According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the short-term success some people have experienced on low carb diets may be attributed to increased protein intake, not decreased carbohydrate intake.
The findings from researchers at University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle indicate that protein suppresses the appetite and therefore results in individuals consuming fewer calories. As a result, these findings suggest it is not necessary to reduce carbohydrate intake to lose weight, since the key may lie in slightly increasing lean protein intake.
Studies have indicated that the short-term success of low carb diets is greater than the traditional low fat, high carb plan after a six-month period. However, after 12 months the success from either plan was comparable.
The most recent study compared a 2000-calorie weight management diet consisting of 15-percetn protein, 35-percent fat and 50-percent carbohydrates to a 2000-calorie diet consisting of 30 percent protein, 20 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrate. Participants following the high protein diet were allowed to eat as many calories as they wanted during the 12-week follow up period. Participants actually ended up consuming 440 fewer calories per day and lost an average of 11 pounds.
These findings suggest that protein is more effective than fat in cutting appetite, leading researchers to conclude that the key to losing weight may be in replacing some fat with lean protein while continuing to enjoy bread, cereals and fruit.
Some sources of lean protein include low fat yogurt, egg whites, lean poultry breast, fish, soy food and legumes.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.