A new study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it’s what you eat that matters, not how many calories you consume.
Quit Obsessing Over Calories
The study found that those who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods but ate plenty of vegetables and whole foods lost significant amounts of weight. Participants did not count calories or consider portion size.
Genetics Did Not Matter
The nutrition strategy worked for people whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or carbs. Their success did not seem to be influenced by their genetics or how their insulin responded to carbohydrates.
Quality Over Quantity
The research supports the notion that its diet quality (over quantity) will help people lose and manage their weight better in the long run. Processed foods that are made with refined starches and drinks filled with sugar should be avoided.
The Study Covered A Large Group Of People
The research study included more than 600 participants. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Nutrition Science Initiative, and other groups. The cost of the study was $8 million.
The study was designed to compare how overweight and obese people would do on low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. But, the scientists also wanted to test if some people are genetically predisposed to do better on one plan over another.
Participants were divided into “healthy” low carb and “healthy” low-fat regimens. Dieticians taught participants about nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods. Calories were not counted. Participants were encouraged to meet the federal guidelines for physical activity but did not generally increase their exercise levels.
A Variety Of Results
The study did not cover if the participants sustained their weight loss. There was also a wide variability among both groups. Some participants lost as much as 50-60 pounds while others gained weight. However, scientists reported that the people who lost the most amount of weight “changed their relationship with food.