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Concept: Diet food


Reduced calorie, low fat diet is currently recommended diet for overweight and obese adults. Prior data suggest that low carbohydrate diets may also be a viable option for those who are overweight and obese.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Carbohydrate, Diets, Diet food, Low-carbohydrate diet, Resistant starch, Low-fat


Obesity remains a significant public health concern. One of the primary messages from providers and health-care organizations is to eat healthier foods with lower fat. Many in the lay press, however, have suggested that lower fat versions of foods contain more sugar. To our knowledge, a systematic comparison of the sugar content in food with lower fat alternatives has not been performed. In this study, we compared fat free, low fat and regular versions of the same foods using data collected from the USDA National Nutrient Database. We found that the amount of sugar is higher in the low fat (that is, reduced calorie, light, low fat) and non-fat than ‘regular’ versions of tested items (Friedman P=0.00001, Wilcoxon P=0.0002 for low fat vs regular food and P=0.0003 for non-fat vs regular food). Our data support the general belief that food that is lower in fat may contain more sugar.

Concepts: Public health, Health, Nutrition, Food, Sugar, Diet food, Resistant starch, Low-fat


Diets used to induce metabolic disease are generally high in fat and refined carbohydrates and importantly, are usually made with refined, purified ingredients. However, researchers will often use a low fat grain-based (GB) diet containing unrefined ingredients as the control diet. Such a comparison between two completely different diet types makes it impossible to draw conclusions regarding the phenotypic differences driven by diet. While many compositional differences can account for this, one major difference that could have the greatest impact between GB and purified diets is the fiber content, both in terms of the level and composition. We will review recent data showing how fiber differences between GB diets and purified diets can significantly influence gut health and microbiota, which itself can affect metabolic disease development. Researchers need to consider the control diet carefully in order to make the best use of precious experimental resources.

Concepts: Scientific method, Protein, Metabolism, Nutrition, Fat, Difference, Diet food, Resistant starch


Alternate day fasting (ADF) with a low-fat (LF) diet is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection. However, the applicability of these findings is questionable as the majority of Americans consume a high-fat (HF) diet.

Concepts: Nutrition, United States, Calorie restriction, Fasting, Diets, Diet food, Intermittent fasting, Eating behaviors


It is unclear which of four popular contemporary diet patterns is best for weight maintenance among postmenopausal women. Four dietary patterns were characterised among postmenopausal women aged 49-81 years (mean 63·6 (sd 7·4) years) from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study: (1) a low-fat diet; (2) a reduced-carbohydrate diet; (3) a Mediterranean-style (Med) diet; and (4) a diet consistent with the US Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Discrete-time hazards models were used to compare the risk of weight gain (≥10 %) among high adherers of each diet pattern. In adjusted models, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain (OR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·76), whereas the low-fat (OR 1·43; 95 % CI 1·33, 1·54) and DGA (OR 1·24; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·33) diets were associated with increased risk of weight gain. By baseline weight status, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain among women who were normal weight (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·81), overweight (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·76) or obese class I (OR 0·63; 95 % CI 0·53, 0·76) at baseline. The low-fat diet was associated with increased risk of weight gain in women who were normal weight (OR 1·28; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·46), overweight (OR 1·60; 95 % CI 1·40, 1·83), obese class I (OR 1·73; 95 % CI 1·43, 2·09) or obese class II (OR 1·44; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·92) at baseline. These findings suggest that a low-fat diet may promote weight gain, whereas a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease risk of postmenopausal weight gain.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Estrogen, Overweight, Adipose tissue, Dieting, Class II railroad, Diet food


Our objective was to investigate changes in liver fat and insulin sensitivity during a 2-year diet intervention. An ad libitum Paleolithic diet was compared to a conventional, low-fat diet.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Glucose, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Paleolithic, Diet food


Limited evidence suggests that dietary interventions may offer a promising approach for migraine. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a low-fat plant-based diet intervention on migraine severity and frequency.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Randomized controlled trial, Fat, Diet, Diet food


Athletes risk performance and muscle loss when dieting. Strategies to prevent losses are unclear. This study examined the effects of two diets on anthropometrics, strength and stress in athletes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Dieting, Diets, Diet food, Crash diet


Diets consisting of refined foods (REF) are associated with poor physical (e.g., obesity and diabetes) and mental (e.g., depression) health and impaired cognition. Few animal studies have explored the causal links between diet processing and health. Instead, most studies focus on the role of macronutrients, especially carbohydrate and fat concurrently with how processed are the ingredients. We previously showed that a REF low fat diet (LFD) caused greater adiposity and impaired motivation compared to an unrefined control (CON) diet consisting of similar macronutrient ratios (Blaisdell et al., 2014). Here we test the hypothesis that the same REF LFD adversely affects attentional processes and behavioral control relative to the CON diet. Rats with ad libitum access to the REF diet for two months gained greater adiposity than rats consuming the CON diet. Rats then completed training on a vigilance task involving pressing the correct lever signaled by a brief visual cue whose onset varied across trials. A REF diet reduced accuracy when there was a delay between the start of the trial and cue onset. Poorer accuracy was due to increased premature responses, reflecting impulsivity, and omissions, indicating an inability to sustain attention. These results corroborate the links between consumption of refined foods, obesity, and poor cognition in humans. We discuss the possible causal models that underlie this link.

Concepts: Psychology, Nutrition, Attention, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Dieting, Diet food, Low-fat


Compromised bone health is a frequently cited concern of very-low-carbohydrate (LC) diets, although limited data are available from long-term, well-controlled, randomized studies. This study compared the effects of an energy-restricted LC diet and traditional, higher-carbohydrate, low-fat (LF) diet on bone health after 12 mo.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Randomized controlled trial, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Cultural studies, Dieting, Diet food