Which Diet to Choose?

Low carb, low fat or low glycemic index for weight maintenance? A recent 3-way crossover study of 21 adults published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared these types of diets to see which helped participants keep off the pounds they had recently shed.  Although energy expenditure was highest with the low carbohydrate diet (10% of total calories), levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that has been linked with increased heart disease and diabetes risks, were also highest during this diet.  These were not seen during the low glycemic index diet, which emphasized Mediterranean-style eating patterns, like including heart-healthy fats and whole grains and legumes, while still promoting increased energy expenditure.  (Energy expenditure was smallest during the low fat diet.)  So which was best?  Given the short duration (4 weeks per diet) and controlled setting (hospital) of the study, further research is needed.  However, the authors concluded that a moderate fat diet, Mediterranean-type diet, emphasizing heart healthy fats, legumes and quality carbohydrates and regular physical activity may be most effective for maintaining weight loss.

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