Diet War : High Protein vs High Fiber

A new study compared two relatively low-fat weight loss diets – one high in protein and the other high in fiber-rich, minimally processed cereals & legumes.

Unlike previous studies that tested “extreme” versions of high protein or high fiber diets, both versions tested in this study are pretty “normal”

The high protein (HP) diet recommended three 100g servings of lean protein foods  and three servings of breads, cereals or grains per day. The macronutrient profile of the HP diet was 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat.

The high fiber (HFib) diet recommended one 100g serving of lean protein foods, six servings of wholegrain breads, cereals or grains per day and one serving of legumes. The macronutrient profile of the HP diet was 50% carbohydrate, >35g total dietary fiber, 20% protein, 30% fat.

The Research

Eighty-three overweight or obese women were divided into either the HP or HFib groups. Energy intakes were reduced by 2000 – 4000 kJ per day in order to achieve weight loss of between 0.5 and 1 kg per week.


Participants in both groups lost weight, reduced total body fat, lowered their waist circumference along with improving total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose and blood pressure.

However participants on the HP diet lost more body weight & body fat along with seeing a greater reduction in blood pressure.


While neither diet tested in this study holds a candle to the Paleo Diet, they are much more do-able for the average person trying to drop a few pounds without complicating their lives too much.

And of the two of them, the higher protein diet was more effective than the higher fiber diet.





Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

4 thoughts on “Diet War : High Protein vs High Fiber

  • December 2, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I am into high-fiber meal than high protein diet. it stabilizes metabolism in normal level.

  • August 26, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Tomek is quiet right… a high protein diet can affect the kidneys. You should always consider the side effects of any diet before starting and always consult a doctor.

  • May 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Were there any sideeffects measured in any of the groups?

  • May 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Robb,

    Just to share an important watch-out ref very high protein diets. You need to drink a lot of water if you keep such a diet, otherwise there is a high risj of having kidney problems.

    Good info, thanks for sharing!


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