Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Low carb wins?

All you low carb dieters out there will probably be aware of a new study:

Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities

Evidence from this systematic review demonstrates that low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets are more effective at 6 months and are as effective, if not more, as low-fat diets in reducing weight and cardiovascular disease risk up to 1 year.

Both Eades and Briffa has commentaries on the study.

By the way, I am becoming less dogmatic about low carb than I used to be. I have started to introduce some more carbs - mainly potatoes and oatmeal - to my diet especially around my workouts and Stephan's recent posts on the Kitava study are explaining that high carb inteake per se is not necessarily a bad thing:

In my opinion, the most important finding in this paper is that a high-carbohydrate diet does not necessarily lead to elevated fasting insulin. This is why I think the statement "carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat" is an oversimplification. What drives fat accumulation is chronically high insulin (hyperinsulinemia), which the Kitavans do not have. With a properly-functioning pancreas and insulin-sensitive tissues (which many people in industrial societies do not have), a healthy person can eat a high-carbohydrate meal and keep blood glucose under control. Insulin definitely spikes, but it's temporary. The rest of the day, insulin is at basal levels. The Kitavans show that insulin spikes per se do not cause hyperinsulinemia.


Stephan said...

Hi Chris,

I'm interested to hear how the increase in carbs works out for you!

randy said...


The presumed notion that insulin drives fat storage and the correlary notion that low insulin levels are the only way to burn fat
are not strongly supported by tightly controlled studies.

HyperInsulimics fed low carb or high carb diets have simular weight loss, despite that fact that the higher carb diets result in higher insulin levels. [1] [2] [3]

Its only the experiments that don't track what the subjects eat that different result are sometimes found. (some of these experiments even find higher carb diets result in greater weight loss).

Nevertheless when the experiements closely monitor what's eaten, the result always show that only calores count in both normal and hyperinsulemic subjects




Chris said...


nice to hear from you again.

I'm getting less dogmatic about low carbs as I said and calories do obviously matter.

Chris said...


nice to hear from you again.

I'm getting less dogmatic about low carbs as I said and calories do obviously matter.