Those looking to lose weight should avoid following a low-fat diet, according to the findings of a recent study.
Researchers said that instead of cutting back on fatty foods, weight watchers would benefit more from low-carbohydrate diets.
The authors of the new report were able to come up with this conclusion after analyzing 53 different studies that involved around 68,000 individuals, according to The Guardian.
Based on their research, they discovered that that strictly following a low-fat diet is not effective for achieving long-term weight loss. Although this method provided better results that those who didn't go on a diet, the total weight lost in low-fat diets is significantly less than in low-carbohydrate diets.
"Behind the current dietary advice to cut out the fat, which contains more than twice the calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein, the thinking is that simply reducing fat intake will naturally lead to weight loss," lead author Dr. Deirdre Tobias of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School said in a statement.
"But out robust evidence clearly suggests otherwise," he added.
In addition, the researchers noted that the weight lost will most likely return once people stop dieting.
Medical Director Dr. Caroline Messer of the Center for Pituitary and Neuro-Endocrine Disorders at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital, who was not part of the study, agreed with the researchers and noted that low-fat techniques only appear to be effective when compared to not dieting at all, CBS News reported.
But, when compared with other methods, such as a low-carb diet, the difference in weight loss is significant.
The researchers then concluded that based on their findings, health groups should stop suggesting low-fat diets as an effective means to lose long-term weight.
Instead, extra efforts should be focused on finding ways to help people effectively lose weight and prevent them from becoming obese. According to the researchers, this can only be achieved through the combined efforts of various organizations.
"The results also indirectly suggest more emphasis should be placed on helping individuals [stop] becoming obese in the first place, and for this we need specific trials and input (currently absent) from the government and food industry to alter food formulations, consider taxes etc., so that individuals are more easily directed to better food choices," the researchers said in a statement.
The findings of the researchers were detailed in a report published on October 29 in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.