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Withdrawn: Advice on Low-Fat diets for Obesity!

Posted Feb 23 2009 9:39pm

Have you heard that a low-fat diet is the way to go for weight loss?

Of course you have. Who hasn't? And like much "conventional" advice, it's turning out to be bogus.

Recently, researchers combed through hundreds of previously published studies that investigated low-fat diets in comparison to other weight loss strategies. They looked at the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry, MEDLINE, and EMBASE, all sources of rigorously controlled published trials. They were interested in the ability of people to actually sustain weight loss over a long period of time, so they investigated the studies in which people were given specific dietary advice (like eat a low-fat diet, or reduce calories). Three independent reviewers poured over the studies that met the criteria for inclusion.

Guess what they concluded?

" Fat-restricted diets are no better than calorie restricted diets in achieving long term weight loss in overweight or obese people".

The title of their research paper- published in the prestigious Cochrane Database System Review was "Withdrawn: Advice on Low-Fat Diets for Obesity".

That kind of says it all, doesn't it?

You can lose weight on a low-fat diet, you can lose weight on a low-carb diet, and you can lose weight on a calorie-restricted diet. The choice should be based on what makes you feel better, reduces your cravings and increases your energy.

There's absolutely no advantage of a low-fat approach over any other, and in fact, there may be some disadvantages.

One disadvantage of a low-fat approach is that people eat more processed carbohydrates when they reduce fat too much. Another may be lower intake of valuable and healthy fats like omega-3's.

And a third disadvantage of low-fat diets is the constant cravings that frequently accompany them! I've never heard of anyone binging on buttered broccoli and steak, but I've sure heard of binging on cereal and bread!

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