Low-Carb, High-Protein Diets Win the Battle Against the Bulge, Israeli Study FindsMonday, March 05, 2012
Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets aid weight loss, increase good cholesterol levels, and reduce blood lipids, according to a new Ben-Gurion University of the Negev study. The study of 322 people compared a low-carb diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and a low-fat diet and found that after six months, participants shed the most weight with the low-carb diet. First, the researchers determined that the average person consumes 3.6 kilos of food a day, with nearly a third from drinks other than water. Each of the diets reduced the amount of food consumed by one kilo. Those on the low-carb diet lost an average of 6.4 kilos compared to those on the Mediterranean diet who lost an average of 4.9 kilos, and those on the low-fat diet who lost an average of 4.7 kilos. The most successful dieters on the low-carb diet ate the most vegetables. Successful dieters on the Mediterranean diet ate the most unprocessed legumes and milk products, and on the low-fat diet they ate the least sweets. Among all dieters, those who increased their consumption of vegetables and meats and decreased their consumption of eggs, processed legumes, and soft drinks were more successful at long-term weight loss. "What`s common to all three diets is the recommendation to dramatically increase the consumption of vegetables and reduce consumption of processed foods and snacks," says lead researcher Iris Shai. "Beyond that, it`s recommended to choose different strategies in accordance with the diet that`s chosen." Previous studies have shown that all three diets also reduce arterial plaque and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, the diets contribute to higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of inflammation, even if some weight is regained.