Safety and Effectiveness of Low-Carbohydrate Diets

1060 Words5 Pages
Although low-fat, low-calorie diet has always been the gold standard of weight loss, low-carbohydrate diet cannot be dismissed. However, despite its popularity, low-carbohydrate diet’s safety and effectiveness continue to be subject of debates. It was not until recently that low-carbohydrate diet is properly studied due to the difficulty of measuring adherence and the high rates of drop-outs. This article will review six original reports done on low-carbohydrate diet. It will analyse the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diet over short and longer period of time as well as its effects on metabolism, coronary heart disease risk factors, glucose tolerance and psychological aspects. Westman, Yancy, Edman, Tomlin, and Perkins’s (2002) did a randomised trials for high-protein, low-carbohydrate (HPLC) diet’s effects on metabolic system and body weights. They found that in average, participants lost 7.7 kilograms (Westman, et al., 2002). In addition, majority of subjects experienced favourable lipid profile change. However, all subjects were also found to develop ketunoria while undergoing the diet (Westman, et al., 2002). As this research was done on subjects with broad age range, the result of this study may be used as guidance for large age groups. It has to be noted that the research is funded by Atkins Centre for Complimentary Medicine which was founded by Robert Atkins, promoter of low-carbohydrate diet, Atkins diet. This introduces bias into the research and while authors of the paper claimed that the research was done independently, it does not satisfy ethical aspect of research. Foster ef al. (2003) also published a research paper based on a randomised-controlled trials of HPLC. Foster et al. (2003) argued that HPLC diet pro... ... middle of paper ... .... Foster, G.D., Wyatt, H.R., Hill, J.O., McGuckin, B.G., Brill, C., Mohammed, B.S., …, & Klein, S. (2003). A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine, 248 (21), 2082-2090. Krebs, N.F., Gao, D., Gralla, J., Collins, J.S., & Johnson, S.L. (2010). Efficacy and Safety of a High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss in Severely Obese Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics, 157 (2), 252-258. Lim, S.S., Noakes, M., Keogh, J.B., & Clifton, P.M. (2010). Long-term effects of a low carbohydrate, low fat or high unsaturated fat compared to a no-intervention control. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, 20, 599-607. Westman, E.C., Yancy, W.S., Edman, J.S., Tomlin, K.F., & Perkins, C.E. (2002). Effect of 6-Month Adherence to a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet Program. The American Journal of Medicine, 113, 30-36.
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