Improve your Mood by Cutting Out the Fat

Fruits and vegetablesWeight loss is definitely linked to enhanced mood and a sense of well-being in overweight adults, but is their a difference between following the low-fat or the low-carb diet?

Restricting fats instead of carbohydrates was found to yield better results in terms of overall mood, Australian researchers have found.  In their study, dieters who stuck to low fat consumption had lasting reductions in hostility, confusion, depression, and overall bad mood scores during one year of dieting compared with those on a low-carb diet.

Low-carb diets are problematic in that they typically lead to more rapid weight loss, and researchers have found that rapid weight loss leads to rapid regains.  In a 2010 study from the University of Pennsylvania, participants who lost the most in the beginning were more likely to gain the weight back, and those who achieved weight loss by doing it in a slower manner, were more likely to keep it off. 

Low-carb diets are more difficult to follow long term. They require drastic changes in the way people typically enjoy their food. Cutting out fruits and vegetables, or eating a sandwhich without the bread, for instance, is hard to follow long term. Whereas in low-fat diets, all food groups are allowed with certain important changes, such as switching from whole to skim milk. or eating bread without the butter.

Source:  Brinkworth GD, et al “Long-term effects of a very low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet on mood and cognitive function” Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 1873-80.

Source: “Low Fat Intake Sweetens Dieters’ Mood”,  MedPage Today, November 9, 2009

Source: M Vetter, M.D., R.D., medical director, Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; L Sandon, R.D., assistant professor, clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Annals of Internal Medicine, March 2, 2010,

Source: “Low-Fat Diets Beat Low-Carb Regimen Long Term”, HealthDay, March 1, 2010

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