Health Team

Study Finds Unexpected Results of Low-Carb Diets

Posted March 6, 2007

A new study published in the Journal of American Medicine shows low-carbohydrate diets coming out ahead of three other diets when it comes to cholesterol and blood pressure.

The study consisted of about 300 middle-aged women and compared the Atkins Diet to three other higher carbohydrate diets -- the Zone Diet, LEARN Diet and Ornish Diets.

"By the end of the year, on average within the Atkins group, the average woman lost 10 pounds compared to the other three groups where the average loss wascloser to 5 pounds," said study author Christopher Garner, Ph.D., of Stanford University.

Low-carb diets concern many health professionals because they emphasize more protein, which usually means more fat. More fat is a threat to cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The Atkins study group, however, showed healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Garner said the key might be the diet's simplicity: cutting out simple, refined carbohydrates -- the white bread, the white rice, the high-fructose corn syrup in soda pop.

Atkins dieters replaced soda with water, which Garner said, helps with weight loss.

Though the study shows Atkins is a safe and effective approach to weight loss, Rex Healthcare registered dietician Natalie Newell still has concerns.

"You're eliminating a majority of the grain products, fruits and even some vegetables," she said. "So, the major concern I looked at was 'What are you eliminating from your diet?' Vitamins and minerals that come from fruits and vegetables are very important."

Before considering any diet or weight loss program, it is important to consult with a doctor as well as a registered dietician.


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  • NCSU2004 Mar 13, 2007

    Most diets work if you do them correctly, but if you want to keep the weight off then it really has to be a lifestyle change.

    I lost 60lbs the old fashioned way... exercise

  • Low Voltage Mar 10, 2007

    I gain weight over a period of years, when I reach a certain weight, I go on a two week high protein low fat diet. Eat a little high fiber each day, all the lean meat, chicken, turkey, broiled fish, salads, fruits & certain veggies you want. NO STARCH, no milk, no butter. Lots of water. Lose about 10 lbs in two weeks. Not to exceed TWO WEEKS. Wait a week and do two more weeks to lose more. Works every time. Works very well for men, not so much for women, don't know why.

  • snoopygirl Mar 10, 2007

    I did the South Beach diet a few years back and lost about 40 lbs. My problem was that I then "went back to my bad habits" has been mentioned previously. I agree that the key is portion control. Not eating such large portions makes a big difference. I started Weight Watchers in late January and have lost 10 lbs. so far. I really like the program because you can eat "anything" - you just have to account for it.

  • seeingthru Mar 10, 2007

    Ive lost 40lb on a sensible diet cereal nuts dried fruit fish and fresh veggie, quit smoking too just be aware of what you are eating and stick with it

  • mluddysr Mar 10, 2007

    I think the problem is when people do low-carb without reading the book. Atkins doesn't advocate "no-carb" as in "no grains" reported by the health nurse above. He does an "induction diet' to begin with, but then instructs one to add back healthy carbs based on one's activity levels.

    Contrast this to the "low fat" diets that add sugar to make the foods palatable. For instance compare low fat Marie's blue cheese dressing to the regular dressing- look at the amount of sugar added to the low fat version. That's healthy???
    Try reading the book and getting the first hand information.

  • the pied piper Mar 9, 2007

    To everyone who's lost weight: Way to go! To everyone, like me, trying to lose the extra flab: Hang in there and don't give up!:)

  • momuv2 Mar 9, 2007

    Those low cab diets are great! I lost 30 lbs on one. I also cut out milk. It looked great on me, but I slowly degressed to my old eating habits

  • beachgal Mar 9, 2007

    I'm just counting calories, too. Remember, with no carbs comes no fiber; with no fiber you risk colon polyps; colon polyps can become cancerous and lead to colon cancer. Bottom line: moderation is the key to good health.

    Also, lots of water to keep your body hydrated is essential.

  • Blessed Mar 9, 2007

    Lost 30 pounds on the Atkins diet. Had no issues with my blood pressure or cholesterol. Works until you come off of it, then you can balloon up quickly and I think I gained more fat after I came off the diet and it has been harder to lose, but I am losing it with a sensible diet of calorie watching...

  • barbiep2 Mar 7, 2007

    cut back on the portion od what you eat. a couple of spoons of this and that helps!!!!!!! water, meat, GREENS, fruit, no bread, no potato of any kind, no pasta, go to bed early is also essential in losing weight, do not eat anything after 6 p.m. i have lost 50 pounds in the past 6 months!!!!!!