Low carb diets raise cholesterol and risk of heart disease

February 15, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Low carb diets raise cholesterol and risk of heart disease

A team of researchers from Switzerland have found that while the low-carb diet may be effective for weight loss in the short-term, it raises bad cholesterol and raises the risk of heart disease in the long-term.

Researchers completed a meta-analysis of five trials that compared low-carb diets to low-fat diets with nearly 450 participants while analyzing weight loss, blood lipid levels and blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

After six months researchers found that people lost an average of 3.3 kg more on the low-carb diet than the low-fat diet. However, after 12 months there was no difference in weight loss between the two groups. The volunteers on the low-carb diet had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Low-carb dieters get most of their energy from protein and fat. Concerns have been raised in the past regarding the effect of the diets on blood lipid levels and the risk of heart disease, leading many professionals to warn against the long term effects of such diets.

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