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17.06.2014
Some believe that increased fat in the diet is a leading cause of all kinds of health problems, especially heart disease. These organizations generally recommend that people restrict dietary fat to less than 30% of total calories (a low-fat diet). However… in the past 11 years, an increasing number of studies have been challenging the low-fat dietary approach.
Many health professionals now believe that a low-carb diet (higher in fat and protein) is a much better option to treat obesity and other chronic, Western diseases.
In this article, I have analyzed the data from 23 of these studies comparing low-carband low-fat diets. The main outcomes measured are usually weight loss, as well as common risk factors like Total Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Triglycerides and Blood Sugar levels. Insulin levels went down by 27% in the LC group, but increased slightly in the LF group. Overall, the low-carb diet had significantly more beneficial effects on weight and key biomarkers in this group of severely obese individuals. Overall, the low-carb group lost more weight and had much greater improvements in several important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Many other health markers like blood pressure and triglycerides improved in both groups, but the difference between groups was not statistically significant. On the LC diet, the LDL particles partly shifted from small to large (good), while they partly shifted from large to small on LF (bad). The majority of studies achieved statistically significant differences in weight loss (always in favor of low-carb). Despite the concerns expressed by many people, low-carb diets generally do not raise Total and LDL cholesterol levels on average.
There have been some anecdotal reports by doctors who treat patients with low-carb diets, that they can lead to increases in LDL cholesterol and some advanced lipid markers for a small percentage of individuals.
Having higher HDL levels is correlated with improved metabolic health and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. You can see that low-carb diets generally raise HDL levels, while they don’t change as much on low-fat diets and in some cases go down. Triglycerides are an important cardiovascular risk factor and another key symptom of the metabolic syndrome. It is clear that both low-carb and low-fat diets lead to reductions in triglycerides, but the effect is much stronger in the low-carb groups. In non-diabetics, blood sugar and insulin levels improved on both low-carb and low-fat diets and the difference between groups was usually small.
Only one of those studies had good compliance and managed to reduce carbohydrates sufficiently.
In this study, over 90% of the individuals in the low-carb group managed to reduce or eliminate their diabetes medications. However, the difference was small or nonexistent in the other two studies, because compliance was poor and the individuals ended up eating carbs at about 30% of calories (10, 23). A common problem in weight loss studies is that many people abandon the diet and drop out of the studies before they are completed.
I did an analysis of the percentage of people who made it to the end of the study in each group. The reason may be that low-carb diets appear to reduce hunger (9, 11) and participants are allowed to eat until fullness. This is an important point, because low-fat diets are usually calorie restricted and require people to weigh their food and count calories.
Keep in mind that all of these studies are randomized controlled trials, the gold standard of science. Our mission is simple: to bring you the latest information in health breakthroughs that will help you live a happy, fulfilling, and active life. It's easier thank you think to eat large portions and still be healthy, slim, and satisfied. A new study has revealed that low-fat diets are ineffective for achieving long-term weight loss.Lead author Deirdre Tobias from Harvard Medical School said the thinking was that simply reducing fat intake would naturally lead to weight loss. In the study, Tobias and his colleagues did a meta-analysis of randomised trials comparing the effectiveness of low-fat diets to other diets, including no diet.
They took into account the intensity of the diets, which ranged from just pamphlets or instructions at the beginning of the programme to intensive multi-component programmes, including counselling sessions, meetings with dieticians, food diaries, and cooking lessons.
According to the study involving 68,128 adults, there was no difference in the average weight loss between reduced-fat diets and higher-fat diets. Indeed, reduced-fat diets only led to greater weight loss when compared with no diet at all and resulted in less weight loss compared with low-carbohydrate interventions.


Tobias said that science did not support low-fat diets as the optimal long-term weight loss strategy. In part one of this series, I discussed how universal truths are a standard bit of rhetoric in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, although the somatotype categorization is a quantum leap forward in establishing dietary recommendations (in my opinion), it doesn’t always work quite so perfectly in the real-world. Recall that according to somatotype theory, a short, squat individual is labelled an endomorph. While this recommendation often produces excellent results, occasionally it doesn’t work very well at all. Although somatotyping has been around for ages, there is a surprising lack of research linking body fat distribution and diet recommendations. Among individuals with good insulin sensitivity, weight loss was nearly twice as effective when following a higher-carbohydrate diet. But this data also suggests that not only is having good insulin sensitivity critical when consuming a high carbohydrate diet, but that individuals with good insulin sensitivity actually respond better (in terms of weight loss) eating more carbohydrates!
I suspect weight loss would have been even greater in the insulin resistant group had the researchers  selected an even lower carbohydrate level. What this suggests is that if you have poor insulin regulation (partially a function of your genetics, but also potentially as a result of your lifestyle), you should NOT consume a diet high in carbohydrates. The problem with findings such as this one is that it points to somatotyping as overly simplistic. Although a somatotype-based diet recommendation may account for underlying physiology better than the alternative (one size fits all recommendations), it certainly isn’t fool proof. Thankfully, we may be on the cusp of some major breakthroughs in our understanding of diet individualization! Earlier this year, researchers out of Stanford University presented a re-analysis of data from the A to Z weight loss study that showed dramatically greater weight loss occurs when matching individuals to diets based on simple genetic markers. Originally, the A to Z weight loss study was designed simply as a year-long comparison of the effectiveness of the Atkins (very low carb), Zone (40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat), Ornish (very low fat, <10% of total calories) and LEARN (a lifestyle behaviour-change program) diets. Much like any reasonable diet study, researchers randomly allocated their 311 overweight, premenopausal females subjects to one of the four diet conditions and tracked results over the 12-month time span.
Had the researchers stopped their analysis right there, one could conclude that the Atkins diet is the best diet for weight loss, because that’s what the data suggests. When the data was re-analyzed with this concept of bio-individuality in mind (discussed in part 3 of this series), a very different story emerged. In other words, when an individual who is genetically predisposed to poor carbohydrate metabolism was placed on the low carbohydrate Atkins diet, they lost a ton of weight.
However, when an individual with a genetic predisposition for favourable carbohydrate metabolism was given the Atkins diet, results were predictably abysmal; same story occurred when individuals with poor carbohydrate metabolism were placed on the Ornish diet. Once again, solid evidence that by correctly matching a diet to an individual’s biochemical make-up, demonstrably greater weight loss can be achieved. Although this kind of research is exciting, we are still a good ways away from having easy, affordable access to these kinds of genetic tests.
We also need more research to verify whether the population breakdown of 60% low-carb genotypes, 35% high-carb genotype and 5% balanced genotype is one that holds true for the North American population as a whole, or whether it was unique to this study. Regardless, results such as these definitely support the efforts that practitioners have made to stratify people by diet type. Of course, identifying what an individual should eat is only half the battle, convincing them to change their dietary habits is an entirely different challenge. Low-fat diets do not yield greater weight loss than other slimming regimes, said a study Friday, adding to the long-running debate on how best to shed extra pounds or kilos. In fact, low-carbohydrate diets led to greater weight loss than low-fat ones, according to study results published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal. As the world's population grows ever fatter, the quest for an easy weight-loss plan has taken a high priority. Dietary fat has long been targeted, said the study, for the reason that every gram (0.04 ounce) of it contains more then double the calories of a gram of carbohydrates or protein. Just last month a small-scale study in the journal Cell Metabolism said cutting back dietary fat caused obese people to lose more body fat than restricting carbohydrates.
But the latest contribution, in the form of a meta-analysis of other studies comparing low-fat diets to other ones, found the contrary. A comment on the study, published by the same journal, said it showed that weight loss overall was poor, regardless of the diet chosen. For years, health gurus have proclaimed the secret to skinny bodies and healthy hearts, is a low fat diet. Those with a slightly rebellious streak, have successfully broken the fat rule, but for many, the belief that adopting a high fat diet was the scenic route to a heart attack, has kept them caught in oversized bodies.


Researchers at John Hopkins, decided to check whether low carbohydrate, high fat diets were really putting the heart at risk. There was absolutely no evidence that the high fat diet, followed by the low carb dieters, caused any damage to the blood vessels.
You won’t find it too difficult to stick to the plan, since you are less likely to suffer from hunger pangs. You will lose weight, which is already a major plus for vascular health and the high fat food won’t clog your arteries in the short term. This entry was posted in Food, Heart disease, Obesity and tagged high carbohydrate, high fat, low carbohydrate, vascular health, weight loss, weight loss formula.
My name is Dr Sandy Evans, I am a modern day alchemist, trained as a pharmacologist, I love to help people use chemicals to produce gold performances.
The low-carb group had greater improvements in blood triglycerides and HDL, but other biomarkers were similar between groups. Study went on for 30 days (for women) and 50 days (for men) on each diet, that is a very low-carb diet and a low-fat diet.
The men on the low-carb diet lost three times as much abdominal fat as the men on the low-fat diet. There was no difference in triglycerides, blood pressure or HbA1c (a marker for blood sugar levels) between groups. Both groups had similar improvements in mood, but speed of processing (a measure of cognitive performance) improved further on the low-fat diet. Triglycerides, HDL, C-Reactive Protein, Insulin, Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Pressure improved in both groups. Various biomarkers improved in both groups, but there was no significant difference between groups. There was significant improvement in glycemic control at 6 months for the low-carb group, but compliance was poor and the effects diminished at 24 months as individuals had increased their carb intake.
The few studies that looked at advanced lipid markers (5, 19) only showed improvements.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that low-carb diets (higher in fat) raise HDL significantly more than low-fat diets. This lead various improvements and a drastic reduction in HbA1c, a marker for blood sugar levels (15).
Sign up for our free report "How to Start a Paleo Diet" and get started on the road to a healthier you today. In part two, I offered some reasons for how the scientific literature has unwittingly supported this naive view.
Now the even better news: by tailoring diet advice to an individual’s physiological responses, it may be possible to produce substantially greater weight loss!
As I’ve pointed out previously, having good insulin sensitivity is critical if you are going to consume a high carbohydrate diet. However, in the interests of performing a well-controlled study, protein intake needed to be kept constant. Clearly, we must also consider specific endocrine and metabolic responses to particular foods.
A similar result was found when individuals with a strong carbohydrate metabolism were placed on the Ornish diet, they lost a lot of weight.
Weight loss programmes that broke these rules, were labelled fad diets and warnings were sounded about their health merits. They used two different tests – the finger tip test which assesses how well blood is flowing and the augmentation index, which measures arterial stiffness (damaged blood vessels don’t bend too well). Dr Sandy’s opinions are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. Learn and Ornish (low-fat) had decreases in LDL at 2 months, but then the effects diminished. Then in the latest installment, I pointed out how more enlightened practitioners have attempted to classify individuals based on somatotype, in order to better define an individual’s dietary needs. This means that had we used anthropometrical or even visual data, we would have misclassified a number of individuals.



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