Low-Carb Diet Linked to Greater Weight Loss Than Low-Fat Diet

Low-Carb Diet Linked to Greater Weight Loss Than Low-Fat Diet
By Kelly Young
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD
A low-carbohydrate diet is associated with greater weight reduction than a low-fat diet among obese adults, according to an Annals of Internal Medicine study.

Roughly 150 obese adults who were otherwise healthy were randomized to eat either a low-fat (<30% fat) or low-carbohydrate (<40 g/day of digestible carbohydrates) diet. Participants were provided diet-specific handbooks with recipes and meal-planning tips in addition to a daily meal-replacement shake or bar.

At 12 months, the low-carb group had lost 3.5 kilograms more than the low-fat group, even though caloric intakes were similar. The low-carb group also saw greater improvements in body composition, CRP levels, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology editor-in-chief Harlan Krumholz comments: “This study, a welcome trial in an area where we need them, supports the new conventional wisdom that low carb is better than low fat for losing weight — what we do not yet know is which diet is better for lowering risk. That information will require larger trials with much longer follow-up — but we desperately need that information.”