July 26, 2012

Will that carrot make you gain weight?

Daily Briefing

Some dieticians swear by the weight-loss rule "calories in, calories out,"—even when it comes to healthy foods—but a recent study suggests that the relationship between diet and weight loss is more complicated.

Registered dietician Brooke Schantz of Loyola University Health System argues that individuals who overeat even on healthy foods—such as fruits and vegetables—can struggle to lose weight if their total caloric intake is higher than energy burned during the day. Just like junk food, healthy foods should be eaten in moderation, Schantz tells UPI.

However, a recent Harvard study reinforced a different long-held belief: Your diet plays a major role in your ability to burn fat.

Researchers examined whether a low-fat diet, the low-carb Atkins diet, or a low-glycemic index diet helped study members lose the most weight. They ultimately concluded that the low-fat diet induced potential metabolic changes that might lead to future weight gain, while the Atkins diet—which was effective in helping participants lose weight—also induced stress markers that are risk factors for future disease. In comparison, participants on the low-glycemic diet burned fewer calories, but researchers found that it was the most balanced diet.

"It's not that calories don't matter, but the quality of the calories going in can affect the number of calories going out," study author David Ludwig of Boston Children's Hospital told ABCNews.com (UPI, 7/25; Gann/Albin, ABCNews.com, 6/26).

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