It can be extremely frustrating to figure out which type of meal plan is best for you. There are so many fashions and trends, all of which struggle against solid advice and reputable research. Finding the right nutritional balance can be overwhelming – fast. It’s enough to make a man give up and go back to nibbling on bags of baby carrots all the time. However, a recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shed some light on this nutritional dilemma by constantly pitting macros – carbohydrates and fats – against each other. Which is Better: Keto or a Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet?
In the small but controlled four-week study, the researchers analyzed 20 diabetes-free adults and found that those who ate a low-fat, high-carbohydrate plant-based diet consumed fewer daily calories – 550 to 700 fewer – than subjects with low blood pressure -carb, high fat animal plan or a ketogenic diet. And although the subjects on the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets consumed less overall, they ended up with higher insulin and blood sugar levels. Possibly a result of three quarters of their meals that contain carbohydrates.
None of the subjects gained weight, although all had access to three meals a day, snacks, and could eat as much as they wanted. There were no differences between the two diets in terms of hunger, meal consumption, or satiety. And while both groups lost weight too, only the low-fat diet participants burned a good amount of body fat (plus the high-fat subjects did not gain fat).
The macro breakdown of the study for the plant-based, low-fat diets was 10 percent fat and 75 percent carbohydrate, while the animal-based, low-carbohydrate people ate 10 percent carbohydrate and 76 percent fat. Each meal contained approximately 14 percent protein. All meals were minimally processed with roughly the same amount of vegetables.
Chelsea Kyle for the men’s journal
“Interestingly, our results suggest that both diets have benefits, at least in the short term. While the low-fat, plant-based diets curb appetite, the animal-based, low-carb diet resulted in lower and more consistent insulin and glucose levels, ”said study director Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a senior researcher at the NIH.
“Despite consuming foods rich in high glycemic carbohydrates that caused large fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin, people who ate the plant-based, low-fat diet showed significant reductions in caloric intake and body fat loss, which is good for health Challenges the idea that high-carbohydrate diets per se lead people to overeating. On the other hand, the animal-based, low-carb diet did not result in weight gain despite its high fat content, ”he said.
While the study doesn’t provide a solid answer as to whether or not you should or shouldn’t eat carbohydrates over fat, or vice versa, it shows that consuming too many carbohydrates every day can affect your insulin levels, which in the long run can lead to pre-diabetic disease or worse. And that, as has already been shown, a high fat content does not necessarily lead to weight gain or an increase in fat reserves.
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