Man I get frustrated when I read articles like “Study surprise: Low-carb dieters eat more, lose weight.” It’s another in a series of recent “hey, low-carb diets actually help you lose weight!” studies. But take note of several things here:
- This is “a small but carefully controlled study.” How small? 21 people.
- The point of the study was that the dieters on a low-carb diet were given 300 more calories, yet they didn’t gain weight because of it. However, the only health-related mention (remember, health and weight don’t always map one-to-one) is that the low-carbers didn’t raise their cholesterol levels. But there’s a lot more that needs to be considered, particularly with the high levels of saturated fat that many high-fat diets involve.
- This one’s the most important. We all know that there has yet to be a worthwhile long-term study of the effects of a low-carb diet on the body. This skimpy study, somehow worthy of almost 800 words on CNN, ran for a mere twelve weeks.
As far as I’m concerned, this “study” is worthless.
On the other side of the coin, Time is featuring a much better (but not perfect) article titled “How to Eat Smarter.” A kind of funny quote from the article regarding the Mediterranean diet:
“The Mediterranean diet works well in the Mediterranean,” says Yale’s [David] Katz. “My concern about it in the U.S. is that people will continue to go to Burger King but just dump olive oil over their French fries.”
While the article doesn’t even bring up a vegetarian or vegan diet as a possibility, it does lean toward the “more vegetables, less meat” message.