Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eat Carbs Protein and Fat but Watch the Calories for Weight Loss

A new study shows that we can eat what we want, as long as we watch our calories. The results of a new study show that people given their choice of one of four diets all lost an average of 13 pounds in six months, sustaining weight loss after two years.

Emphasis on the diet consumed by study participants either focused on high fat high protein, high fat, average protein, low fat, high protein, or low fat, average protein.

A clinical trial led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System, made a comparison of study participants who were overweight, following them for two years. The results showed that it did not matter whether the diet was low carb, high protein, low fat, or other, as long as calorie intake was controlled. The study also showed that dietary counseling helped those in the study group maintain weight loss.

Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says, "These results show that, as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

The study appears in the February 26, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, and included 811 men and women from minorities and various ethnic groups. The results also showed that the study participants had lower triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and increased HDL (good) cholesterol as the result of losing weight by following a calorie restricted diet.

The combination of regular moderate exercise, and reducing calories helped everyone lose weight in the study. The group was also able to sustain weight loss. The results are encouraging when sifting through which diet works best for you. Remember to include fiber into your diet, to promote heart health and help with weight loss goals.