Which is Better, Low Fat or Low Carb?

Stanford Research Provides the Answer, with Professor Christopher Gardner

The recent DIETFITS study explored how well people would do on a low-carb vs. a low-fat diet, based on genotype or the way they secrete insulin. The results of the study didn’t reveal a link with genotype pattern or insulin. But they showed roughly equal weight-loss success for participants on both diets. Notably, the study forbid participants in both diets to eat added sugar or refined grain, and encouraged both groups to eat copious vegetables. More than whether your diet is high-fat or low-fat, it seems that high-quality whole foods are a critical factor in healthy weight loss.

Episode Intro

Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hi everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio. Today I am here with Christopher Gardner. Man, the more I talk to this guy, the more I just love what he has to say. He’s published another study, looking at this mystical bias-filled issue of carbohydrates, fat, and diet. And I think he’s one of the few guys in the space who doesn’t seem to be highly biased in one direction or another. So Chris, super excited to have you back on the show, welcome.

Prof. Christopher Gardner, PhD: Thanks, glad to be here.

[Continue reading below]

Dr. R’s Fast Facts Summary

Study: Effect of Low-Fat Versus Low-Carb Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association with Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion Also known as DIETFITS trial

  • A healthy constructed low carb diet vs low fat diet, again, as long as they’re healthy, seem to be beneficial for the majority of people
    • Will everyone do well on these? Not necessarily, it’s worth testing both options to see how your body responds individually
  • Gene testing didn’t seem to offer any benefit in this study
  • Quality of food matters (on any diet)

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In this episode…
Episode Intro … 00:00:40
Inspiration for Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat Study … 00:02:32
Design of DIETFITS Study … 00:05:47
What Is Quality in a Diet? … 00:12:48
What Is Truly Low Carb (or Low Fat)? … 00:19:38
Gene Correlation: a Red Herring? … 00:26:09
Results of Low-Fat vs. Low-Carb Study … 00:29:43
Overlap of the Healthiest Diets … 00:33:16
Satiety: the Natural Weight Control? … 00:36:18
Both Diets Won, But Questions Remain … 00:41:14
Rules for Different Dieters … 00:44:49
Episode Wrap-Up …00:49:30

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Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

10 thoughts on “Which is Better, Low Fat or Low Carb?

  1. Hi. Thank you for this Podcast. Very interesting. But I am a bit confused. ”I’m sure I’m supposed to count calories.” We said, “Not in this study.” They said, “Oh, I’m so relieved. Oh, I’ve tried so many times, and I count the calories, and they don’t add up, and I gain weight anyway.” So it’s really fascinating that we intentionally chose not to prescribe a calorie restriction and to keep the focus on cutting out the foods that are highest in fat or highest in carb, depending on which group you’re in, and focusing on quality.” Is there any chance you can ask him about this one?: http://www.weightymatters.ca/2018/02/yes-calories-counted-literally-in.html in which the authos argues that calories counted. Thank you.

  2. hello,

    its amazing research and the nice difference between low fat vs low carb. thank for this deep insight.

  3. Hi. Thank you for this Podcast. Very interesting. But I am a bit confused. ”I’m sure I’m supposed to count calories.” We said, “Not in this study.” They said, “Oh, I’m so relieved. Oh, I’ve tried so many times, and I count the calories, and they don’t add up, and I gain weight anyway.” So it’s really fascinating that we intentionally chose not to prescribe a calorie restriction and to keep the focus on cutting out the foods that are highest in fat or highest in carb, depending on which group you’re in, and focusing on quality.” Is there any chance you can ask him about this one?: http://www.weightymatters.ca/2018/02/yes-calories-counted-literally-in.html in which the authos argues that calories counted. Thank you.

  4. What a great podcast! I went Keto in October after a t2d diagnosis after years w/o a doctor. It worked (a1c went from 13% to 5% in 4 mos.), but my hair fell out, I felt worry all the time about having to measure Brussels sprouts etc to not go over 20c a day. Now juggling paleo/Keto I have been wondering about diet sustainability. This podcast came at one of my most troubling times in terms of gaging what I should be doing. Whatever makes me feel most satisfied so that I push my plate away without needing more food is the answer. I had been starting to guess that the body wisdom would kick in but when there is a mysterious, damaged pancreas, which I can’t look at and inspect the way I can my skin, etc, it is hard to feel strong about a plan with the unknowns. Thank you for such an intelligent, helpful podcast.

  5. What a great podcast! I went Keto in October after a t2d diagnosis after years w/o a doctor. It worked (a1c went from 13% to 5% in 4 mos.), but my hair fell out, I felt worry all the time about having to measure Brussels sprouts etc to not go over 20c a day. Now juggling paleo/Keto I have been wondering about diet sustainability. This podcast came at one of my most troubling times in terms of gaging what I should be doing. Whatever makes me feel most satisfied so that I push my plate away without needing more food is the answer. I had been starting to guess that the body wisdom would kick in but when there is a mysterious, damaged pancreas, which I can’t look at and inspect the way I can my skin, etc, it is hard to feel strong about a plan with the unknowns. Thank you for such an intelligent, helpful podcast.

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