There has been a great deal of controversy about the best diet for weight loss and maintenance. Experts have been debating the pros and cons of high or low protein as well as high or low carbohydrate consumption. A large European study addressed this very issue. Investigators enrolled 1200 adults who had lost weight on a very low-calorie diet. They were randomly assigned to one of five diets for six months to see which one was best for maintaining weight loss.
Fewer subjects on high-protein or low-glycemic index diets dropped out of the study. These people also did better at keeping their weight off: about 2 pounds better, on average. The researchers conclude that a modest increase in protein content and a modest reduction in the glycemic index was modestly beneficial. High glycemic index foods make blood sugar and insulin rise rapidly after eating. They include starches like potatoes, rice and bread or sugars found in juice and soft drinks.
[New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 25, 2010]