Low carb diet offers substantial benefits

Researchers have found evidence that a low-carbohydrate diet appears to be more effective in reducing blood pressure than a combination of the weight-loss drug orlistat and a low-fat diet, whilst providing a similar substantial weight loss.

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centre and Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina, examined body weight, metabolic and adverse effects in obese or overweight outpatients ages 18 to 70 who were randomly assigned to one therapy or the other for 48 weeks.

Of the participants, 57 in the low-carb diet group and 65 in the orlistat and low-fat diet group completed the study. Weight loss was similar for both groups (an average of 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent of body weight), but the low-carb diet resulted in greater reductions to systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressures. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved similarly in both groups.

“In conclusion, the low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and the orlistat plus low-fat diet were equally effective for weight loss and several cardiovascular disease risk factors, but the low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for lowering blood pressure,” the authors conclude. “Efforts should be made to incorporate similarly intensive weight loss programmes into medical practice.”

Source: Medical News Today

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