With relatively cheap, highly refined, very convenient, pre-packed food, fast food and take-aways on every corner, obesity is running rampant. Some experts say we are bang, smack in the middle of a full blown obesity epidemic. It's no wonder then, that every magazine, newspaper, TV channel and yes, even internet site, is full of all sorts of diets. The question that often remains unanswered though is, do they work and even more importantly are they safe?
Here at minor-ailments.com we prefer to stick with scientifically proven methods, and diets are no exception. Two of the more recent diets to gain popularity are the low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) and high-carb/low-fat (HCLF) diets. Essentially this involves separating your carbs and fats as much as possible and eating more of one to compensate for the lack of the other one. Sounds fun doesn't it?
A group of researchers from down under decided to put the two diets to a test and also see what impact they have on mood and cognitive functions (working memory and speed of cognitive processing). After all what good a diet, if it puts you in a bad mood and interferes with you school and work.
The study was performed on 93 participants, who were divided into 2 groups. After 8 weeks both groups had significantly reduced their body weight, with a significantly greater loss in the low carb/high fat group vs high-carb/low-fat or carb group (7,8 ± 0,4 kg vs 6,4 ± 0,4 kg).
After 2 weeks both groups showed significant mood improvement with no significant differences between the 2 groups. The cognitive functions after 8 weeks also improved significantly in both groups, with the high-carb/low-fat group showing significantly better results versus low carb/high fat group, especially in the speed of cognitive processing.
The results demonstrated that both diets do if fact work, with low carb/high fat diet having the edge. What's more both diets improve mood and cognitive functions. Although the improvement of speed of cognitive processing was higher in the high-carb/low-fat group, the concerns about eventual negative effects of low carb/high fat diets were not confirmed.
In the true spirit of scepticism we must to point out that the study was done on a small number of participants and for a relatively short period of time. Further studies would be necessary to confirm these results.