Low-Carb Beats Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss

Pharmacy Times, October 2014 Diabetes, Volume 80, Issue 10

Sticking to a diet low in carbohydrates may be more effective for losing weight and reducing cardiovascular risk factors than a low-fat diet, the results of a recent study suggest.

For the study, published in the September 2, 2014, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients without cardiovascular disease and diabetes were randomized to follow a either a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. Both groups received dietary counseling throughout the trial, and weight, cardiovascular risk factors, and dietary composition were recorded at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months.

After 1 year, patients on the low-carb diet lost an average of 5.3 kg, compared with an average loss of 1.8 kg among those following a low-fat diet. Patients in the low-carb group also had significantly greater increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and a greater decrease in the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol than those in the low-fat group, as well as greater reductions in triglyceride levels.

“Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors,” the authors of the study suggested.