Which diet will work for you: Low-carb or low-fat?

A plate of food appears in this undated image

"High quality" is an important point, because you could consume nothing but soft drink and accurately claim you're on a low-fat diet, or eat nothing but bacon (heaven) and say you're on a low-carb diet - but those diets wouldn't be healthy.

A string of studies have found that the average person fares about as well on one diet as they do on the other.

'We've all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet - it worked great - and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn't work at all, ' said Dr Christopher Gardner, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. The reason being all are varied, and we are just commencing to comprehend the basis for this diversity. She tells us: "Diet trends are constantly changing, and it's mainly down to the food preferences chefs and celebs who choose to write and promote recipe and weight loss books".

There were 609 adults with ages ranging from 18-50 in the study.

About half were men and half were women.

People with genetic variations linked to low-fat diet response were no more likely to lose weight on the low-fat diet than the low-carb diet. Those on each diet were told to limit either fats or carbohydrates to 20 grams a day the first 8 weeks, then to slowly phase in the lowest level of intake on either fats or carbs they believed they could maintain. I led with the comparison of low-fat and low-carb diets.

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At the end of the year, people on the low-fat diet lost an average of nearly 12 pounds, compared with about 13 pounds for the low-carb diet. Also, some people lost as much as 60 pounds and others gained 15 pounds - more evidence that genetic characteristics and diet type appeared to make no difference.

The low-fat group lost on average 11 pounds across the group, while the low-carb group averaged 13 pounds of weight loss per person, a statistically insignificant difference, Time reported.

They say the differences from previous study findings may be because this study stressed the importance of eating healthy whole foods, rather than eating any food so long as it was either low-fat or low-carb.

Further, vast weight loss variability was observed among the participants of both the groups.

'On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we had helped them change their relationship to food, and that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate, ' said Gardner. But as per a recent study, neither approach is better than the other for you to shed those kilos of weight. Craig Pickering of DNAFit said that genes besides the three in the Stanford study can contribute to weight loss as well as fat loss and gain, as a small 2007 study found, and that it is "putting the finishing touches" on a study showing that "subjects on a genetically matched diet lost more weight" than did those on a one-size-fits-all low-carb diet. "But let's cut to the chase: We didn't replicate [our previous] study, we didn't even come close". A total of 37.5% of participants in the HLC diet had the low-fat genotype, while 31.9% had the low-carb genotype. "I feel like we owe it to Americans to be smarter than to just say 'eat less.' I still think there is an opportunity to discover some personalization to it - now we just need to work on tying the pieces together".

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