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Low-carb Diet Without Limiting Fat: Scientific Evidence of Benefit

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  • Low-carb Diet Without Limiting Fat: Scientific Evidence of Benefit

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    Low-carb diets have repeatedly outperformed low-fat diets in all indicators. Therefore, we were not surprised by the results of a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Its results once again confirm what we are constantly writing about: a serious restriction of carbohydrates in the diet (without limiting fat and total calories) leads not only to weight loss but also to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    Besides, the study also answered another actively debated question: what causes weight loss on the low-carb diet?

    Opponents of keto often claim that weight loss is achieved through water and muscle tissue. But the published research clearly proves that following the low-carb diet reduces the percentage of body fat, and the traditional fat-free diet, paradoxically, leads to the opposite result.


    A total of 148 men and women who did not suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular diseases took part in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: one followed a strict low-carb diet (no more than 40 grams of carbohydrates per day) without limiting fat and protein intake.


    On average, participants in this group consumed more than 40% of calories from fat – and more than 13% from saturated fat, which is twice as much as the American Heart Association recommends.

    The diet of this group included meat, eggs, fish, poultry, vegetables, cheeses, butter, olive, and rapeseed oil – in general, everything that keto followers are recommended to eat.

    The second followed traditional and officially accepted dietary guidelines in most countries, limiting fat intake to 30% of all calories consumed and particularly limiting saturated fat to no more than 7% of total calories.

    Participants in this group ate much more flour, cereals, and starchy foods, but also vegetables.


    In both groups, the total number of calories was not limited, which makes the study conditions as realistic as possible – because in the real world with virtually unlimited access to food, few people have the iron will necessary for constant voluntary fasting. The study lasted a year.


    Followers of a low-fat diet also lost weight – an average of 3 pounds, but this is 4 times less than participants of the low-carb group who got rid of 12 pounds.

    However, in the low-fat group, weight loss occurred primarily due to loss of muscle tissue, while in the other group, despite the large weight loss in general, participants were even able to add muscle mass.


    Thus, a low-carb, high-fat diet helped the study participant significantly improve one of the most important metabolic indicators: the ratio of muscle and fat tissue.


    Indicators of blood pressure, total cholesterol, and the level of so “called " bad cholesterol” (LDL) in both groups remained approximately the same.

    However, in the low-carb group, the levels of inflammatory markers and triglycerides sharply decreased and the level of “good” cholesterol – HDL-increased.


    All this has led to the fact that the year of nutrition according to keto principles has led to a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the next 10 years on the so-called Framingham scale.


    At the same time, compliance with all official recommendations for limiting fat – especially saturated fat – did not lead to any reduction in risk. Thus, the study showed that popular – even among experts - ideas about dangers of fatty foods have nothing to do with reality.

    Press reacted very strongly to the publication of this research: articles about it appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME magazine, and other publications.

    We very much hope that media will pay more attention to such studies and this will help millions of people avoid dangerous diseases.

    We also hope that such information will catch the eye of well-known nutritionists, who are very fond of scaring people with the dangers emanating from the low-carb diet.

    Perhaps, having familiarized themselves with the achievements of modern science, they will stop giving the public recommendations that do more harm than good.
    Last edited by Niki Rogers; 08-31-2020, 12:40 PM.

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