Looking to lose weight? Harvard study finds most effective low-carb diet

    Looking to lose weight? Harvard study finds most effective low-carb diet

    The study tracked the diets and weight changes of over 1,23,300 healthy adults, who reported their data every four years. The daily carbohydrate intake in the five diets studied ranged from 38 per cent to 40 per cent of total calories.

    These diets included:

    – A general low-carb diet focusing on reducing overall carbohydrate intake.

    – An animal-based low-carb diet with proteins and fats derived from animal sources.

    – A plant-based low-carb diet emphasizing proteins and fats from plants.

    – A healthy low-carb diet combining plant proteins, healthy fats, and lesser refined carbs.

    – An unhealthy low-carb diet with animal proteins, unhealthy fats, and carbs from processed sources like processed bread and cereal.

    The study revealed that participants adhering to the total, animal-based, or unhealthy low-carb diets generally gained more weight compared to those following the healthy low-carb diet.

    According to Liu, who spoke with CNN, individuals following the unhealthy low-carb diet gained an average of 2.3 kgs over a period of four years. Conversely, those on the healthy low-carb diet lost an average of 2.2 kgs in the same timeframe.

    Weight differences were particularly noticeable among participants under 55, those who were overweight or obese, and those who were less physically active. The plant-based low-carb diet showed mixed results in terms of weight management.

    Senior author Qi Sun, an associate professor in the nutrition department, highlighted the study’s implications: “The key takeaway here is that not all low-carbohydrate diets are created equal when it comes to managing weight in the long-term. Our findings could shake up the way we think about popular low-carbohydrate diets and suggest that public health initiatives should continue to promote dietary patterns that emphasize healthful foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.”

    (Disclaimer: This article has been written by a generative AI tool and has been edited and reviewed by the DH Web Desk.)

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