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27.06.2019


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier

Even if it doesn't make you lose one gram of body fat, a low-carbohydrate diet will make you healthier. That is the conclusion of a small experimental study that American researchers, led by Jeff Volek, published in JCI Insight.

Study
The researchers experimented with 16 obese test subjects, all of whom suffered from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a series of negative health effects associated with being overweight and a Western lifestyle, such as a deteriorated cholesterol balance and a reduced sensitivity to insulin.

For 4 weeks, the researchers gave their test subjects a diet that consisted of 57 percent energy by carbs [HC]. On two other occasions the subjects were given a diet for 4 weeks with energy coming from 32 [MC] or 6 percent [LC] from carbohydrates, respectively.

The total amount of energy in the 3 diet types was the same, and so was the amount of protein. The amount of energy was just enough to keep the test subjects on their weight.

Click on the figure below for a larger version.


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


The researchers were paid by the American and Dutch dairy industry.

Results
Although the subjects did not become slimmer if they ate less carbohydrates, they did become healthier. After 4 weeks of low carb, 9 of the 16 test persons officially no longer had metabolic syndrome.


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


The decrease in the amount of carbohydrates in the diet increased the HDL level and reduced the concentration of glucose and triglycerides in the blood.

The low carb diet yielded 2.5 more saturated fats and the high carb diet. If you expose your cells to high concentrations of saturated fat, they will generally become less vital as a result. The low carb diet reduced the concentration of saturated fatty acids in the blood.

PL SFA = saturated fat as phospholipid; TG SFA = saturated fat as triglyceride.


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


The low carb diet also changed the metabolism of the fatty acids. It allowed the conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid to proceed more smoothly.


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier


Conclusion
"In summary, our results show that the metabolic syndrome can be rapidly (within 4 weeks) reversed by a low carbohydrate diet in the majority of participants who are obese even when 1 of the main characteristics of the syndrome, increased waist circumference or adiposity, is locked out of the equation", write the researchers.

"Thus, these results likely underestimate the true benefits of low carbohydrate diets that are commonly associated with weight loss when fed ad libitum."

"Although our findings extend a growing amount of research exploring low carbohydrate diets on the metabolic syndrome, it remains unknown whether the improvements in the specific component of the syndrome observed here translate into decreased cardiometabolic outcomes."

"Based on these results, any long-term diet trials in participants with metabolic syndrome studying hard outcomes should include low carbohydrate diets."

Source:
JCI Insight. 2019 Jun 20;4(12). pii: 128308.

More:
Fed up with your low-carbohydrate diet for a moment? Resist the urge to feast on carbs 30.03.2019
Do you suffer from worn joints? A low-carb diet may help 19.03.2019
Low-carbohydrate diet for powerlifters: weight loss without losing strength 19.12.2018
Yessir, carbohydrates make you fat: brand new human study 20.11.2018

Archives:
Cardiovascular Health
Low Carb Diet


Ketogenic diet may help prevent dementia After adaptation phase the low-carb athlete changes into a fat incinerator This is the effect of strength training in combination with a hypercaloric ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diet may help prevent dementia
If you start a diet with extremely few carbohydrates at a young age, you may protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

After adaptation phase the low-carb athlete changes into a fat incinerator
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This is the effect of strength training in combination with a hypercaloric ketogenic diet
A high-caloric but low-carbohydrate diet can help strength athletes to lose body fat while retaining muscle mass, but may not be effective when strength athletes want to build muscle mass.