The ever-popular low-carbohydrate diets appear to work because they force people to eat more protein, which consequently suppresses the appetite, not because of a lower carbohydrate intake, according to new study findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
These results suggest that it’s not necessary for people to cut back carbohydrates to lose weight, according to Dr. Arne Astrup of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen, who wrote an accompanying editorial.
Protein appears to encourage people to eat fewer calories overall, Astrup noted, so if people simply increase their intake of protein, that should help them lose weight. “You can just eat a little more lean meat and low-fat dairy products,” Astrup recommended.
Lead study author Dr. David S. Weigle of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and his colleagues note that low-calorie diets rarely work. This has encouraged researchers to consider that changing the ingredients of the diet, but not its calories, makes a difference in people’s waistlines.