Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diet Plans

Over the past several years there have been several weight loss plans that promise to help you shed excess pounds and keep them off. Many of these diet plans fall into one of two categories; low carb or low fat and most people don’t know the differences between the two. Low fat diets were more popular over 10 years ago while low carb diets have become increasingly trendy. These two diets are polar opposite of one another. Low fat diets tend to be high in carbohydrates, while low carb diets are high in fat. Literature containing empirical research has set out to determine which of these plans are most effective and studies have found that participants on a low carb diet were able to lose more weight in the initial few months but over time, both dieting methods yielded parallel results.

Low Carb

There are several types of low carb diets including the Atkins, South Beach, Medifast, Dukan and Paleo diet plans. When the restriction is of carbohydrates that would generally be used as energy, it forces your body to burn stored fat as energy instead. People utilizing low carb diets are encouraged to eat foods high in both protein and fat while staying away from foods that contain carbohydrates and starches. It is also recommended that participants eat several smaller meals throughout the day to help suppress their appetites. Foods that are high on a low carb diet plan include fruits (citrus), avocados, berries, apples, poultry, lean meats, nuts and olive oil. Foods that should be avoided include potatoes, corn, carrots, grains, sweets and alcohol.

Low Fat

There are also several types of low fat diets that include Macrobiotic, TLC and the Ornish diet plans. People who are on low fat diets eat foods that limit the intake of fats (like the fat found in from oily fish, nuts and fruits) and saturated fats (found on meat and in butter). Low fat foods have been considered a heart healthy diet. Unlike the low carb diet, on the low fat diet people can eat larger meals as long as they don’t contain increased levels of fat. Foods that are high on a low fat diet plan include whole meal flour and bread, cereals, pasta, fruits and vegetables, lentils, and white fish. Foods that should be avoided include, fried foods, cakes and pastries and most snack foods.

If you are planning to go on a diet be sure to consult with your physician to see whether a low fat or a low carb diet is best for you. Physicians will most likely suggest a more balanced diet since neither low carb or low fat diets are recommended as a long term diet plan.  Also be sure to add exercise to your daily routine. Studies have shown that any diet plan produces better results with increased exercise.

  • Have you tried one or both of these two types of diets? Feel free to tell us about your experience. Which diet worked best for you and what did you eat?

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