3. Short-term, low-carb diets better than low-fat diets for weight loss

The Mayo Clinic’s study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association finds that low-carb diets are slightly better for weight loss in the short-term, compared with low-fat diets. The plethora of diets on the weight loss market is often confusing. Low-carb diets, in particular, go under numerous names - such as Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, and Ketogenic. So which of these is the best option for weight loss? Are the diets safe, and is there a huge difference in results between them?

The Mayo Clinic in Arizona aimed to review studies that examine low-carb diets, in order to find out if they are safe and effective for weight loss and cardiovascular and metabolic health. Depending on the diet, the physicians found that the definition of low-carb diet is highly variable. Previous studies have shown low-carb diets as comprising less than 45 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates. However, this figure is not dissimilar to the typical Western diet that has more than 50 percent.

An analysis of 41 trials that evaluated the effects of low-carb diets on weight loss revealed that participants lost between 2.5-9 more pounds than individuals who followed a low-fat diet. "The best conclusion to draw is that adhering to a short-term low-carb diet appears to be safe and may be associated with weight reduction," says Dr. Heather Fields, an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic and lead researcher on this study.

To analyze the potentially harmful effects and safety of low-carb diets, Fields and colleagues looked at research conducted between January 2005 and April 2016. People tend to eat more meat when carbohydrates are restricted, which could increase the risk of death from all causes, including cancer.

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