The low-fat/low-carb war has been waging for years. But study after study continues to prove the latter’s advantage over the former. Now, that’s not to say that a low-fat diet doesn’t lead to weight loss. In fact, quite the opposite: it does – just not as much as a low-carb one. And this difference goes beyond numbers on a scale. Apparently, cutting carbs outshines its rival where it counts most: belly fat.
According to a new study conducted at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, both low-fat and low-carb diets helped people burn fat. Furthermore, this led to a decrease in systemic inflammation, and thus, a drop in heart disease risk. The 6-month experiment involved 60 people, age 35-60. In addition to dieting, they also exercised three times per week.
Here’s what Kerry Stewart, director of clinical and research physiology at the university had to say, “Our findings indicate that you can reduce systemic inflammation, and possibly lower your risk of heart disease, no matter which diet – either low-carb or low-fat… the important factor is how much weight you lose – especially belly fat.”
With that said, it’s important to note that while both the low-fat and low-carb group increased their aerobic capacity by 20%, the low-carb group lost significantly more weight: specifically, 28 pounds on average vs. 18 pounds for the low-fat group. Not only that, the former achieved a greater drop in BMI and belly fat.
Now, while the researchers concluded that both diets are effective for improving health (due to their lowering of inflammatory markers), the next logical conclusion is that low-carb is superior to low-fat in this respect. After all, if belly fat leads to inflammation, and low-carb diets burn more of that fat, naturally they’ll lower the inflammation faster.
So, what type of diet you decide to try to shed weight is up to you. Apparently, they’ll all work to some degree to get your to your goals. The question is, wouldn’t you rather reach them faster? Some food for thought…