Obesity is a common problem that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Diets can focus on reducing the intake of fats or carbohydrates.

In a study published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled "Comparing Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets" (comparing low-fat and low-carb diets), the researchers recruited obese individuals with no history of cardiovascular disease and randomly assigned to a diet low in fat and low in carbohydrates. During the study, participants attended sessions of individual and group dietary counseling. Data on weight, waist circumference, blood tests and physical activity during the study were collected.

The study found that obese people assigned to a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight in a year than those who followed a low-fat plan. It is important to note, however, that this study excluded exercise. In fact, study participants were not allowed to exercise for the duration of the study. Carbohydrates act as a source of energy for the body, so that the addition of exercise could have completely changed the results.

If you want to get the weight loss benefits of a low carb diet, but if possible following a balanced diet, here I leave some tips to consider:

Carbohydrates are not the enemy. When you hear someone say that carbohydrates are fattening, they are probably talking about things like white flour and sugar. Vegetables also contain certain forms of carbohydrates but also contain a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals that the body needs.

Beware exclusions. It is safe to exclude things like MSG or hydrogenated fats from the diet, but a diet recommended to fully exclude a certain group of food, care, caution.

Rate your progress. Are you hungry all the time, you're in a bad mood or sleep deprived? When you start eating healthy, you must begin at the same time, you feel better. If not, you're following the diet may not be the best choice for you. Do not fall into the trap of getting stuck on a diet just because you're losing weight. You should also meet and feel good.

Photography: «Mercado en la ciudad de Sucre Bolivia» por Cristian Ordenes - Mercado de Sucre. Disponible bajo la licencia CC BY 2.0 vía Wikimedia Commons.