Carbohydrates Rather Than Fats Make You Fat

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By Revathi Siva Kumar | September 4, 2014 10:42 AM EST

To fight some fats on your body is cutting out the carbs, rather than the fats.

This may come as a surprise to the fat fighers, but it was shown by a new study that was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It says that those who eat even saturated fat can get thinner than those who consume carbohydrates.

In the research study, 150 males and females from diverse race groups went on a year's diet reducing carbohydrates or fats. However, the total number of calorie consumption remained the same. At the end of a year, the low-carb dieters had reduced 8 pounds of weight compared to the low-fat eaters. Their obesity reduced more than the other group and their lean muscle mass became better, although the physical activities of both groups remained the same.

The high-fat dieters ate mostly protein and fat and selected unsaturated fats such as fish, olive oil and nuts. They also selected items with more saturated fat, including cheese and red meat.

Hence, their day's diet was interesting: eggs, tuna, meat, chicken, fish, pork, tofu and vegetables. The cooking medium was olive and canola oil, although even butter could be added. Over 13 per cent of their regular calorie intake was supplied by saturated fat. This was twice as much as the 5 to 6 per cent suggested by the American Heart Association. But most of the fat they used was unsaturated.

The other group that were on less fat and more carbohydrates, ate lots of grains and starches. Their fat intake was less than 30 per cent of their daily intake of calories as the federal government had advised. The low-carb group's fat consumption was more than 40 per cent of daily calories.

Finally, the low-carb group reached the winning post. They suffered from less inflammation and triglycerides, while their HDL or good cholesterol, rose. The likelihood of a heart attack in a decade also reduced.

However, both trial groups had the same levels of blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL or the bad cholesterol.

Expectedly, the researchers advised the government to advise people to reduce their consumption of refined carbohydrates, rather than fat. The federal dietary rules tend to affect school meals, in which students are served with sugar-rich or carbohydrate-laden food. It is better to encourage children to eat less carbohydrates, instead.

Interestingly, low-carb diets with more fat and protein have helped to induce weight loss since it was started and propagated by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s. Critics if this theory had said that dieters would lose water, not fat, but they would increase cholesterol and heart disease, as their saturated fat consumption would increase with more meat and dairy products.

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