Study: Low Fat vs. Low Carb; which is better?

Study:  Low Fat vs. Low Carb; which is better?

You might have noticed the media coverage for the results from the “DIETFITS” (Diet Intervention Examining the Factors Interacting with Treatment Success) study.

The media played up the study as a battle of two diets — low-fat vs. low-carb — and how they ended up having almost the same end results, from weight loss to lowering blood sugar and cholesterol.

What we found most interesting is that these two diets have two important things in common. 

  1. Both diets had Higher Protein than the average America diet.
  2. Both diets resulted in about 12-13 pounds lost.

Usually we see estimates that protein intake is 10% to 15% of calories. In both studies, protein intake was 21-23% of calories in both groups during the weight loss intervention. So that is about a 53% to 110% increase in the percent level.

In fact, it is more common for weight loss diets to have about 30% of calories from protein, and medical weight loss diets are often higher than that.

What to Do for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance:

  • For weight loss, the medical research points to 30% of calories from protein.  So, if you are getting:
    • 1500 calories, that would be 112 grams of protein. That is probably more than you have been getting, and it would be hard to get that high of a percentage from foods alone—without a lot of extra calories.  A protein supplement with high-quality protein is the way to go.
  • For weight maintenance, there is less research on this, but the stakes are high. You don’t want to lose a lot of weight and re-gain much of it.  We recommend getting about 25% of your calories from protein. That would be 94 grams of protein (if you’re getting 1500 calories per day). Again, it would be hard to get that high of a percentage from foods without adding a lot of calories.  A protein supplement with high-quality protein (e.g. the protein in UNJURY® products) is the way to go.

We know you’re committed to reaching your goals, and as always, we are cheering you on!

If you have questions or comments, we want to hear from you! Email our Registered Dietitians anytime,

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