Which diet is the most effective for shedding weight? According to Danish researchers who have just completed the world’s largest study into diet and weight loss, one that is high in proteins with less starch calories is the optimum way to lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI.
The large-scale study, involving eight European research centers, investigated the optimum diet composition for preventing and treating obesity. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that the best way to avoid counting calories and gaining weight was to eat less white bread and white rice, and more lean meat, low-fat dairy products and beans.
- A low-protein diet (13 percent of energy consumed) with a high glycemic index (GI)
- A low-protein, low-GI diet
- A high-protein (25 percent of energy consumed), low-GI diet
- A high-protein, high-GI diet
- A control group
The study participants in the low-protein/high-GI group showed the poorest results with a significant weight gain of 1.67 kg. The weight gain was 0.93 kg less for participants on a high-protein diet than for those on a low-protein diet and 0.95 kg less in the groups on a low-GI diet compared to those on a high-GI diet.
The researchers conclude that a diet consisting of slightly higher protein content and low-GI foods represents the best option for overweight people to lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI.