Obesity is a problem that affects more and more people around the world every year. It raises cholesterol levels, increases the risk of heart disease, and a host of other health problems.
There has been a lot of research on the effects of low-carb diets, but the ones we’ll look at in this article take the most factors into account: weight, overall health, and risk of heart disease. The following studies were conducted in the United States with public funding from the National Institute of Health. You can be sure that none of the researchers was financially related to the food industry, and the published results are purely scientific.
The low-carbohydrate diet in the study was considered to be a diet with an intake of less than 40 g of carbohydrates per day. A low-fat diet was defined as providing less than 30% of calories from fat and less than 7% of saturated fat. Nutritionists oversaw both study groups.
The study involved 148 obese people with no family history of heart disease. The age of the participants was between 22 and 75 years old. Participants were randomly assigned to Group A (low carbohydrate) or Group B (low fat).
Throughout the year of the study, the participants were monitored by dietitians who ensured that they were getting the right amount of nutrients.
Studies have shown that people in the low-carbohydrate group lost more weight than the low-fat group. They also performed better in reducing waist circumference and improving overall health. The amount of fat in the body and the amount of inflammation also decreased in this group. The group that followed the low-carbohydrate diet also had a 1.5 percent reduction in fat.
Overall, the low-carbohydrate diet group achieved:
The focus of research has not only been on weight loss, but also on other aspects of health. At the end of the 12-month study, the low-carb group had lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol levels in this group decreased by an average of 0.44mmol/L. The level of triglycerides was also reduced (by 0.16 mmol/L), and the level of HDL (good cholesterol) increased by 0.18 mmol/L.
After one year, the low-carbohydrate diet group had:
Participants’ overall feelings and responses were investigated in addition to the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cholesterol levels.
The low-carbohydrate diet group reported:
The conclusions of the information provided by both groups are clear: low-carbohydrate diets improve overall health and quality of life compared to low-fat diets.
The researchers analyzed the blood results after 3, 6, and 12 months. Participants following the low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 4 kilograms more than those following the low-fat diet.
Considering that most of the participants did not exercise during the study, the difference is significant. Participants were expected to maintain the same level of physical activity as before, which shows that the increased weight loss did not come from exercise. Surprisingly, the group that followed the low-carbohydrate diet had a higher level of physical activity than the group that followed the low-carbohydrate diet.
Blood tests, which indicate a risk of heart disease, also improved in the greater low-carbohydrate group. The researchers reported that compared to a low-fat diet, the ketogenic diet is more effective in both reducing weight and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Receive tips, articles and all the goodies absolutely free, straight to your inbox!