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Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate Diets and Low Fat Diets
The two most popular methods to lose weight are the low carbohydrate diets and the low
fat diets. Both are in complete contrast when it comes to each diet’s food choices, the low
carbohydrate diet which completely breaks the food pyramid limits a person to eating foods that
are high in carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and rice, while on the other hand, the low fat diet
which follow the food pyramid limits a person to eat foods that are high in fat like meat, milk,
and bean groups. Although each diet may sound very different from one another, they also share
similarities. Both the low carbohydrate diet and the low fat diet claim that each is a good tool for
weight loss. Even though their process in achieving weight loss and good health are in complete
contrast; researchers found that each of the diets accomplish the same results.
Starting with each diet’s idea, low fat diets state that fat is bad for the body; they also
address that not all fats are dangerous. Low fat dieters actually admit that some fats are needed to
stay healthy. The low fat diet does not restrict a person from foods that contain fat. In an online
article Choose a Diet low in Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, it was stated that “Fats supply
energy and essential fatty acids and promote absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and
K”. In contrast with the “good fat”, there is also a negative, which is the “bad fat”. Saturated fat,
which is considered the “bad fat”, has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. It is
mostly found in milk and other milk products. Therefore, the low fat diet encourages its
participants to reduce saturated fat for it is the main cause of high cholesterol level.
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On the other hand, even though low carbohydrate diets do not state that carbohydrates are
bad; they do state that it causes weight gain; this idea gives most Americans that it is bad because
it causes a person to gain weight. When a person eats foods that are high in carbohydrates the
body produces more insulin, which causes the body to quickly change food into body fat. This is
why the low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet restricts a person to eat very small amount of
food that contains carbohydrates to avoid the body to make excess body fat that causes weight
gain. This concludes that contrasting the low fat diets, low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet
are only concerned in the idea of losing weight and not on better health.
Another issue that seems to often come up when talking about the differences that both
the low fat and low carbohydrate diets have is how much time will each diet take to accomplish
results. Since the low fat diet has been around for a long time, countless tests have been studied
and it has been proven good for a steady weight loss. On the other hand, according to many
organizations such as BUPA, the low carbohydrate diet being fairly new hasn’t been proven
based on long studies that it is good for long-term weight loss, “the long-term effects of the diet
are still a mystery”. Former participants of the low carbohydrate diets have stated that they
experienced fast weight loss but found it hard to sustain their healthy weight. A research has
been done at the University of Pennsylvania in the month of July last year which 64 people have
been randomly assigned to either the low fat diet or the low carbohydrate diet (Atkins). The low
carbohydrate group seemed to have lost the most weight in the first six months but ended up with
no difference with the low fat diet after one year (Barrett, sec.2 par. 8). This concludes that even
though dieters on the low carbohydrate diet experience faster weight loss at the beginning of
their diet compared to the dieters in the low fat diet, the ending result end up the same in both
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diets after a year. There is not much difference between the two diets when it comes to
accomplishing results.
In addition, the most obvious difference low carbohydrate diets have with low fat diets is
the complete opposite of food that is required to eat to accomplish good health and weight loss.
The low fat diet follows the food pyramid by suggesting to eat high nutrient foods such as bread
and grains, foods that happens to be high in carbohydrates and less of foods that are high on fats
and oil like desserts and snack foods. In contrast, low carbohydrate diets allows a dieter to eat
foods that are usually thought of as bad, such as snacks and sweets, without any limits and less of
foods that contain carbohydrates, for carbohydrates are believed to cause weight gain. It
completely breaks the rule of the food pyramid, by lessening carbohydrate intake and increasing
meat and fat intake. So, the low carbohydrate diet is in complete opposite in following the food
pyramid as opposed to the low fat diet by increasing the consumption of high fat foods and
limiting the intake of carbohydrates in the body.
The low carbohydrate diet and the low fat diet are only a few of many diets that are
offered to the public. Each diet may seem like the total opposite just as in the low fat diet and the
low carbohydrate diet. Differences like the selection of food choices and presentation of the
ideas are some examples, but in the end the same results are being accomplished.
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Barret, Stephen. Quakwatch . “Low Carbohydrate Diets” 4 Jan. 1997.
Quackwatch. 17 Nov. 2004 <
Newcomb, Leslie. “Is the Atkins Diet Safe?.” 30 May 2003. Online Posting.
BUPA Organization. 17 Dec. 2004
Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dec. 1995.
U. S. Department Health and Human Services. Dec. 1995 >.
How to Cite this Page
MLA Citation:
"Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate Diets and Low Fat Diets." 29 Nov