In this study, researchers from the United States compared the 1-year outcomes of weight loss and metabolic changes in obese adults on either a low-carbohydrate diet or a conventional weight loss diet.
The study included 132 obese adults with a body mass index of 35 kg/m2 or more.
Of the 132 participants, 83% had diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Participants were instructed to either restrict carbohydrate intake to < 30 g per day or to restrict caloric intake by 500 calories per day with < 30% of calories from fat.
The research team measured changes in weight, lipid levels, glycemic control, and insulin sensitivity.
After 1 year, the mean weight change for the low-carbohydrate group was –5.1 kg, compared with –3.1 kg for conventional group.
|Findings were limited by a 34% dropout rate.|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
The team found that triglyceride levels decreased more in the low-carbohydrate group, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased less.
In a group of 54 participants with diabetes, hemoglobin A1c levels improved more in the low-carbohydrate group.
The researchers caution that their findings are limited by a 34% dropout rate and by suboptimal dietary adherence of the enrolled persons.
Dr Linda Stern and colleagues concluded, "Participants on a low-carbohydrate diet had more favorable overall outcomes at 1 year than did those on a conventional diet".
"Weight loss was similar between groups, but effects on atherogenic dyslipidemia and glycemic control were still more favorable with a low-carbohydrate diet after adjustment for differences in weight loss".