Low-carbohydrate diets: an update on current research.
The diabetes and obesity epidemics have stimulated research to assess the benefits and potential risks of low-carbohydrate diets. Carbohydrate comprises less than 45% of calories in carbohydrate-restricted diets, but very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets may restrict carbohydrate to 20 g initially with variability in the carbohydrate level subsequently. Some research suggests that low-carbohydrate diets may achieve better early weight loss than comparison diets higher in carbohydrate. Studies of up to 1 year suggest that weight loss on low-carbohydrate diet is comparable with fat-restricted diets with higher carbohydrate content. Limited research has been conducted to evaluate low-carbohydrate diets in managing type 2 diabetes. Although science continues to advance in this field, current research suggests that low-carbohydrate diets can be a viable option for achieving weight loss and may have beneficial effects on glycemic control, triglyceride levels, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in some patients.