Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have dubbed the low-glycemic index, similar to the Mediterranean Diet, as the best diet to keep off weight without causing harmful side effects. The study was lead by Cara Ebbeling who tested three different diets. The low-fat, low-carb, and low-glycemic index diet were test by 21 participants who are overweight or obese.
Overview of Calories per Diet
Low Fat: 60% of calories are carbohydrates, 20% of calories are protein, and 20% of calories are fat. The foods included in the diet are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The low-fat diet reduces the amount of fatty meats, oils, nuts, and other fat products.
Low Carb (Atkins Diet): 10% of calories are carbs, 30% of calories are protein, and 60% of calories are from protein. Types foods included in the diet are little to no carbohydrates, high amounts of beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, and there are some fruits and vegetables in the diet plan.
Low-Glycemic Index Diet (Mediterranean Diet): 40% of calories are carbs, 40% of calories are fat, 20% of calories are from protein. The foods in the diet are whole grains, low fat meats, fruits, vegetables, beans, and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts.
The study results shows participants who were given the Mediterranean Diet burned 150 calories more each day than those on the other two diets. Plus, the low-glycemic index diet had no harmful effects on the dieters.
The low-carb diet participants burned the most calories compared to the low-fat participants, however there were side effects. There was an increase in cortisol and CRP amongst the low-fat and low-carb participants.
The low-fat diet burned the least amount of calories, but there was an increase in lower levels of good cholesterol.
Out of the three diets, those on the Mediterranean Diet are more likely to lose weight without negative side effects. Mary Hartley, RD, our registered dietitian said, “In addition to the Mediterranean Diet, other healthful and satisfying diets include the Asian Diet, the vegetarian diet, and many traditional diets that feature native foods.”
Some diets are fads, but diets featuring native foods similar to the Mediterranean Diet can help keep weight off as well.