Low-carb diets like Atkins 'DO help you lose weight and keep it off'

Scientists have found that people who ate the highest proportion of fatty foods – such as fry-ups, dairy and peanut butter – burned an extra 278 calories a day.

That's despite consuming the same number of calories as others who munched more carbs like spuds and pasta.

The extra saved cals are the equivalent of going for a 30 minute run, scoffing a Mars Bar, or gorging on six Jaffa Cakes every day.

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital compared the effects of diets with varying ratios of fat and carbohydrates.

The trial involved 164 adults who were randomly assigned to a high (60 per cent), moderate (40 per cent), or low (20 per cent) carb diet for 20 weeks.

Those on the low carbohydrate diet – similar to the Atkins Diet – burned 209 to 278 calories a day more than those on the high carb diet.

If this persisted it would translate into an estimated 1st 8lbs weight loss after three years for an overweight 5ft 10in man aged 30, researchers say.

Participants were given prepared meals containing the same number of calories and protein to allow a fair comparison.

It's worth saying that while many experts believe low-carb diets and keto plans to be effective when it comes to weight loss, we aren't talking about cutting all forms of carbohydrates.

Dark, leafy veg are technically carbs, but offer us vital vitamins, minerals and fibre – something that is sorely missing in plans like the Atkins.

Nutritionist Sarah Flower previously told The Sun that while a "processed low-carb diet is not good, a real food low-carb diet is good".

"Low-carb/keto done correctly should be full of good gut boosting foods, including fibre from the vegetables.

"Most people think of Atkins or just a diet of meat and fat when they hear low carb or keto but it is nothing more than a real food diet, cutting out grains, sugars and all processed foods."

Experts believe that the findings suggest the nutritional content of food affects the way the body stores or uses energy (which is essentially what followers of keto believe).

Study leader Prof David Ludwig said: “We found that total energy expenditure was significantly greater in participants assigned to a low carbohydrate diet compared with high carbohydrate diet of similar protein content.

“The study shows that dietary quality can affect energy expenditure independently of body weight, a phenomenon that could be key to obesity treatment.
"[The diet] might facilitate weight loss maintenance beyond the conventional focus on restricting energy intake and encouraging physical activity."

Prof Tom Sanders, from King's College London, said: “The low carbohydrate diet contained a horrendous amount of saturated fat, which would increased blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.”

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