The majority of Fit readers call themselves carb queens, and Winter can make those carbohydrate cravings even more intense. But have no fear: scientists are finding even more reasons not to avoid this essential food group.
A recent study of more than 100 obese and overweight adults in Australia found that dieting put people in a better mood; a drop in pounds led to increased satisfaction. But for people on low-carb diets, the mood boost didn't last.
The study group was split, with half the subjects on a lowfat diet and the other half low-carbing it. Interestingly, folks in both groups lost the same amount of weight on average, about 30 pounds. But after a year, the low-carb dieters also lost the positive mood effects, while the low-fat dieters did not. Here's more from the study.
According to the writeup in the Archives of Internal Medicine:
It's not clear why the mood benefits faded for people in the low-carb group.
But the researchers suggest that the low-carbohydrate diet may have been too hard and too different from how people used to eat.
The low-carb diet may have been "so far removed" from normal eating patterns that it became a lot of work and a social burden, note the researchers.
It's also worth noting that carbohydrates provide a boost in serotonin, the feel-good chemical also delivered by vitamin D and exercise. Since research has shown that low-carbohydrate diets could interfere with the brain's memory functions, cutting carbs too much may not be the best idea. The lowfat diet in the Down Under study was just as effective, suggesting that moderation is the common denominator. Does this make you less scared of carbs?