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Weighty problem: Protein is the solution?

Hail protein! So finally scientists have been able to zero in on the// nutrient, which will end people’s woes. The basis of the well known “rage” diets like Atkins diet and South beach diet lies in the stoppage or restriction of carbohydrate foods. As a consequence protein in the diet is increased manifold. Low carbohydrate is the gen-next mantra for weight loss and rightly so. These diets work in a paradoxical way, not due to carbohydrate restriction but protein inclusion.

In the new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, David Weigle from the University of Washington School of Medicine and colleagues decided to test the hypothesis that increasing protein while maintaining carbohydrate intake decreases the appetite, leads to the consumption of fewer calories and results in weight loss.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Arne Astrup of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen said, “preventing weight gain is a more complex matter than simply telling people to eat less and exercise more.”

A key take-home message of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans concerns calorie control and exercise, with consumers encouraged to choose foods in order to get the most nutrition out of calories consumed.

In the study by Weigle, 19 subjects were assigned three different diets, one after the other. The first two weeks were for a weight-maintaining diet where protein accounted for 15 percent of calories, fat 35 percent and carbohydrate 50 percent.

An isocaloric diet followed for the second two weeks, 30 percent protein, 35 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrate.

Thereafter twelve weeks were devoted to a diet where there was no restriction on calories but the proportions, again, were 30 percent protein, 20 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrate.

Measurements of the following parameters were made throughout viz appetite, caloric intake, body weight, and fat m
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