Certain diets may be useless, depending on your DNA
22 February, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Joy Garcia
All of the men and women had their DNA tested before the study to see if they had one of three genes that could predict whether they might achieve better weight-loss results on a diet that was low-fat or low-carb, or whether they lacked these genes. The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers then randomly assigned them to either a low-fat or low-carb diet.
To test this, Stanford University researchers put more than 600 overweight but otherwise healthy people on either a low-fat or low-carb diet for a year, after testing their DNA for genes linked to high fat or carb metabolism.
"This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States", said Mozaffarian, who was not involved in the new study. By the end of that year, about 20 per cent of participants had dropped out of the study, due to outside circumstances, Gardner noted.
The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Nutrition Science Initiative, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Stanford Clinical and Translational Science Award.
The researchers say their results showed "no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet" and that "neither of the two hypothesised predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom".
Diets are definitely not one-size-fits-all, as what works for one person may not prove successful for someone else.
But in the months that followed, participants were encouraged to gradually add in small amounts of carbs or fat until they reached a daily amount that satisfied them (which ended up being around 57g fat and 132g carbohydrate, still well below the amounts they'd regularly eaten before the study). Therefore, participants were broken up into a low-carb and low-fat group. Go for whole foods, whether that is a wheatberry salad or grass-fed beef.
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Gardner emphasizes that it's all about healthy low-fat and low-carb diets.
Both groups achieved a clinically important weight loss of approximately 5% of body weight.
"On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we had helped them change their relationship to food, and that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate", said Gardner. They no longer ate in their cars or in front of television screens, and they were cooking more at home and sitting down to eat with their families, for example. And regardless of your diet, choose to eat less sugar, less refine flout and as many vegetables as possible. We said, 'Don't go out and buy a low-fat brownie just because it says low fat. That was the case for 97 of the 180 people with the low-carb genotype.
Calorie counting has always been ingrained in the prevailing nutrition and weight-loss advice. They were allowed to increase that to more manageable levels during the rest of the study.
"Weight management is all about balancing the number of calories you take in with the number your body uses or burns off", the agency says. After one year the results are in and it's a draw. Within each diet group, there was an individual who lost as much as 60 lbs.
Gardner said it is not that calories do not matter.
In the healthy low-fat diet group, 42.6% of participants had the low-fat responsiveness genotype, and 27.2% had the low-carbohydrate responsiveness genotype. "We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains".
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