For years, we have heard over and over that our weight is tied to the amount of calories we eat. The prevailing wisdom was that if we could just reduce the calories taken in, then we could lose weight. More recently, we are starting to understand that the type of food we eat, not just a total calories, may be more important to our health. Now a major study confirms the concept.
These researchers, in a very careful and rigorous fashion, studied not just the total calories take it in, but also the quality and type of food eaten in a large group of test subjects whose weight, and overall health status, was tracked over a year. You can read the details of this extensive study here, but here are some of the key conclusions:
- Dieters who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and other processed foods, while also increasing their intake of vegetables and whole foods successfully lost weight, regardless of total caloric intake.
- This strategy applied equally to reducing fats or carbs, as neither strategy was clearly better.
- The key point is that these dieters were not told to count calories, just focus on better quality selection of food, and they had successful weight loss and still actually reduced the total amount of calories a day. So this seems to confirm that quality, not quantity, is the key to a healthy diet.