Last updated on April 18th, 2017
“More people should be considering a low-carb diet as a good option” — Kerry Stewart, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Heart and Vascular Institute. (“Low-Carb, Higher-Fat Diets Add No Arterial Health Risks to Obese People Seeking to Lose Weight,” John Hopkins News Release, June 1, 2011.)
Professor Stewart was the lead author of a study presented on June 3 at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver which compared weight-loss and vascular health results for two groups of men — one group that followed a low-fat diet and one group that followed a low-carb diet. Both groups engaged in moderate exercise over the six-month program. The low-carb group lost weight more quickly (an average of 10 pounds in the first 45 days), and were found to suffer no harmful vascular changes.
“Overweight and obese people appear to really have options when choosing a weight-loss program, including a low-carb diet, and even if it means eating more fat,” Stewart said. The professor also contends that “an over-emphasis on low-fat diets has likely contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States by encouraging an over-consumption of foods high in carbohydrates.”
A second study presented by the same team at the Denver meeting examined the short-term impact on heart health of eating a fat-laden McDonald’s breakfast. No harmful vascular effects were detected; in fact, participants’ blood vessels were less stiff when tested four hours after the meal.
These are small, short-term studies, but the results would not surprise anyone in the low-carb community. A lot more work needs to be done along these lines before the fat-phobic will see the light — if they ever will given the misleading information on dietary fat and human health that the U.S. medical establishment and government continues to spew out. However, the NIH provided funding for the organizations that provided funding for these studies, so maybe there is hope. It also should be noted that the “low-carb” group’s diet obtained up to 30% of its calories from carbohydrates and only 40% from fats — which is by no means extremely low-carb/ high fat. Some might say that a true low-carb diet was not tested here — just a somewhat lower carb, higher fat diet.
(The article was originally posted on my personal blog on June 11, 2011.)