ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Be Healthy, Spend Less
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Add your Article

To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best

(HealthDay News) -- Both a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet such as the popular Atkins program and a low-fat, high-carb diet appear to help people lose pounds over the course of a year.

But as for mood? Only the low-fat diets will result in long-term improvement in mood, according to a study in the Nov. 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

People on both diets consumed roughly the same number of calories.

"Both an energy-reduced, very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet are equally effective for achieving weight loss in overweight and obese individuals," explained study author Grant D. Brinkworth, a research scientist with the food and nutritional sciences division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Adelaide, Australia.

"Both dietary patterns also had similar effects on the cognitive domains assessed," which were working memory and speed of processing, Brinkworth added. "However, the conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat weight-loss diet was shown to have more positive effects on mood compared to the very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet."

Dr. Ewald Horvath, interim chairman of psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the study was the first "to show both long-term weight loss and improved mood."

"This study looked at one factor, and prior studies haven't focused on psychological factors," Horvath said. "This is a great study focusing on something very important."

Other studies have found short-term improvements in mood in people who lose weight on different diets. And the new study also found such improvements over the first eight weeks of dieting.

But few studies have looked at long-term mood changes among people who lose weight.

Health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, tend to advocate higher-carb, low-fat diets. But many overweight and obese people are propelled toward the high-fat diets such as Atkins, "Livin' La Vida" and "Good Calories, Bad Calories," perhaps because of quick initial weight loss, Horvath said.

For the new study, 106 overweight and obese adults, who averaged 50 years old, were randomly assigned to one of two diets -- a low-calorie, low-carb, high-fat plan or a high-carb, low-fat diet -- for one year. Both diets restricted calories to about 1,433 to 1,672 a day.

A year later, average weight loss was about the same in each group: 30.2 pounds.

After the first eight weeks, participants in both groups showed mood improvements, but that lasted only in the low-fat group. After a year, the mood of those in the high-fat group returned to what it had been before they started dieting, the study found.

"The exact mechanism for the observed effects on mood still remains largely unknown," Brinkworth said. "However, if the mechanism for the return of mood toward more negative baseline levels following weight loss with a very low-carbohydrate diet is related to this diet being so far removed from normal dietary habits, then a very low-carbohydrate diet may be best recommended for individuals who habitually consume low amounts of carbohydrate foods in their diet."

More carbs can increase serotonin concentrations in the brain, whereas added fat and protein can reduce concentrations. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood.

"Altered mood has been shown to influence interpersonal behavior and, therefore, the consumption of a very low-carbohydrate diet may have psychosocial consequences for interpersonal behavior and relationships," Brinkworth said. "I am not entirely clear as to the effects of mood on long-term weight loss; however a recent review article ... suggested that one of the factors that may pose risk for poor long-term weight maintenance may be 'eating in response to negative emotions and stress.'"

"Therefore, since negative mood may promote overeating, this suggests that consumption of a very low-carbohydrate diet over an even longer period beyond one year may have implications for maintaining dietary habits and weight loss maintenance," he added. "Further, longer-term studies would be required to confirm this."

SOURCES: Grant D. Brinkworth, Ph.D., research scientist, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Adelaide, Australia; Ewald Horvath, M.D., professor and interim chairman, department of psychiatry, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; Nov. 9, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine Published on: November 09, 2009