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Low Carb Diets are Dangerous: MYTH Busted by Science

3 Month Studies

Study – Diabetic Medicine, 2006

102 patients with Type 2 diabetes were randomized to a low-carb or a low-fat diet for 3 months – The low-carb group lost 7.8 lbs, while the low-fat group lost only 2 lbs (1)

Study – Diabetic Medicine, 2007

13 diabetic and 13 non-diabetic individuals were randomized to a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet for 3 months – The low-carb group lost 15.2 lbs compared to 4.6 lbs in the low-fat group (2)

6 Month Studies

Study – New England Journal of Medicine, 2003

132 obese individuals with severe obesity were put on either a low-fat or a low-carb diet for 6 months – many subjects had type II diabetes

The low-carb group lost an average of 12.8 lbs while the low-fat group lost only 4.2 lbs

Triglycerides went down by 38 mg/dL in the low-carb group, compared to only 7 mg/dL in the low-fat group

Insulin levels went down by 27% in the low-carb group, but increased slightly in the low-fat group.

Fasting blood glucose levels went down by 26 mg/dL in the low-carb group, only 5 mg/dL in the low-carb group (3)

Study – Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2003

53 healthy but obese females were randomized to either a low-fat diet, or a low-carb diet. Low-fat group was calorie restricted. The study went on for 6 months.

The women in the low-carb group lost an average of 8.5 kg (18.7 lbs), while the low-fat group lost an average of 3.9 kg (8.6 lbs)

Whilst HDL improved slightly in both groups, there was a significant reductions in blood triglycerides in the low carb group

The study concluded: A very low carbohydrate diet is more effective than a low fat diet for short-term weight loss and, over 6 months, is not associated with deleterious effects on important cardiovascular risk factors (4)

12 Months

Study – Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007

311 overweight/obese premenopausal women were randomized to 4 diets: a low-c arb diet and then 3 low-fat diets for 12 months

At the end of the 12 months the low-carb diet lost, on average, 5lbs more than the 3 low-fat groups (not combined, but in comparison to each one, individually)

The low-carb group also had the greatest improvements in blood pressure, triglycerides and HDL (5)

Study – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009

118 individuals with abdominal obesity were randomized to a low-carb or a low-fat diet for 12 months – The low-carb group lost 14.5 kg (32 lbs), while the low-fat group lost 11.5 kg (25.3 lbs)

The low-carb group had greater decreases in triglycerides and greater increases in both HDL and LDL cholesterol, compared to the low-fat group. (6)

2 Years

Study – the Annals of Internal Medicine

Also a two-year study that came to the same results as the 12 month studies – had very similar results in terms of weight loss; however, during the first 6 months, the low-carb group had greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels

To sum studies: In every study, the low-carb groups lost more weight on average and critical health markers, like blood pressure, insulin, HDL, and triglycerides improved more in the low-carb groups – even at 2 years (7)

References

1) Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes–a randomized controlled trial. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16409560

2) A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17971178

3) A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12761364

4) A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in h… – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12679447

5) Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A T… – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17341711

6) Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19439458

7) Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2949959/

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