diet food on plate, portion of fresh salmon and avocado

Low Fat or Low Carb – Which Diet Is Best?

Traditionally, people have tended to gravitate towards a low fat diet in order to burn more fat and lose weight. Most diets in recent years have been based on this principle, and the majority of people have believed unshakeably that low fat eating is the only way to drop sizes. But there has been some research more recently that shows low carbohydrate diets could be equally effective. 

Even better, low carb eating programmes have also been demonstrated to reduce hunger, balance blood sugars, and boost fat loss. So, which of the two options is best if you want to lose weight? Here, we take a closer look at each type of diet and its benefits. 

What Is A Low Carbohydrate Diet?

Low carbohydrate diets are designed to limit the number of carbs you consume. There are different degrees of low carb eating. A very low carbohydrate eating plan will only allow around 20g-50g each day based on a typically 2000 calorie consumption, whereas a standard low carb regime involves consuming under 130g per day and a moderate carb regime involves consuming up to 220g per day. 

If you opt for a very low carbohydrate diet, you will find that it will usually be ketogenic, which means that carb intake is significantly restricted in order to cause ketosis, the metabolic state that causes the body to use up fat as energy rather than carbs.

A low carb diet will restrict foods such as baked goods, sweets, candies, and beverages containing sugar. Some diets also limit healthier sources of carbohydrates including starchy vegetables, legumes, pasta, grains, and higher carb fruits. 

While on this diet plan, you should eat more protein and consume healthy fats from sources such as meat, fish, nuts, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and unprocessed oils. 

What Are Low Fat Diets? 

A low fat diet involves restricting your intake of fat to under 30% of your total daily calorie intake. Usually, high fat food such as butter, seeds, nuts, full-fat dairy products, and avocados are banned or limited. 

Instead, you’re supposed to consume foods that are naturally low in fat such as vegetables, fruits, egg whites, skinless poultry, legumes, and wholegrains. Often, foods that have a reduced amount of fat such as skimmed milk, low fat yoghurts, and lean pork or beef are permitted too. You should note, though, that many products that are low-fat contain artificial sweeteners or added sugar.

Which Diet Works Best For Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to lose weight in the short-term, a low carb diet could be best for you. Studies have shown that people following low carbohydrate eating plans can lose three times more weight than those following low fat diets. However, in the long term, research shows that both kinds of diet can achieve similar results. 

If you want to lose fat, a low carb diet is often the best choice. People following low calorie, low carbohydrate diets lose more belly fat and total fat mass than those following low fat diets. 

Which Diet Will Make Me Feel Less Hungry?

Many people hate dieting because they feel hungry all the time. Studies have revealed that high protein, low carb diets can decrease hunger while also boosting mood when compared to low fat eating plans, which may make them easier to follow in the long term. Both fat and protein make people feel fuller for longer, since they slow the stomach’s emptying process while also affecting the hormones controlling appetite and hunger. 

Which Diet Is Best For Blood Sugars?

If blood sugar drops, people may feel more hungry, and may also experience severe side effects such as fatigue, unintentional weight changes, and shakiness. Limiting the amount of carbs you consume is a known strategy to control blood sugars. Studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets can control blood sugar and reduce insulin needs in diabetics while also boosting weight loss. 

Do Low Carb And Low Fat Diets Impact On Health?

Both low carb and low fat diets may have an impact on other elements of health. For example, low carbohydrate diets have been shown to help improve good HDL cholesterol levels while also decreasing levels of triglycerides when compared to low fat regimes. 

Studies have also shown that both types of diet can reduce blood pressure in the short term, but when it comes to long term impact, there have been mixed results. 

At the moment, more research is needed to determine the full impact that eating either a low fat or a low carbohydrate diet can have on various aspects of human health and well-being to determine who can best benefit from each type of eating plan. 

Which Type Of Diet Should I Choose?

Although the low fat diet has long been considered to be the best method of losing weight, more people are now becoming more interested in trying out a low carbohydrate regime for themselves after having heard that it can boost weight loss in the short term, help with fat loss, control blood sugars, and reduce hunger. 

With so many benefits having been demonstrated by studies and research, it isn’t hard to see why so many people are now being converted to low carb lifestyles. Although more research is still required to determine the effects in the long term of both types of eating regime, evidence so far reveals that low carbohydrate diets are just as effective when it comes to weight loss as a low fat diet, and could offer extra health benefits too.

Whether you opt for a low fat or a low carbohydrate eating programme, it’s important to remember that adhering to a consistent eating regime in the long term is a key factor for success when it comes to improving your health overall and also losing weight. If you can find a diet that you feel comfortable with, you need to stick to it in the long run so that you can see maximum benefits. 

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