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    Women lose 5 lbs more on low-carb diet versus high-carb diet

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, June 08, 2005 12:16 pm Email this article
    Overweight women with insulin resistance lost about 5 pounds more following either a Zone-type high-protein diet or an Atkins-type high-fat diet compared to women who followed a high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet according to a study from New Zealand. High-carb vs high-protein vs high-fat: 10.3 lbs vs 15.2 lbs vs 15.6 lbs

    Women on the high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet lost an average of 10.3 pounds compared to an average of 15.2 pounds for those on a high-protein Zone-type diet versus an average of 15.6 pounds on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins-type diet.

    Most weight loss occurred during first 2 months

    Most of the weight loss occurred during the first two months in all three groups, and then was maintained for six months.

    No calorie restrictions

    Patients were never told to reduce their calorie intake, but rather were instructed to follow the dietary advice.

    Atkins high-fat, low-carb diet advice: 20 grams of carbs per day for first two weeks, then max of 50 grams per day for two months, then limit carbs to prevent weight gain

    The dietary advice given to the women in the Atkins-type, high-fat, low-carb group was

    Atkins group ate 24% protein, 47% fat, 26% carbs

    Women in the Atkins high-fat group ate an average of 29 percent of their calories as protein during the first two months followed by 24 percent for the last four months.

    They also ate an average of 57 percent fat during the first two months followed by an average of 47 percent for the last four months.

    Women in this group ate 11 percent of calories as carbohydrates during the first two months followed by an average of 26 percent for the last four months.

    Zone high-protein diet advice: 40% low-glycemic index carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat (mostly monounsaturated)

    Women in the Zone Diet group were given the following dietary advice:

    This group was given several tables listing food types and serving sizes.

    “Participants were advised to consume an appreciable amount of food from the protein table, to fill up with foods from the fruit and vegetable table, and to consume small amounts of items from the fats and oils table. A further table listed food items to be restricted to one serving per day.”

    Zone group only ate less protein (26% vs 30%) and more fat (35% vs 30%) than recommended

    Women in the Zone group ate an average of only 26 percent of their calories as protein as opposed to the recommended 30 percent.

    They also ate an average about 35 percent fat compared to the 30 percent that was recommended.

    Dietary advise for the high-carbohydrate group

    “The nutrient composition of this diet was based on that recommended by Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the diet was implemented using the national healthy eating guidelines, with slight modifications.”

    “These guidelines focus on the consumption of specific food groups in specified daily amounts and consist of the following:

    “(1) at least six servings of breads and cereals (preferably wholegrains);

    “(2) at least three servings of vegetables and two of fruit, with emphasis on those rich in soluble fibre;

    “(3) at least two servings of low-fat milk or milk products; and

    “(4) at least one serving of lean meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, cooked dried beans, peas or lentils (with legumes rich in soluble fibre especially encouraged).”

    This group was also advised to reduce fat, sugar and salt.

    “Each guideline was followed by a table containing serving sizes, healthy choices for that food group, and foods to be restricted as much as possible. “

    Weekly reviews and dietary advice for first 4 months

    During the first four months, dietary advice was reinforced during weekly reviews.

    During the last two months, patients were instructed to continue to follow the dietary advice, however, they did not meet with the researchers during this time.

    30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week

    All three groups were advised to participate in 30 minutes of any type of physical activity 5 days a week.

    Blood readings improved somewhat more in the low-carb groups verus the high-carb group

    Blood readings such as HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and fasting insulin levels improved slightly more on the two low-carb diets than the high-carb diet groups.

    However, LDL cholesterol went up in a few patients in the Atkins high-fat group.

    The researchers recommended that LDL cholesterol be monitored in patients on this type of diet, discontinuing the diet if LDL rises.

    C-Reactive protein dropped twice as much with Atkins diet as Zone or high-carb diet: -34% vs -15% vs -13%

    However, C-reactive protein, was reduced to a much greater extent in the Atkins-type high-fat, low-carb group than in either other group.

    C-Reactive protein is a marker for inflammation, and is a risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease.

    C-reactive protein fell by 34 percent in the Atkins group (from 4 to 2.6 mg per liter) versus 15 percent in the Zone group (from 3.7 to 3.1 mg per liter) compared to 13 percent in the high-carb, high-fiber group (from 3.6 to 3.1 mg per liter).

    These drops in C-reactive protein took the entire six months to be fully recognized.


    Mcauley K, Hopkins C, Smith K, Mclay R, Williams S, Taylor RW, Mann J. Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women. Diabetologia. 2005 Jan, 48(1):8-16.


    Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research
    Medical and Surgical Sciences
    University of Otago
    PO Box 56
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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