Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Both Work for Weight Loss -- But How Healthy Is High-Fat?

June 16, 2004 -- Low-carb dieters can go high-protein or high-fat. Either way, weight loss will happen, new research shows.

The report, from a group of Australian researchers, is being presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society being held in New Orleans this week. But it hasn't settled the "which diet is best" dilemma yet. Some nutritionists are bristling, saying that a high-fat diet is never a good idea.

Pitting Fat Against Protein

At issue is a two-phase study involving 57 men and women -- all obese, all between ages 40 to 60. In addition, they had high levels of insulin in their blood -- a sign of prediabetes.

They were divided into two low-carb groups; each assigned the same number of calories:

  • The high-protein group ate 34% protein calories, 29% fat calories, 37% carbs.
  • The high-fat group ate 45% fat calories, 18% protein calories, 37% carbs.

All 57 volunteers completed the study's first 12 weeks; 19 of the dieters in each group continued their dietary regimen until a full year had passed. Their weight and various other health factors were tracked the entire time.

At week 16:

  • Dieters in both low-carb groups had lost about 10% of their weight.
  • All dieters' blood sugar and insulin levels improved, as would be expected with weight loss.
  • The high-protein group felt less hunger than the high-fat group did; the high-protein group also burned a few more calories after each meal.
  • Metabolism at rest decreased in both groups -- dieting without exercise commonly decreases metabolism.

At week 52:

Statistically speaking, the weight loss differences were close enough to call it a draw, says researcher Natalie Luscombe, with the University of Adelaide. Also, dieters in both groups reported having difficulty following their diet program, she notes.

Forget High-Fat

But a high-fat diet is never a good idea, says Althea Zanecosky, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and professor of sports and nutrition at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She agreed to comment on the findings.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...