Americans Prefer Low-Fat Diet to Low-Carb Diet, Poll Shows

Low-carb meal: shrimp in coconut oil, garlic, and ginger with lemon rind, asparagus and mushrooms

Even in a post-Atkins world, most people still prefer the low-fat dieting approach to a low-carb diet, Gallup reported Aug. 17.

Maybe we just really love our pasta and bread. While the number of Americans who think low-carbohydrate diets have the biggest benefits for the average person has risen from 23 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2012, the vast majority — 63 percent — still think a diet low in fat is most beneficial, the survey says.

Women are more likely to favor a diet low in carbohydrates (36 percent) than men (24 percent), the latter of whom prefer low-fat diets by a wide margin (69 percent). In addition, more overweight Americans think low-carb diets are the most beneficial (34 percent) compared to 28 percent of normal-weight individuals.

One recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that low-carb diets help people burn calories more efficiently than low-fat diets, though some experts say there’s no significant distinction between different types of diets, and that a calorie is just a calorie.

(Photo © Rusty Clark via Flickr)