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Mainstream groups such as the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association endorse a unified set of dietary guidelines for people who wish to lose weight—eat a low-fat diet and cut calories.
However, many popular diet books take a very different approach. The Atkins diet, the Zone diet, Protein Power, and numerous other dietary approaches turn thumbs down on low-fat. Instead, these methods recommend cutting down on carbohydrates. According to proponents of these theories, when you reduce the carbohydrates in your diet (and, correspondingly, increase protein and/or fat), you will find it much easier to reduce your calorie intake, and you may even lose weight without cutting calories.
The controversy over these contradictions has been heated. Proponents of the...