Research has shown the low-fat diet can fare worse for weight loss when compared to numerous other diets, including:
- A high protein diet,
- A low carbohydrate diet,
- A low glycemic index diet, and
- A high fat, Mediterranean-style diet.
One of the biggest developments in nutrition science is this: the conventional low-fat diet may be one of the least effective dietary strategies to both manage your weight and promote good health.
Why? The unifying theme that explains the advantage of each of the other diets is simple: they reduce the intake of carbohydrate-rich foods that are highly refined and low in nutrients. When we eat low-fat, we more often than not default to these sorts of foods.
Note that these foods include some sugary foods such as soft drinks, juices and confectionary. But they also include some starchy foods such as refined grains and flours like white bread, white rice, refined cereals and refined crackers. The constant spike in our blood sugar that a high consumption of these foods produce results in significantly poorer health over time, except in the leanest and most active of individuals.
Of course, it is far too simplistic to say that all carbohydrate-rich foods result in weight gain and poor health.
A vegetarian diet, for example, is typically a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. It is consistently associated with lower body weight and better health. A key difference is the quality of the carbohydrates eaten. The vegetarian diet is typically rich in carbohydrates from minimally processed plant foods, such as legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables and fibrous grains.
The problem is not carbohydrates per se, but that the quality of our carbohydrate choices today are usually poor.
Sure, enjoy some highly refined and nutrient poor low-fat foods for enjoyments sake.
But please don’t eat large amounts of them because you think they are helping you to lose weight.