More evidence that it matters where the calories are coming from.
There are still so called experts who claim that it does not matter where the calories are coming from when it comes to losing and maintaining your weight. Several studies designed in different ways have documented that it does make a difference where the calories are coming from. When we lose weight the metabolic rate tends to slow down, making it more difficult to maintain the weight. Food that slows the metabolic rate the least would be the most beneficial way to eat for weight loss and weight maintenance.
The research reviewed here provides even more evidence that the kind of food we eat makes a difference when it comes to resting energy expenditure, total energy expenditure and inflammation (Ebbeling CB, et al. 2012).
In this study 3 different diets were compared and the participants were overweight and obese young adults. After the participants lost 10-15% of their weight, they were either put on a low-fat diet (60% of energy from carbohydrate, 20% from fat, 20% from protein; high glycemic load), low-glycemic index diet (40% from carbohydrate, 40% from fat, and 20% from protein; moderate glycemic load), and very low-carbohydrate diet (10% from carbohydrate, 60% from fat, and 30% from protein; low glycemic load) in random order, each for 4 weeks.
The results showed that the decrease in resting energy expenditure was greatest with the low fat diet, intermediate with the low glycemic index diet and the least with the very low carbohydrate diet.
There are two things which are important here; the low glycemic index diet was not all that low since it was moderate glycemic load. What a lot of people call low glycemic index is in reality moderate glycemic index. The other important point is that the results also showed that the low carbohydrate diet increased inflammation.
One thing you don’t want is increased inflammation, that contributes to chronic disease and pain, so the low carbohydrate diet is not a good choice. The low-fat, high glycemic load diet slowed the resting energy expenditure the most, so that is also not a good choice.
The best choice is a very low glycemic index diet based on carbohydrates without a huge amount of fat, but including good amounts of the healthy essential fats. That would decrease the resting energy expenditure the least and also decrease inflammation.
These are the type of recommendations you will find on Learn to Eat, providing you a program which can be downloaded directly to your computer.
Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, Wong WW, Hachey DL, Garcia-Lago E, Ludwig DS. Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. JAMA. 2012 Jun 27;307(24):2627-34.