A New Study Finds That Your Low-Carb Diet Food Choices Can Affect Your Future Weight Gain
Like many others, you’re undoubtedly looking for ways to incorporate healthy behaviours into your routine as we begin a new year. You might even be experimenting with a low-carb diet. You have “proof” that it works because you’ve seen others lose weight with it.
There are other variations of low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic and paleo diets (although the paleo diet excludes whole grains and legumes, which are higher-carb foods), even though it isn’t always advertised as such).
But is low-carb the way to go?
Perhaps, in light of a recent study that was released in JAMA Network Open on December 27, 2023. However, you should examine the quality of your macros if you want good outcomes, as decreasing carbs alone won’t provide the desired effects over the long run.
Is It Advisable to Count Macros? What a Dietitian Has to Say About It
How was the research carried out?
The Nurse’s Health Study, the Nurse’s Health Study II, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study are three sizable cohort studies whose data were analysed for this study. From this data, they took into consideration five different indices related to low-carb diets (LCD):
Overall low-carb diet (TLCD), focusing on consuming fewer carbohydrates overall
animal-based low-carb diet (ALCD), emphasising fat and protein from animals
Vegetable-based low-carb diet (VLCD), with a focus on fat and protein derived from plants
A healthy low-carb diet (HLCD) emphasises plant protein, healthy fats, and a reduction in processed carbohydrates.
harmful low-carb diet that prioritises animal proteins, bad fats, and processed carbohydrates
Males and females of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, including African American, Asian, Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, and unknown, were among the participants. A total of 123,332 participants with an average age of 45 were enrolled in the study.
The cohorts from which the studies were drawn were long-term studies, which allowed the researchers to examine diet and weight increase across four years.
What Did the Study Show?
Upon adjusting participant data for additional lifestyle characteristics, the researchers examined each cohort’s meal composition, BMI, and weight increase for every 4-year cycle.
They discovered that, in comparison to a lower-quality low-carb diet that mostly consisted of animal-based proteins and fat, a high-quality low-carb diet rich in plant-based proteins and healthful fats was linked to slower weight gain (hello, keto).
Does a Healthy Keto Diet Plan Even Exist?
Thus, while trying to maintain a healthy weight, the researchers contend, it’s not just about the ratio of macros—carbs, protein, and fat—but also about their quality.
Why Does This Matter?
You should think about the big picture when searching for an eating schedule that suits you. Which eating pattern can you maintain over time? Which foods are optimal for your body type? Which foods are optimal for your body type? Do you possess the vitality required to go through the day at your best?
Each person will respond to these questions in a unique way.
We know the following. Increased consumption of vegetables and good fats extends our lives. Whole grains also have this effect. All of them are excellent dishes.
Make sure the carbohydrates you do eat are of a high calibre if you feel better about eating less of them. Additionally, incorporate healthy fats like avocados and olive oil (nuts and seeds also give healthy fat) along with high-quality plant protein from veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
It’s acceptable if you require dairy, eggs, and meat in order to feel full. The key is balance, which involves making other lifestyle decisions as well. In addition to food, physical activity, managing your stress, and getting enough good sleep are important factors that will affect your general health and quality of life.
The Bottom Line
Find the macronutrient ratio that is right for you and incorporate a lot of wholesome foods into your diet. Complete this with plenty of good sleep, less stress, and frequent physical activity. and make your social network stronger. Strong social ties are linked to a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline, including dementia, according to research.