Monday, March 31, 2008

A Low-Carb Diet Or A Low-Fat Diet?

You won't find the answer to that question in the ADA's new Nutrition Recommendations:

Nutrition Recommendations And Interventions For Diabetes, A Position Statement Of The American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, January 2008

You will however find the ADA's first official endorsement of low-carbohydrate diets, a stand they previously shied away from owing to lack of evidence on safety and effectiveness:
"For weight loss, either low-carbohydrate or low-fat calorie-restricted diets may be effective in the short term (up to 1 year)."
- ADA 2008 Position Statement
Their support for a low-carb eating plan, albeit for one year, isn't so much the highlight of these new recommendations as is their support for individualized meal plans. Speaking in a press release that accompanied the Position Statement, Ann Albright, ADA President of Health Care & Education said:1
"The evidence is clear that both low-carbohydrate and low-fat calorie restricted diets result in similar weight loss at one year. We're not endorsing either of these weight-loss plans over any other method of losing weight. What we want health-care providers to know is that it's important for patients to choose a plan that works for them."
Ann Albright, PhD, RD, President, Health Care & Education, ADA

1 ADA press release, December 28, 2007:
ADA Issues New Clinical Practice Recommendations, New Advice for Doctors About Low-Fat, Low-Carb Restricted Diets For Short-Term Weight Loss