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Many nutritionists and even doctors were quick to discount popular low-carb diet fads when they were first introduced, but after millions of followers lost significant amounts of weight, these diets were taken more seriously.
Still, the question of whether low-fat or low-carb diets were more effective remained. Which diet results in the greatest amount of weight loss, and which diet is more likely to result in long-lasting results?
Low-fat diets require the dieter to limit the amount of fat they consume on a daily basis, particularly saturated fats. When following a low-fat diet, you must also track and limit the number of calories ingested each day. Most low-fat diets recommend staying under 1500 a day to produce weight loss.
As one of the longest lasting diet recommendations, most people are familiar with the low-fat concept and expect it to reduce body fat. It only makes sense to believe that the fats in the foods we eat are what make us fat. Unfortunately, the reality is that low-fat diets rarely work. Low-fat diets actually produce less overall weight loss than other diet plans, and the weight loss is usually short lived when the dieter returns to old eating habits after loosing the weight.
Low-carb diets (like the South Beach Diet) require the dieter to limit the amount of carbohydrates, specifically simple carbohydrates, consumed each day. These diets make no other restrictions in calories or fat that the dieter can enjoy.
Since the introduction of low-carb diets into the mainstream, researchers have repeatedly documented that low-carb eating reduces bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol despite the early warnings that the increased fat consumption in these diets would increase cardiovascular risks.
In fact, the opposite is true. Low-carb eating quickly reduces bad cholesterol levels, which greatly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Low-carb diets also consistently produce faster weight loss results than their low-fat counterparts. Additionally, low-carb diets are sustainable long-term because they are not as restrictive as other diets.
Which Diet is Better?
The bottom line is that dieting is a personal choice. To successfully lose weight with any diet plan, you must be able to follow the guidelines of the diet without excessive hunger and cravings sabotaging you at every turn. If you can live with a life free of fats, choose a low-fat diet.
However, if you have unsuccessfully tried low-fat in the past, then low-carb is an acceptable alternative that can improve your overall health while it helps you decrease your weight.
About the Author: Chasity Goddard writes about a variety of beauty and healthcare topics including product reviews and detailed guides of popular diet plans.