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Low-Carb Diets vs. Low-Fat Dieting Study Results

  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-09-25 - Information regarding studies comparing the difference, and results, between low-carb diets and low-fat diets - Disabled World (Disabled World).

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Several studies have shown that at the 6-month mark, low-carb dieters lose an average of between 9-13 pounds more than people who pursue a low-fat diet plan. Yet other studies have shown that for weight loss, the 2 diets end up statistically tied after a year. In one study, low-carb dieters jumped ahead of those who pursued low-fat diets during the first 6 months, only to regain pounds over the next 6 months. In another study, the people who were on low-carb diets kept off the pounds they lost during the first 6 months, but the low-fat diet group caught up with them by continuing to lose weight.

Still, it is more complicated than simply, 'slow and steady wins the race.' The numbers of pounds lost are fairly modest. The people in the studies were overweight at the start. The average beginning weight was around 288 pounds. After a year, those in the low-carb group, to include those who dropped out, had lost an average of 11.2 pounds while people in the low-fat group lost 6.8 pounds. The difference between the 2 groups did not meet the test for statistical significance. The people in another study were not as overweight, averaging around 215 pounds, but the results were similar. Being overweight; however, is a lifelong issue for most people who are obese or overweight and losing even a few pounds might be a better victory than it appears.

One of the main objections to low-carb dieting has been that it has the potential to increase levels of, 'bad,' LDL cholesterol by encouraging people to consume foods with higher saturated fat content. Year-long studies have discovered that low-carb and low-fat diets had the same effects on a person's LDL levels. Low-carb diets were better than low-fat diets in regards to other blood fats related to heart disease. The participant's triglyceride levels fell more and their HDL results were better. In one study, the low-carb diet was better for a person's blood sugar levels and was therefore important for people who experience diabetes.

Averages might provide good summaries, but behind them there may be a great deal of variation.

A person in the low-fat group in a study lost 79 pounds and was among the 34% who dropped out of the study entirely. At the other extreme, a person actually gained 31 pounds through pursuit of a low-fat diet program. There was a vast range among the low-carb dieters as well, ranging from 65 pounds lost to 18 pounds gained.

While low-carb dieting is unable to live up to the hype, it does have some merit. A person may improve upon it by sticking with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as their fats and whole grains as their carbs. Diets have differing effects on a person's metabolic factors and cholesterol levels. If you are serious about losing weight you should communicate with your doctor about getting a cholesterol test. The results might help you to choose the diet that is best for you. For reasons of upbringing, taste, genetics and additional factors - a person's individual response to diets varies greatly. See what works for you and remember that exercise helps.

A great number of different types of diets have been popular over time, to include low-fat and low-carb diets. In the past, low-fat was supposed to be the best one. The low-carb diet has also been popular, promising people they could lost weight effortlessly while eating all of the high-fat foods they desired.

'Low-fat,' usually means, 'high-carb,' but does not always mean, 'low-calorie,' if a person consumes too many carbs - especially processed carbs that are more concentrated in calories. On the other hand, 'low-carb,' usually means, 'high-fat.' Many people who have tried this type of diet are aware of the fact that it can be hard to continue for a long time because a lot of good tasting fruits and other carbohydrates are, 'off limits,' and high-fat treats tend to grow old over time. Remember; the most important factor related to losing weight is not whether your diet is low-fat or low-carb, it is the calories you consume. Either of these diets may help you lose weight if your total calorie intake remains low.

Another important factor is the healthfulness of the diet you pursue. Both of these diets could be healthy or unhealthy depending upon the types of carbohydrates and fats a person consumes. Additional things that can influence how long a person follows a diet include:

  • Taste
  • Satiety
  • Practicality
  • Satisfaction

Emphasize healthy carbs such as whole-grain products and fruit, as well as healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil and vegetable oils. Through consumption of lower amounts of less healthy carbs like white flour, sugar and other processed carbs, as well as less healthy fats, a person's total calorie intake is lower (Calorie Calculator). The emphasis must also be on foods that taste good, meaning unlimited fruits and vegetables can help you to make lifestyle changes and not to simply diet, achieving weight loss success in the long-term.

Some people make New Year's resolutions or promises to themselves in regards to dieting. It is not uncommon to approach resolutions with great enthusiasm. After a couple of weeks; however, a person's enthusiasm often times decreases and it is right back to their same old eating habits. The habits feel comfortable and are easy to fall back into, yet they do not help a person to lose weight or improve their health over the long-term. Take the following into consideration:

Be Prepared: Changing lifestyle habits in diet and physical activity takes a commitment of both time and energy. Ask yourself if you are at a good time in life to pursue diet and exercise. Ask yourself if you are able to devote time and planning to implement changes that are recommended.

Have a Good Plan: A lot of dieting has to do with the planning. Do not concentrate too much on the long-term goal of losing, 'X,' number of pounds; it will not happen without a good plan. Attempting to lose a certain number of pounds without a good weight loss plan is similar to trying to make a lot of money without a good financial plan - See Our Target Weight Loss Calculator

Enjoy the Process: A number of people discover that when they lose weight and become more active they feel better. There is also a lot of wonderful food out there. Explore new recipes and types of foods.

Focus on Short-term Goals: Keep long-term goals in mind. Losing weight is done 1 pound at a time. The way to lose 1 pound at a time is to have a good plan and bear in mind short-term process goals. By emphasizing short-term goals you should eventually reach your long-term outcome of losing the amount of weight you desire.

Diet Moodiness: Low-Fat vs. Low-Carb
www.webmd.com/balance/news/20091109/diet-moodiness-low-fat-vs-low-carb

A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity
www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022637

Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat Diet
sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/PH/NutritionModules/Popular_Diets/Popular_Diets10.html

Related Information:

  1. Blood Cholesterol Information
    /health/cardiovascular/cholesterol/
  2. Body Fat Percentage Calculator for Men and Women - Disabled World - (2009-07-28)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/body-fat-calculator.php
  3. Special Diets for Health Conditions and Allergies
    /fitness/diets/special/


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