll get the answer they want.
That’s right. The powers-that-be were so desperate for something—anything they could throw in our face as “proof” that their nutritional advice isn’t completely misinformed — I’m they all but jumped for joy after seeing the results from this poorly-designed study. Finally, after many years — and millions, (if not billions of dollars) — it seems they’ve hit some pay dirt.
Emphasis on the “dirt.” Because that’s about how much these results are worth, seeing as how every other clinical trial to date has shown low-carb dieting to be the most effective at long-term weight loss, hands down.
Of course, mainstream medicine could care less about any long-term benefits. After all, that might actually improve the public health… and who would they get to buy all of their prescription drugs then?! (Because let’s be honest — this is the only long-term “benefit” that really matters to them.)
But I digress. Let’s take a closer look at this study, and you’ll see just how flimsy its conclusions are.
Nutritionists instructed subjects in two separate groups to cut intakes of total fat (in the form of oils, full fat dairy, fatty cuts of meat, and nuts, in particular) or carbs (in the form of cereals, grains, rice, starchy veggies, and beans, in particular).
The goal was to get intake down to 20 grams (of either fat or carbs, depending on the group) daily. And to stay at this level for the first eight weeks.
Researchers told both groups to eat plenty of veggies, and to avoid foods with added sugar, refined flour, and trans fats. They instructed subjects to shop at farmer’s markets and to avoid processed, packaged garbage or fast foods.
The goal was to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods — and made from scratch as often as possible. So as oxymoronic as it is to call a low-fat diet “healthy,” these rules at least guaranteed the closest thing possible.
I can’t really argue with any of these guidelines. But here’s where things fall apart…
After the initial eight-week period, subjects could re-introduce five to 15 grams of either fats or carbs weekly, until they reached a level they felt was sustainable in the long haul.
So ultimately, the diet in the low-fat group wound up at:
- 48 percent carbs, 29 percent fat, and 21 percent protein.
Meanwhile, the low-carb diet was at:
- 30 percent carbs, 45 percent fat, and 23 percent protein.
Yes, you read that right. The so-called “low carb” group was still getting nearly a third of their nutrition from carbs.
I don’t know what definition these researchers are working from, but that’s not anywhere near a low-carb diet in my book. (And yes, I’ve written a few of them — my latest is called The A-List Diet, and if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you should do so today. Stay tuned—I’m excited to announce that the book will also be available in paperback later this month! You can pre-order a copy today at Amazon.com)
So as far as I’m concerned, any results based on this faulty definition aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Sugar kills. And going strictly by the numbers, both of these diets were loaded with it. Which means that, in the long run, the only thing they’ll be equally good at is killing you.
Until next time,