Obese diabetic women looking to lose weight are better off basing their diet on lean proteins like low-fat cheese and lean chicken than celery and fibre-rich bread, nutritionists at the University of Otago in New Zealand discovered.
Many nutritionists still don't believe in the value of a protein-rich diet, but maybe they will see the light one day. Maybe they'll pluck up courage and start to read the piles of studies that show how effective a protein-rich weight-loss diet can be. Studies published in their own scientific journals please note, like the study that the New Zealanders published recently in Nutrition Journal.
In this study women aged between 18 and 65 with a BMI of 33-35 went on an eight-week diet which provided them with 450-490 calories less than they burned each day. The researchers wanted the women to lose 0.5 - 1.0 kg per week.
Of the test subjects, 37 followed a diet that resembled a protein diet: almost thirty percent of the energy came from proteins [HP Diet]. The women in this group didn't use protein supplements. The researchers' aim was to defuse the criticism that only extreme protein-rich diets work – like diets that bodybuilders use, but that ordinary mortals can't sustain.
An equal number of women were put on a diet consisting of about 20 percent energy derived from protein. In this diet the emphasis was on fibre-rich sources of carbohydrates [HFib Diet]. This is the kind of weight-loss diet that most regular nutritionists advocate.
The moderate protein-rich diet worked better. The women in the HP diet group lost 1.3 kg more weight, 1.3 kg more fat and lost 0.3 kg less lean body mass than the women in the other group.
Blood examinations showed that both groups became healthier. The triglyceride concentration in the blood of the HFib group didn't rise. "Earlier studies suggesting deleterious effects of high carbohydrate diets relative to high protein diets may have resulted from the nature of carbohydrate and dietary fiber consumed", the researchers write.
The research was funded by the dairy company Fronterra.
Nutr J. 2011 Apr 28;10:40.