Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets: Are you confused about what nutritional diet is best for overall health? Let’s take a look at low carb vs. low fat diets as each has healthy benefits.
Recently, there has been a lot of hype over the internet about which diet is better: low carb vs low fat diets. Different studies say different things. Some studies suggest one thing, but later studies suggest another thing. With all of the on-the-fence opinions and skeptical studies and trials, it is hard to decipher which diet is ultimately best for you.
The final decision in the end, however, lies in you. Both diets have their benefits as well as their pitfalls. The key to either diet depends on which one you can keep consistency on. If you cannot follow a diet for a long term then chances are that particular diet is not going to work for you. If you cannot go long term without pasta, then you should probably go to a low fat diet if that works better for your body. If you do not know which diet is best, try both and see how your body reacts.
Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets
Below are brief summaries of each diet and their general impact on the body. Use the following sections to help you decide which diet is better for you!
Low Carb Diet
As the name suggestions low carb diets are those diets that have users take in a low amount of carbohydrates. From our previous post on how to start a low carb diet, you may recall that a properly implemented low carb diet curbs insulin levels in the body which allows the body to more efficiently burn fat.
A low carb diet causes the individual to feel fuller longer which typically results in eating less. A key benefit to following a low carb diet is that you will not be forced to cut back or calorie count because the body will already naturally prevent you from overeating. Perhaps this is why over the long term people lose more weight on a low carb vs low fat diets; it is less strenuous for the individual to stick to it. Since a low carb diet is also high in fat, the food is usually more pleasing to the palate.
Low Fat Diet
As the name entails a low fat diet is one where fat is cut back in the diet. This does not mean fats are completely eliminated from the diet. Rather, to be considered a low fat diet less than 30% of caloric intake can be from fats whereas a very low fat diet consists of consuming less than 15% of calories from fat.
The US Government started promoting a low fat diet back in the 1980s. Unfortunately, this was done without any scientific backing! Many believe that the promotion of a low fat diet on food packaging and in school cafeterias has led to the obesity and diabetes epidemic in America. This is most likely due to overuse of sugars and refined starches rather than the low fat diet itself. A lot of low fat products actually increase the sugar content to make up for the fat to make the food taste better!
Some studies actually show low fat diets to be better because it does a better job at cutting calories consumed. However, low fat diets are much harder to maintain over the long run. Oftentimes, it has been observed that people who begin a low fat diet lose the weight very quickly and feel that they can stop their diet. Shortly after stopping their diet, the individuals find themselves gaining the weight again and go back on the diet again. This cycle, known as weight cycling, is a common downfall of the low fat diet to many.
From above, it is inherent that each diet has its own pros and cons. Low carb diets are easier to maintain because it leaves the individual feeling fuller quicker and longer. Low fat diets cut calories back much more significantly and in the short term allow the user to lose weight fast. However, low fat diets are hard to maintain and once you ease off the diet the weight comes back on.
In the end, the decision the low carb vs low fat diets choice is up to you. Chose the diet that will be easiest for you to maintain because in the end it doesn’t matter which diet sheds weight the quickest, it comes down to which diet can you maintain consistent weight loss over a long period of time. Remember that diets are not get slim quick approaches that should be started and then ended when the intended results are achieved. Instead, you need to choose the nutritional diet that you intend to follow for the rest of your life!
The debate of low carb vs low fat diets should not be based on which one causes the most weight loss. These nutritional approaches should be looked at as lifestyle changes, and not a quick fix to lose weight. Which lifestyle will lead to better health for you? Listen to your body and make the choice that works best for your overall health.