Instead of counting calories, you may just want to swap out carb-heavy foods for ones full of healthy fats. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a diet that’s low in carbs and higher in fat is much better for weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risk factors than a low-fat diet—the same low-fat diet that health authorities have spent decades advocating. Researchers divided 148 men and women into two groups and monitored their stats for a year: one group ate a low-carb diet consisting mostly of fat (including saturated fats) and protein, while the other group ate a low-fat diet containing plenty of grains and starches. Neither group had any restriction on the amount of calories they could consume. Ultimately, the low-carb, high-fat group lost an average of 8 pounds more than the low-fat group, their markers for inflammation and triglycerides went down considerably, and they experienced a greater increase in good HDL cholesterol than the low-fat group. The low-carb group even reduced their risk of a heart attack within the next 10 years. The low-fat group did not reduce their risk of a heart attack, and also saw a drop in lean muscle mass—not a good thing. These findings are consistent with other research looking at the relationship between carbohydrate and fat intake and cardiovascular health; however, this study is among the first to examine the health effects of low-carb and low-fat diets without calorie restrictions.
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine