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Low-fat diets have gained popularity among health conscious people and are often recommended by doctors. However, there is a debate on whether low-carb diet vs low-fat diet provide better results for your weight loss goals. We have been told time and again that it’s healthier to stick to a low-fat diet.
There are pros and cons to both diets, and it is important to understand the differences before deciding which diet is right for you. In this article, you will find out low-carb diet vs low-fat diet in comparison to learn which one is better for weight loss.
The differences between the two diets
There are a few diet-related differences between low-carb diet vs low-fat diet , which will help you in deciding your weight loss goal. Here’s how each one works and the benefits of both:
1. Low carb diet : This type of healthful eating program advocates whole food meals that have essential carbohydrates, as well as protein and fat to provide calories from around 1800 calories per day (120 grams carbohydrate/protein). We cannot get carbohydrates from protein and fat, so we must reduce calories.
2. Low-fat diet : This diet is low in saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol, high in complex carbohydrates (non-starchy vegetables), with little to no added fats or calories. All of those low weight loss tips such as stop choosing organic fruit for snacks will be helpful for your weight loss goals but do not count toward total calories intake under calorie restriction…just the calories consumed and calories burned.
Differences in carb intake
Low-carb diet : Carbohydrates do not count toward your calorie goal for weight loss. The calories in fat and protein come from these essential nutrients, making it less dependent on carbohydrate intake then other diets such as low-fat diet. If you have trouble sticking to low-carb diet plan, carb counting may be helpful .
Low-fat diet : Carbohydrates make up the majority of your calorie intake and should come from whole foods. Not only that but calories consumed through carbohydrates are at least doubled (carbohydrate alone will manage your body’s metabolism). To trick you into losing more calorie dieters must be careful to keep blood sugar levels low as this can promote hunger as insulin increases appetite (fat storage). Low-carb diets reduce the total amount of carbs you eat, but low-fat dieters can still eat low-fat foods, which still provide fewer calories.
Differences in calorie intake
Low-carb diet : The plan includes whole grains, most leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables to provide as many nutrients from daily calories . As with carbohydrate intake weight loss will come from lowered caloric intake (calories used for energy), low carb dieters can choose food that requires lower total nutrition value such as sugar free gummy candy, low fat diet foods and sugar-free snacks.
Low-fat diet : Calorie intake could already provide similar amount of calories daily in low-fat diet so calorie weight loss is mostly from fat. In order to lose weight, low-fat dieters need to increase intake of non-carbohydrate calories and reduce carbohydrate calories.
Calories used for weight loss: low-carb diet plan calorie exchange is 100% fat loss, low-fat diet calorie exchange matches 50/50 fat/carb ratio.
Differences in energy intake
Low-carb diet : Calories from carbohydrate are not needed by body weight loss. With a low-carb diet risk of calorie-imbalance (less calories burned compared to calories consumed) is greater than with low fat diets as much less naturally occurring fats may be eaten. However, you can eat carbs and still lose weight.
Low-fat diet : Calories for weight loss come from fat, carbohydrate and protein (complex carbohydrates) but high-carbohydrate foods are excluded. In low-fat diet calorie intake could provide similar amount of calories daily so calorie weight loss is mostly from fat.
Whole nutrition in low carb diet
Whole grains provide all 9 vitamins , high quality protein and healthy fats as part of daily meals but they also require some energy input to digest (sugar-free drinks, low carb snacks or fat free milk).
Whole nutrition in low-fat diet
Grains are barely nutritionally significant and very few calories come from protein, fats or micronutrients. In low-fat diet calorie weight loss comes mainly from non-carbohydrate sources of calories like fat taken in snacking on fatty foods / junk food and also intake of sugar for sweetening!
So here are seven compelling reasons why, in the opinion of experts, a low-carb diet is more appropriate than a low-fat diet:
Low-Carb Diet vs Low-Fat Diet – Which One Is Better?
1. Calorie restriction becomes more manageable
A low-carb diet restricts calories to a much lower level than a low-fat diet, meaning calorie weight loss is more manageable.
