An End to 'Diet Wars'? Researchers Analyze the Battle Between Carbs and Fat

One News Page Staff Saturday, 17 November 2018
An End to 'Diet Wars'? Researchers Analyze the Battle Between Carbs and Fatby 👩‍💻 Alice Monroe

Losing weight can take time and dedication – and there are so many different diets and pieces of lifestyle advice out there that it can get more than a little confusing as to what to do for the best. All bodies are different – and it seems that the current trends in recent years have centred on blaming too many carbohydrates or saturated fat in our diets for weight gain and obesity rates. However, as there still seems to be a firm divide on quite which diet system works best, researchers in the US are thought to be looking closely at ways to combat this system of ‘diet wars’ for good, according to The Guardian.

A review into what may be the common ground on what constitutes a ‘healthy’ diet is being published by experts who are looking into whether or not low carb or low fat diets can help to provide positive metabolic results. Professor David Ludwig, a nutrition expert based at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, is working alongside Professor Walter Willett, who specializes in epidemiology and nutrition at the same school – in an effort to try and find a straight answer on what works best for most bodies.

“We have diet wars – there are many topics in nutrition in which various colleagues take polarized positions,” Prof Ludwig advises. “You can come up with two assessments of the world’s literature which come to opposite conclusions. This is not nuclear physics where you can objectively define your criteria for truth and all work together. Nutrition and human physiology is much more complicated than nuclear physics.”

Ludwig and Willett’s review, published in the Science journal, looks at a number of controversial viewpoints with regard to nutrition. They advise that one of the most important distinctions to make is between quality and quantity – and that the types of fat and carbohydrate consumed are more likely to be important than the percentage of their presence in any given diet. All in all, their findings explain that research into nutritional effects upon our health needs to be expanded.

“There is broad agreement regarding the fundamental components of a healthful diet that can serve to inform policy, clinical management, and individual dietary choice. Nonetheless, important questions relevant to the epidemics of diet-related chronic disease remain. Greater investment in nutrition research should assume a high priority,” their research states.

With this in mind – are we spending more time worrying about high-intensity and low-intensity diets than we are understanding the individual effects of nutritional elements? This latest paper suggests that may very well be the case.


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