Low carb vs low fat for greater weight loss?

Is a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet more effective for weight loss? The Public Health Collaboration has made a summary of randomized controlled studies that test this. Which diet do you think was the best for weight loss?

Public Health Collaboration: Randomised Controlled Trials Comparing Low-Carb Diets Of Less Than 130g Carbohydrate Per Day To Low-Fat Diets Of Less Than 35% Fat Of Total Calories

Here are the results of the summary:

  • In 26 studies, the low-carb group showed statistically significantly greater weight loss.
  • The number of studies won by low fat? ZERO.

In other words, when it comes to low carb vs. low fat for weight loss, the score is 26 – 0.

It seems like we have an answer to the question.

Try it

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  1. Eric
    Want to know if low carb feeding results change if the same food is eaten ad lib over 15 hours per day or 12 or less hours or 9 or 6 hours?

    The Salk institute has a free smart phone Application. So we can do it ourselves.

    Is feeding window the ultimate hack? Time will tell.

  2. Brett Graham
    35% fat is not low-fat. True low-fat is ~10% fat. We need to see decent trials that don't pit a real diet against a straw man diet. Are there any? It's always either too many carbs vs true low-fat or true low-carb vs too much fat. We need real, fair trials.
  3. bill
    How does the body metabolize vitamins
    A, D, E and K if it's only getting 10% from
    fat? Apparently it doesn't.
  4. roberto lete
    What if the low carb dieter reaches target weight, switches to more carbs and maintains weight?
    Reply: #5
  5. Brett Graham
    Yes, Roberto, this is exactly what I've done. I followed LCHF for over 2 and half years. I lost 2.5 stone and felt great. But my Chol was through the roof. After listening to all the low carb/paleo bloggers, I stopped worrying about it. But after researching the matter properly, I decided to test changing my diet. I've gone true low-fat and introduced whole grains. All whole foods, no junk carbs. The result? Maintaining weight easily, fat percentage down, visceral fat down, cholesterol super low. Think I'm going to stick with it.
    Replies: #6, #8
  6. bill
    Whole grains are junk carbs.
  7. Seth
    Dr. Eenfeldt, I think there's a missing qualifier in your summary. Several studies do show more weight lost by low fat, but the differences are usually small, so perhaps the 26-0 score only refers to studies that show a statistically significant difference? Thanks!
  8. Former Pro-Carber
    Modifying your cholesterol issues was because for you cutting junk food, not because of low-fat itself. Whole-grains aren't considered 'whole, real food' in a healthy sense; it has the highest:lowest net-carbs:fiber ratio, that explains your weight maintenance, and that does mean it is a major corrector of cholesterol, maybe your HDL has changed, so it isn't about lowering cholesterol, check your LDL:HDL ratio.

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