Research on nutrition and health always seems to be a non-linear fact-finding process—a work in progress. But when carefully conducted studies and well-researched data help fill in the blanks and connect the dots, a clear picture starts to emerge. In this case, it is that low-carb diets may be winning the weight loss race against low-fat diets.
The latest news come from a study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and authored by Lydia Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., the study followed 148 obese men and women over a year. Half were randomly selected to follow a low-carb diet and the other half were selected to follow a low-fat diet. They weren’t asked to cut calories or change their activity level.
During this time, Bazzano and her team discovered that the low-carb group ended up losing more weight and body fat (about 8 pounds more) than the low-fat group. In addition, researchers found that levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol did not increase for both groups, which is also great news, because in the past mainstream thinking assumed low-carb diets (and their higher level of fat intake) would raise cholesterol levels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
But here again is more conclusive evidence that demonstrates a low carb way of eating does not raise risk factors for heart disease, in fact the markers for heart health improve. The low-fat diet that had been touted for decades as the best way to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health may be on its way out in favor of a low-carb, high fat diet like Atkins.
If you’re on Atkins, you’re naturally including lots of vegetables, adequate (but not excessive amounts) of protein and healthy fats that contribute to heart health and weight loss. With its ability to help you lose weight, improve your lipid profile and blood pressure, increase your energy and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other life-threatening conditions, a well-constructed low carbohydrate diet is indeed a healthier, more balanced way of eating and living whether it is for weight loss or improved general health and well-being.
If you are interested in reading the study abstract you can find it here:
There was also a good article written in NY Times