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Aug 18, 2010

Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low- Fat Diet

In hopes of deciding this eternal debate once and for all, researchers decided to put low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets to the test against each other. They evaluated these two diets for two years. The primary measured outcome was weight loss after 2 years. The participants had a mean age of 45 years and BMI of 36.1, they were also part of a comprehensive lifestyle modification program. The low-carbohydrate diet limited carbohydrate intake to 20grams a day for 3 months with unrestricted fats and proteins, while the low-fat diet limited caloric intake to between 1200-1800 calories with less than 30 % calories from fat.

The weight loss was 11 kg at year 1, and 7 kg at year 2 with both diets. There were no differences in weight, body composition, or bone mineral density between the groups at any time. The low-carbohydrate group did have greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride level, and low-density lipoproteins cholesterol levels, while having higher increasing rates of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, up to a 23% increase. This study’s findings show that while both diets had similar weight loss results, the low-carbohydrate diet had more favorable changes in cardiovascular health after 2 years.

Dr. Kerry Ferguson