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People on a low-fat, high-carb diet had less anxiety and depression than those on low-carb diet
Monday, August 06, 2018 1:21 pm Email this article
People randomly assigned to either a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for one year had lower scores for anxiety and depression than people who were randomly assigned to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet according to a 2009 study from Australia.
Both groups lost an average of 30 lbs after one year.
“In conclusion, we found that despite similar weight loss after energy-restricted [high-fat, low-carb] and [low-fat, high-carb] diets for 12 months and rapid improvements in mood during the first 8 weeks with both diets, over the long term many of the benefits regressed in the [high-fat, low-carb] diet group such that participants on the [low-fat, high-carb] diet achieved better outcomes,” the authors of the study concluded.
Mood Scores for High-Carb vs Low-Carb
Depression scores for the low-fat, high-carb group versus the high-fat, low-carb group were roughly 3 versus 5.
Anxiety scores were roughly 25 versus 28.
Anger-hostility scores were roughly 15 versus 19.
Fatigue scores were roughly 10 versus 16.
Vigor-activity scores were roughly 26 versus 29.
Confusion-bewilderment scores were roughly 4.5 versus 6.5.
Total Mood Disturbance scores were roughly 20 versus 48.
All of these numbers in this section are based on a rough eye-ball estimate from the attached figure (Figure 2 from the paper).
Weight Loss: Both Groups Lost 30 lbs After One Year
The high-carb, low-fat group lost an average of 30 lbs after one year, dropping from an average of 215 lbs down to 185 lbs.
The high-fat, low-carb group also lost an average of 30 lbs after one year, dropping from an average of 211 lbs down to 181 lbs.
Subjects: 106 overweight and obese people
A total of 106 overweight and obese participants, who on average were 50-years-old and had a body mass index (BMI) of 33.7 were randomly assigned either to a calorie-restricted (1433-1672 calories) very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet or to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for one year.
Comments: There is No Perfect Diet
I have come to realize that there is no perfect diet and no perfect food.
All diets have advantages and disadvantages.
This seems to be one of the advantages of low-fat, high-carb diets—less anxiety and depression—and one of the disadvantages of high-fat, low-carb diets—more anxiety and depression.
Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Noakes M, Clifton PM, and Wilson CJ. Long-term effects of a very low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet on mood and cognitive function. Arch Intern Med, 2009 Nov 9; 169(20): 1873-1880.
The study is posted here.
Author’s Contact Info
Grant D. Brinkworth, PhD
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Food and Nutritional Sciences
PO Box 10041
Adelaide, BC, South Australia 5000
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