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Low-Fat Diet May Improve Mood Over Long Term

Low-carb diet does not appear to have same psychological benefits in overweight patients

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet has a more positive impact on mood state in overweight and obese patients, according to a study in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Grant D. Brinkworth, Ph.D., of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -- Food and Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues conducted a study of 106 people who were obese or overweight and who followed either a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, or a high-carbohydrate, low-fat energy-restricted diet for one year. They looked at the participants' mood state, as well as cognitive function.

Both groups attained similar levels of weight loss, with the overall mean weight loss at 13.7 kg, but the low-fat diet resulted in better mood state scores than the low-carbohydrate diet, the researchers found. Neither diet had an impact on speed of cognitive processing, but participants in both groups had improved working memory.

"Despite similar weight loss after energy-restricted low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets for 12 months and rapid improvements in mood during the first eight weeks with both diets, over the long term many of the benefits regressed in the low-carbohydrate diet group such that participants on the low-fat diet achieved better outcomes," the authors write. "Further studies are required to evaluate the effects of these diets on a wider range of cognitive domains."

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