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Certain Diets May Help Body Burn More Calories: Study
Date:6/26/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Dieters have long been told that to lose weight, you simply need to cut calories. But new research suggests that some combinations of foods may burn more calories than others.

When researchers compared a low-fat diet, a very low-carbohydrate diet and a low-glycemic-index diet, they found that people on very low-carb diets used the most calories. But this type of diet also boosts stress hormones and inflammation, they found.

People on the low-glycemic-index diet -- a plan designed to prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating -- also burned more calories than those on the low-fat diet, but fewer than those on the very low-carb diet.

"From a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike," said the study's senior author, Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital.

"Attempting to severely restrict all fat or all carbohydrates is hard psychologically, and it's also the wrong approach biologically," he said. "When you try to force so many nutrients through one pathway, it may have downsides on the body."

Results of the study are published in the June 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ludwig and his colleagues wanted to see if certain diets might lead to metabolic changes that could make it harder for dieters to maintain weight loss.

For the study, 21 overweight and obese young adults who had lost 10 percent to 15 percent of their body weight were put on one of three diets.

The low-fat diet derived 60 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein. The low-glycemic-index diet contained 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent fat and 20 percent protein. Low-glycemic foods tend to be less-processed foods, such as vegetables or whole grains. The low-carbohydrate diet,
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