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  • Jakob De Coninck

Article review: High carb or low carb, which is better for weight loss?

Article: Golay, A., Allaz, A.F., Morel, Y., de Tonnac, N., Tankova, S. and Reaven, G., 1996. Similar weight loss with low-or high-carbohydrate diets. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 63(2), pp.174-178.


Design: 43 obese adults were randomly assigned to either a high carb (45% Carb), or low carb (15%) with the same energy restriction (1000cal) and similar protein (29% and 32% respectively).


Findings: They found that both groups, regardless of the composition of fat and carbs lost the same amount of weight. They did find a smaller change in plasma insulin and lipid metabolism with a higher carbohydrate diet, but this is so minimal I wouldn't take much influence from this, especially with the large amount of research showing higher fat diets provided a better satiety and long term may be more beneficial for compliancy.


Limitations: This study was conducted on very obese individuals, so it's carry over to overweight individuals may not be as accurate. This study was also performed in hospital with close observation meaning a very closed environment.


My Thoughts: Every couple of weeks there is a new fad diet that will give you better weight loss and I feel like its a constant pendulum between high carb or low carb every other month. This study shows that it DOES NOT MATTER what amount of carbs or fat you have as long as protein and calories are matched! Both groups had the same weight loss as each other. So hit your protein goal and your calorie goal the rest doesn't matter!

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