Dueling Diets

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH), they compared low-fat, plant-based diets with low-carb, animal-based diets. We have all talked about these diets at one time or another, Keto, Adkins, Mediterranean, Vegan, etc., so it was interesting that a “real” study was done.

What they found was that people on a low-fat, plant-based diet ate fewer daily calories but had higher insulin and blood glucose levels, compared to when they ate a low-carbohydrate, animal-based diet. The researchers housed 20 adults without diabetes for four continuous weeks in the NIH Clinical Center’s Metabolic Clinical Research Unit. The participants, 11 men, and nine women received either a plant-based low-fat diet or an animal-based, low-carbohydrate diet for two weeks, immediately followed by two weeks on the alternate diet. The low-fat diet was high in carbohydrates, the low-carbohydrate diet was high in fats. Both diets were minimally processed and had equivalent amounts of non-starchy vegetables. The participants were given three meals a day, plus snacks, and could eat as much as desired.

The main results showed that people on the low-fat diet ate 550 to 700 fewer calories per day than when they ate the low-carb diet. Despite the large differences in calorie intake, participants reported no differences in hunger, enjoyment of meals, or fullness between the two diets. Participants lost weight on both diets, but only the low-fat diet led to a significant loss of body fat.

Bottom line, eat healthily, maintain appropriate body weight, keep moving, exercise is great for the spirit and remember to stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!