Low-carb diets have been around for years. The Paleo diet is the latest diet to build upon the popular Atkins diet, a 1970s brainchild of Dr. Robert Atkins. Now, a new clinical study concludes that low-carb, high-fat diets may not only help dieters lose weight but keep the pounds off longer.
According to Fox News, the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that low-carb diets may also be heart-healthy:
The new study shows that with proper nutritional counseling, people can lose more weight and lower their risk factors for heart disease on a low-carbohydrate diet, said the lead author, Dr. Lydia Bazzano of Tulane University in New Orleans.
“This study shows if you are overweight and have cardiovascular disease risk factors and haven’t had success on other diets, certainly a low-carbohydrate diet is worth a try,” said Bazzano.
New findings suggest that low-carb, high-fat diets may have beneficial effects on dieter’s hearts:
… recent clinical studies in which individuals and their diets were assessed over time have produced a more complex picture. Some have provided strong evidence that people can sharply reduce their heart disease risk by eating fewer carbohydrates and more dietary fat, with the exception of trans fats. The new findings suggest that this strategy more effectively reduces body fat and also lowers overall weight.
According to the study, low-carb dieters lost more weight over a year than the low-fat dieters:
Both the low-carbohydrate and the low-fat groups, neither of which was given specific calorie or energy goals, met periodically with a dietitian. After a year, the study found that people on the low-carbohydrate diet had lost, on average, more weight, and had fewer cardiovascular risks than those on the low-fat diet.
But there are concerns surrounding the environmental impact low-carb diets have on the earth:
… advocating that everyone eat copious amounts of animal products can even be seen as irresponsible, given the consequences for our water supply, carbon emissions, and farmlands. “For every pound of filet mignon on your plate, it takes 30 pounds of grain and 1,200 gallons of water, so that’s an extraordinarily inefficient way to make protein,” said University of Minnesota Ecology Professor Jonathan Foley.