A recent study found that dieters following either a healthy low-fat diet or a healthy low-carb diet lost on average about the same weight. Dieters were not instructed to count or cut calories but were taught to maximize vegetables and minimize refined flours, sugars and trans fats while focusing on whole foods that are minimally processed, nutrient-dense and home-prepared.
The participants were not forced to follow a restrictive diet but were guided on how to eat healthy foods without feeling deprived. This focus on food choices and eating behaviors led participants to embrace a positive relationship with food and resulted in success.
The researchers found that the genetic differences in fat and carbohydrate metabolism did not predict success with low-fat and low-carb diets. This means that the diet quality seems to be more important for weight loss than any specific food restriction.
Here are six ways to build a high quality diet to help you feel healthy and shed some pounds without the fuss of counting calories:
1. Eat nutrient-dense nuts, nut butters, seeds and beans daily.
2. Choose whole fruit instead of juice and fruit drinks.
3. Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, avocado, olives and olive oil.
4. Balance out your plate with complex carbohydrates from starchy vegetables like beets, carrots yams and winter squash.
5. Opt for pasture-raised and grass-fed animal products which have been found to have more omega-3 fatty acids and higher levels of anti-oxidants than conventional meat and dairy.
6. Plan ahead to prepare more meals at home using whole foods.
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