2. Low-fat diet
Defined as: Getting only 20–30% of daily calories from fat; the remaining 80–70% are split between protein and carbs, typically with an emphasis on carbs.
Pros: Advocated by the Institute of Medicine, a low-fat diet (or high-carb, depending on your perspective) is based around the idea that cutting back on the most calorie-dense macro will help you eat fewer calories overall. And studies do show switching to a low-fat diet can help you lose body fat quickly, though not necessarily long-term.
Cons: Eating this way perpetuates the outdated idea that dietary fat is the enemy of body fat. And it isn’t necessarily better than other diets: One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared high-protein, normal protein, high-fat, and low-fat diets, and found no significant difference in fat loss among the groups at six months or two years (though all did result in some fat loss). What’s more, while the low-fat group was supposed to keep its intake of the macro at 20%, actual intake was closer to 26-28%, suggesting that sticking to a strict low-fat diet is rather difficult and potentially unrealistic for most.
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