Low Fat Or Low Carb Diet?

If you've scanned the shelves of book stores and libraries in search of diet advice, it's very obvious that there's no shortage of opinions on the matter. With an estimated 45% of women and 30% of men dieting to lose weight, this is big business. A study recently published in the journal Hypertension examined the cardiovascular effects of low fat versus low carbohydrate diets over the course of 6 weeks.

Researchers had one group of 10 participants consume a typical low-carb diet that included 20 grams of carbohydrates per day with the remaining calories from proteins and fats. Another group of 10 subjects was fed a low fat diet modeled after American Heart Association recommendations and included a much lower percentage of fats.

The Bigger Picture: Despite similar amounts of weight loss and blood pressure improvement, low carb dieters exhibited reduced flow-mediated dilation in arm arteries which is an indicator of atherosclerosis risk (hardening of the arteries). The opposite was true for low fat dieters. However, this study did not encourage exercise or make distinctions between the types of fats selected. Healthy fats like the Omega-3s present in walnuts and cold water fish do not pose the same cardiovascular risks as unsaturated fats from red meat or trans fats from deep fried foods. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, your strategy should encompass many more variables than carbohydrates and fats.
Leave a Comment