What kind of research was this?
Is Diet Composition Influenced by Differences in Insulin or Genetics? Researchers then randomly assigned them to either a low-fat or low-carb diet. "There isn't any one diet that anyone has to follow".
The low-fat group was initially encouraged to cut down to 20g a day of fat, and the low-carb group to 20g a day of carbohydrates.
People were weighed and measured after 3 months, 6 months and 12 months, and filled out sporadic food questionnaires to see how closely they were following the diet. My take is that there's just nothing new in this part of the study.
"We wanted them to choose a low-fat or low-carb diet plan that they could potentially follow forever, rather than a diet that they'd drop when the study ended", Gardner said.
Some teammates had dispensed data from a 2008 diet study that appeared to signify that people may shed more weight on low-fat or low-s carbohydrate diets dependent on their genes.
In the initial eight weeks of the study, participants were told to limit their daily carbohydrate or fat intake to just 20 grams, which is about what can be found in a 1.5 slices of whole wheat bread or in a generous handful of nuts, respectively.
The only difference between the groups was in lipid levels in the blood.
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After the second month, the researchers allowed both groups to progressively increase their carb or fat intake to a sustainable level.
"By becoming engrossed in counting calories and restricting our food intake, which is often what a diet requires us to do, it means becoming more and more confused in regards to what it means to be healthy".
But according to a new study, a person's genes don't actually have an effect on how well certain diets might work, which runs contrary to what some "personalized nutrition" companies may claim.
Arguments over whether reducing fat or carbohydrate is more important for weight loss have raged for years.
The findings, published this week in the academic journal JAMA, showed that dieting individuals who reduced their consumption of added sugars, highly processed foods and refined grains while focusing on increasing their vegetables and whole foods, lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year without counting calories or limiting the size of portions.
The theory that some diets work better for some people may still hold true - but not for the reasons previously suggested.
After the second month, Gardner's team instructed the groups to make incremental small adjustments as needed, adding back 5 to 15 grams of fat or carbs gradually, aiming to reach a balance they felt they could maintain for the rest of their lives.
The study only had limited power to show whether insulin or genetic variation directly affected the results.
The results underline "how, for most people, knowing genetic risk information doesn't have a big impact", said Timothy Caulfield, of the University of Alberta, a critic of quackery.