High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets Are the Way to Go

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A study out of the University of Illinoissupports recent research touting theeffects of a high-protein, low-carbohydratediet plus exercise as the mosteffective regimen for achieving weightloss. This is one of the few investigationsthat have considered the role exerciseplays in weight loss and alteringbody composition. The study team randomlyassigned 48 women ages 40 to 56to 1 of 4 regimens: a high-protein diet; ahigh-protein diet plus exercise; a high-carbdiet; or a high-carb diet plus exercise. Alldiets were nutritionally sound, as the womenconsumed recommended amounts of fruits,vegetables, and dairy. Those in the exercisegroups walked 30 minutes a day 5 times a weekand included resistance/weight training. After 4months, all the women lost a significant amount of weightand body fat and were able to reduce their caloric intake. Thegroup that lost the most weight and fat and added lean muscle mass, however,was the high-protein diet plus exercise group. Those women reducedtheir body fat by 21.4%, compared with the women in the high-carb dietgroup, who decreased their body fat by only 12.8%. The high-carb grouplowered their total cholesterol levels, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol,more than the other groups. Women in the high-protein group hadgreater decreases in triglycerides, however, and maintained higher levels ofhigh-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Researchers concluded thatwomen with high levels of triglycerides and lower levels of HDL cholesterolmay benefit from the high-protein diet, while those with high cholesterol maybenefit from the high-carb diet.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.