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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is low carb or low fat best for weight loss?

    Related Topic
    I've read so many different things in magazines and i am so confused as to whether a low fat or low carb diet is best?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Mel Haynes


    Chef, Scientist and Nutritionist. I specialise culinary nutrition and disease prevention with plant based diets. View Profile


    In my experience a balanced diet is the best approach.  Low carbohydrate diets have been shown to be more effective in the SHORT term, but not in the long term (low fat / low carb come out even)

    I would recomend reducing your carbohydrate serves to one or two moderate serves per meal and choosing good high fibre sources like brown rice, high fibre pasta, medium baked jacket potato or wholemeal grain bread.

    When it comes to fat, reducing your overall intake is important IF your current intake is high.  I try to focus more on the TYPE of fat which is being consumed and swapping bad fats for good fats.
    Saturated fat is a “bad” fat, one which should be reduced.  This includes butter, cream, full fat dairy and meat.

    The good fats include poly and mono unsaturated fats which are found in olive oil, nuts, seeds  and avocado.

    This website has some good information on fat:

    Other things to keep in mind for weight loss:
    1. Slow and steady wins the race - dropping weight too quickly leads to rebounding
    2. Breakfast is essential for weight loss
    3. Good protein sources like fish, lean meat and non-fat dairy assist with weight loss
    4. Increase serves of fibre and vegetables.

    So a simple answer to your question is NEITHER diet is the perfect approach, you need a combination of the two, using the best choices from both categories.

    Happy Cooking,


  • 1




    Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    Neither low fat nor low carb diets are the answer to long-term weight loss. 
    The best approach is to choose the right types of carbs (those high in fibre with a low glycemic index such as wholegrain breads, oats, barley, quinoa, legumes, corn, wholemeal pasta and most fruits) and moderate amounts of healthy fats (such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil), balanced with lean protein foods.
    Ultimately, it is the total amount of energy, or calories, you consume which matters when you are trying to lose weight. Eating a well balanced diet, watching portion sizes, and exercising regularly is the best way to achieve long-term success with weight loss.

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