It’s important to note, however, that with a low-carb diet you are technically free to eat whatever you want (in moderation, of course), whereas those who are on a low-fat diet need to carefully record every calorie they consume over the course of the day.
Even if they end up consuming almost the same amount of calories, there are far fewer restrictions for a low-carb diet vs low-fat diet.
2. Can help you maintain your weight more easily
A low-carb diet can help weight loss in the long-term because it is easier to maintain weight loss at a low carb diet. Hence, there will be less calories intake a year and months of fat loss simply because the diet isn’t as hard to stick with long-term and very low calorie intake over years will cause weight loss without dieting.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about losing and regaining weight several times throughout your life!
3. Can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level
People following a low-carb weight loss plan use olive oil for cooking daily instead of butter or margarine. From salads to soups and snacks, they incorporate avocado and nuts in their meals. All these foods contain healthy fats, the so-called ‘good cholesterol’.
Healthy fats have been shown to improve the body’s overall health, and a low-carb diet raises “good cholesterol” levels, which also helps prevent heart disease.
4. Can help you lose weight more quickly
When you’re trying to lose weight, any little trick can help. A new study has recently been published regarding low-carb diets and how they work better than other diet options for losing weight more quickly.
Low-carb diets are known to cause the body to burn more calories because they require the body to burn fat instead of carbs. The study showed that people who followed a low-carb diet for twelve months lost about 4 times more body fat than those who followed a low-fat diet. The good news is that those on a low-carb diet lose more weight in the abdominal area, which is great for overall health.
5. Can help you feel more satiated after meals
It’s easier for people who consume low-carb diet to achieve fullness and satiation after their meals. Your body craving for carb is often temporary or short-term, then it switches to fat calories (fat metabolism will be inhibited) from carb calories intake.
When your low-carb weight loss plan consumes less carbs than allowed in the diet, planned carbohydrate ratio can allow you a more nutritional balance between protein and fat which gives nutrition to muscles. While low-carb weight loss diet enables you to lose weight more quickly, it can also make you feel fuller and less hungry after meals.
6. Low-carb diets may prevent your body from storing belly fat
A low-carb diet is one of the best ways to prevent your body from storing belly fat. When carb calories are not available, the body turns to stored fat for energy, instead of sugar-fat metabolism. This will help you lose weight permanently and keep it off – even if you go back to eating carbs later on.
A study conducted by Barbara Gower, PhD, at the University of Alabama on 69 overweight men and women found that those on a low-carb diet had 11% less deep abdominal fat than those on a standard diet. “The moderately reduced carbohydrate diet allows a variety of foods to meet personal preferences.”, Gower said.
7. It’s hard to fail with a low-carb diet
Probably the most important reason why specialists recommend a low-carb diet vs low-fat diet is that it is easier to follow and is much less likely to go wrong with it. Choosing low-carb foods is something that most dieters will find relatively easy to apply. Most people find it easier to stick to a low-carb diet by simply avoiding carb calories and choose healthy fat calories instead for maintenance.
The same cannot be said of those on a low-fat diet. As fats are found in almost everything, they need to accurately calculate their fat calories each day, and this for a long term. Bottom line, no wonder most people give up after a while.
Is it better to eat fat or carbs?
The key to a healthy diet is finding the right balance of these macronutrients based on individual needs and goals. For instance, a person aiming to lose weight may benefit from reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fat consumption.
In contrast, an athlete or highly active individual may require more carbohydrates to fuel their workouts. Ultimately, a healthy diet should include a balance of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to support optimal health and well-being.
We have already seen the differences between a low-carb diet vs low-fat diet. Low-carb diets are preferable and more effective than low-fat diets because they help you lose weight faster and keep it off longer. However, it is up to each individual to put in the effort and follow the rules of the diet to see results.
After all, low-carb diet vs low-fat diet is a subject that has been debated for years. It can be concluded without a doubt after considering all the benefits and risks of both diets as detailed above.
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About the Author
Adrian Kutnik is the Founder and Managing Editor at LiveHealthyandwell.com
Its purpose is to gather and share relevant information about how we can live a healthy lifestyle in today's environment.
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