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Study Compares Low-fat, Plant-based Diet to Low-carb, Animal-based Diet

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Study Compares Low-fat, Plant-based Diet to Low-carb, Animal-based Diet

People on a low-fat, plant-based diet ate fewer daily calories but had higher insulin and blood glucose levels, compared to when they ate a low-carbohydrate, animal-based diet, according to a small but highly controlled study at the National Institutes of Health. Both diets were minimally processed and had equivalent amounts of non-starchy vegetables. The participants were given three meals a day, plus snacks, and could eat as much as desired.

The plant-based, low-fat diet (10% fat, 75% carb) - despite high glycemic carbs that resulted in pronounced swings in blood glucose and insulin, the diet helps curb appetite and showed a significant reduction in calorie intake (550 to 700 fewer calories/day) and loss of body fat. This challenges the idea that high-carb diets per se lead people to overeat.

The animal-based, low-carb high fat diet (10% carb, 75% fat) - did not result in weight gain despite being high in fat, with lower and more steady insulin and glucose levels (sustained over the long term ?) This suggests overeating and weight gain are more complex than the amount of carbs or fat in one’s diet.

(example meals for the 2 diets)