Diets low in carbohydrates and plant proteins can lead to weight gain in the long term.

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health. T.Ch. Chan, published on the Jama Network, shed new light on the debate surrounding low-carb diets and their impact on long-term weight loss. The study differentiates between different types of low-carb diets, highlighting that not all are equally effective for long-term weight control.

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The researchers analyzed data from 123,332 healthy adults collected from 1986 to 2018 as part of three large health studies. The participants’ diets were divided into five categories based on carbohydrate content and source.

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These categories include: Total Low Carb Diet, Low Carb Animal Diet, Low Carb Plant Based Diet, Healthy Low Carb Diet, and Unhealthy Low Carb Diet.

The study concluded that diets that combine plant-based proteins and fats with healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are associated with slower weight gain over the long term. In contrast, diets that emphasized animal proteins and fats, as well as unhealthy carbohydrates such as refined starch, resulted in greater weight gain.

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Qi Song, senior author and assistant professor of nutrition, emphasizes that a key finding is the significant difference in the effects of low-carb diets depending on their composition. This suggests the need for a more nuanced and personalized approach to recommending diets for weight control. The study also highlights that the associations found were stronger among young people who were overweight or obese and/or less physically active.

This study not only challenges the widely held belief that all carbohydrates are bad for weight loss, but also suggests a shift in public health initiatives toward dietary patterns that prioritize healthy foods.

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*This content has been rewritten using artificial intelligence based on information published by Europa Press and reviewed by a journalist and editor.

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