What Scientists Say About A Macronutrient Diet

You are probably asking what is a macronutrient diet? Macronutrients provide your body with energy. And they include carbohydrates, protein and fat. The opposite of that is micronutrients, like the vitamins and minerals your body extracts from carbs, proteins and fats.

Scientists have studied macronutrient diets, from a high protein diet to a low-carbohydrate or low fat diet to determine which is the most effective. So far, the evidence has been largely unconvincing.

The JAMA Macronutrient Diet Study

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a 12 month study in 2007. The study compared four weight loss programs, that included a low carb diet, the Atkins diet, Zone diet, and the Ornish diet.
diet book covers

The effects on blood pressure, glucose levels, body fat, and cholesterol were especially noted. Scientists determined that the Atkins diet (a low-carb diet) had more weight loss when compared to the other diet groups.


Disagreement Of Weight Loss With A Macro Diet

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2009 published a study that disagreed with the 2007 JAMA published study.

Scientists Disagreeing
Scientists Disagreeing On The Right Macronutrient Diet

The NEJM published a 2 year randomized clinical trial of 4 different types of diets. The study included 800 volunteers who ate an assigned diet of either a low or high in fat, average or high in protein, or low or high in carbohydrates.

Researchers concluded that every diet resulted in weight loss, even though there were differences in the composition of macronutrients.

They also found that the group counseling had an impact on weight loss. This would seem to support that not only what you eat is important, but social, psychological, and behavioral factors are essential to losing weight as well.

A 2010 study published in NEJM looked at 800 obese individuals placed on 1 of 5 diets for 6 1/2 months. The diets included a high protein/low glycemic index, low protein/high glycemic index or a low protein/low glycemic index.

The purpose of the study was to see the role of the glycemic index and protein on weight loss.

The results showed that a low protein/high glycemic index diet had significant weight gain. And that weight gain was less in those who followed a high protein diet. Results showed that modest increases in protein and small reductions in the glycemic index had better weight loss.

The Bottom Line

 high macronutrient diet A high macronutrient diet has shown to have many healthy benefits. Research suggests though that any one particular diet may cause weight loss in one person but not in another. This could also be due to differences in lifestyle and genes.

Research has shown that there is not a "one diet fits all." The authors of the published studies in NEJM, concluded that tailoring a diet based on personal and cultural preferences have the best chance for long-term success, and if that means differing amounts of macros, then that’s perfectly fine.



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