A diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates doesn’t cause postmenopausal women to gain weight; it can help them lose weight if the carbs come mostly from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
That’s what researchers found in the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. Of nearly 49,000 women in the study, 40% were instructed how to follow a low-fat, high-carb diet; the remaining 60% in the control group were not. The women on the low-fat, high-carb diet actually lost an average of about five pounds in the first year of the study and maintained a lower weight than women in the control group for about seven years of follow-up.
This study upends the common belief that high-carb diets always result in weight gain. The researchers attribute the results to cutting back on fat and replacing those calories with complex carbohydrate calories from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, not refined carbs.
Journal of the American Medical Association, January 4, 2006.