Low-carb diets might be best for maintaining weight loss, study says

Over 160 participants were able to reach that goal and move on to the next stage of the study, in which all of the participants were randomly assigned to follow either a low, moderate, or high carb diet for nearly two months.

However, in a study conducted at Boston Children's Hospital, researchers found that those adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet burned more calories than participants trialing alternative approaches. "Our study did not measure hunger and satiety, but other studies suggest that low-carb diets also decrease hunger, which could help with weight loss in the long term". The team is confident that the study's results can help people struggling to lose weight.

Energy expenditure was more pronounced in patients who had the highest insulin concentrations before they started losing weight, with patients on low carb diets burning just over 300 kcal per day more than those on high carb diets.

If this effect persisted "it would translate into an estimated 10 kg weight loss after three years, assuming no change in calorie intake", write the authors.

"Diet composition independent of calories has profound effects on hormones, metabolism and even the workings of our genes".

They said in the paper: 'Consistent with the carbohydrate-insulin model, lowering dietary carbohydrate increased energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance.

UK health service risks 350000 staff gap by 2030: thinktanks
But if skilled workers cannot be attracted from overseas the shortage could reach 350,000 - roughly a quarter of the 1.2million workforce.

"We found that the type of diet people ate had a major impact on their metabolism".

The effect was greatest among participants who naturally tended to secrete high levels of insulin after consuming glucose. They also experienced a 12% reduction in levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, compared to 5% in those on high carb diets. "With more calories in the blood - not trapped in fat cells - the brain and muscle have better access to the fuels they need".

In this global study, researchers looked for the relationship between diet and bipolar disorder symptoms and found that those who have a healthier diet - and avoid carbs, fats, and alcohol - were on the right track to a more effective treatment for the condition. Although the diets were as similar as possible between groups, other dietary factors, such as levels of certain nutrients not accounted for in the study, could have played a role in the effect, the researchers said. In that phase, they were separated into high-, moderate-, and low-carb groups.

For example, participants in the study had their meals prepared and precisely adjusted to maintain their weight.

And because the study was 20 weeks, the long-term effects of the specific low-carb diet followed in the study - such as risks for heart disease or overall mortality - are not known, Hunnes added.

Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, noted that "because the different diets had to be made up from foods that may have differed in other ways than just their carbohydrate and fat content, it remains possible that these other differences were responsible for some part of the observed differences in energy expenditures".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.