Walk into the health section of any bookstore, and you will see countless books on diets. Conflicting titles will make your head spin. Dr. Atkins will tell you that carbs are the culprit, while Dean Ornish will ferret out the folly of fat.
So what does science tell us about different types of calories and weight loss? On a molecular level, various types of starches and fats have different effects on your body. However, Walter Willet, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health says that in terms of weight loss, low-fat diets and low-calorie diets are equally effective. He also states that most of the time, neither diet will keep the weight off long-term.
Studies show that the only major factor in terms of calorie types and weight-gain are trans-fats. Those studies show that diets high in trans-fats do relate to higher levels of weight-gain. So apart of from trans-fats, calories are calories are calories.
Some important things to remember about healthful eating plans stand out. Unsaturated fats are actually beneficial in terms of reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This is also true of carbohydrates. High intake of refined starch and sugar is related to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. High-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates are related to lower risk.
All this tells us that a quality eating plan takes into account many factors, but should not be as simple as focusing on just carbs or just fat. If weight loss is a major goal, a simple plan of calories-in versus calories-out will give lasting results.