Who Needs Carbs

managing an LCHF lifestyle in Israel

One of ours

(February 21, 2012)

One of the most common arguments against the LCHF diest is that “there are no long term studies that it’s not dangerous”. (Interestingly, today’s conventional dietary advices  (low fat, low calories, etc.) aren’t based on any long term studies. Unless we consider the obesity and diabetes epidemic flooding the Western world …)

So, aren’t there? Actually the so far longest study conducted (which lasted two years) was held here in this country! Dr. Iris Shai at the Ben-Gurion university tested 322 persons, middle aged men and women that were overweight and/or had diabetes type 2 and/or some sort of heart disease. She divided the participants into three diet groups: “calorie restricted low fat” as advised by AHA (American Heart Association) which is adopted by most of today’s professionals, “calorie restricted Mediterranean diet” where they ate chicken and fish instead of red meat, and”low carbohydrate with no calorie restriction” where they at first declined to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for several months and then raised the carbohydrates to 120 grams per day.

The results can be read in The New England Journal of Medicine. And in a nutshell:

  • All diets showed weight loss during the first months. – The least in the low fat diet and the most in the low carbohydrates.
  • All diets later showed a slight weight increase and then stabilization.
  • The best lipid profile (HDL, triglycerides …) change was shown in the low carbohydrate diet.
  • Levels of “C-reactive protein” (a protein whose level increases when there’s inflammation in the body) decreased more with the Mediterranean and low carbohydrates diets.
  • Lowering blood sugar was better on the Mediterranean diet.
  • They couldn’t see any differences in liver function between the three diets.

Not bad, eh?

And I’d like to know – If they hadn’t raised carbohydrate amounts to 120 grams in the low carbohydrate diet, but left it between 30-50 grams per day, what would the results have been then? In my opinion (and according to all I’ve learned about the human body’s biochemistry) it’s likely that they could have kept the lower weight as well as improve lowering blood sugar levels.

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2012 by in Research and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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