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Choosing "Right" Carbs & More Works Better Than Calorie Counting, Study Shows

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:14pm

Before reviewing results of a new study funded by Kraft Foods, you need to bear in mind that the scientists from Chicago-based Radian Research were trying to prove that the South Beach Diet works.

Now that I've told you what their goals were, the new study did in fact, find out that eating the "right" carbs, "right" fats and lean protein sources---as suggested by The South Beach Diet---may enable people to be more successful at losing weight than counting calories, according to a study announced today via PR Newswire.

"Our results showed that a modified carbohydrate diet is a successful and alternate way to lose weight without counting calories," said lead researcher Kevin Maki, Ph.D., who presented his findings today at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity conference (Abstract # 308P).

Researchers say that one of the intriguing developments is that participants who followed a South Beach Diet tended to take in fewer calories than those on the portion-controlled plan, even though they didn't count calories and were told to eat until hunger was satisfied.

"Our results add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that modifying the quantity and quality of carbohydrates in the diet and changing the types of food you eat may have important influences on regulating calorie balance," Dr. Maki said.

The researchers weren't clear on why dieters on the modified-carb plan consumed fewer calories, but one hypothesis has to do with the fact people experienced greater feelings of fullness so they ate less.

For those of you unaware of the connection, in June 2004, Kraft Foods announced an alliance with The South Beach Diet and its author Dr. Agatston and the company is "committed to supporting research to document the effectiveness of the diet."

Despite the fact that the study sought to prove certain results, I still think we should carefully consider the findings, because considerable research shows that carb-restricted diets do work. (In fact, for most of the low-carb studies, dieters have gone on the Atkins diet to great success.)

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