Low-carb versus low-fat diet — which one is better?

STANFORD — In the battle between low-carb and low-fat diets, there are only losers.

Researchers at Stanford University have published a study in which they asked 600 volunteers to reduce the amount of unhealthy fats or carbs they ate. Surprisingly, each group lost roughly the same amount of weight. It was the quality of food, not the quantity, that made a difference.

“What this study demonstrates is that you can eat healthy low-carb and low-fat [foods], and when you do, it works,” said Robert Lustig, emeritus professor of pediatrics at UCSF, who was not involved with the study. “Conversely when you eat unhealthy low-carb or unhealthy low-fat [food], it doesn’t work.”

Participants in the study were split into two groups — one was put on a healthy low-carb diet, and the other on a healthy low-fat diet. The researchers also tested for genetic factors that might influence the amount of weight each person lost, and found virtually no connection.

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