Are Low Carb Diets the Best Weight Loss Diets?

The results of a comparison of weight loss regimes were published in 2007, in The Journal of the American Association. This study showed that the Atkins diet achieved the most weight loss compared to 3 other dietary plans namely The LEARN Diet, Ornish Diet and the Zone Diet.

These are the diets used during the study.

LEARN Diet

This is a typical and traditional low-calorie diet, the letters LEARN stand for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships and Nutrition. On the diet, carbohydrates account for about 50 – 60 % of the calories, while fat is kept to about 30 percent. Also included in the diet are recommendations on exercise and other lifestyle choices.

Ornish Diet

This is a low-fat diet in all the dieters will consume less than 10% of their calories in fat. This diet also recommends a programme of yoga.

Zone Diet

Calories in the diet should be Fat 30%, Protein 30% and 40% carbohydrates.

Atkins Diet

Carbohydrates restricted to 20 grams per day for the first few months then increasing to 50 grams a day. The subjects can eat fat and protein to appetite.

The Results

Weight loss Atkins 9.9 lbs loss, LEARN 5.5lbs loss, Ornish 5.3 lbs and the Zone 3.3 lbs.

The Atkins group also had superior results to the other diets by improvements to the subjects LDL cholesterol levels, triglycerides, HDL level and blood pressure.

For a full explanation of the study, there is a video that shows the presentation by Christopher Gardener from the Stanford Prevention Research Centre called “The Battle of Weight Loss Diets is Anyone Winning at Losing?

This is a very interesting presentation as Chris is a 25 year vegetarian and I believe was very surprised that the low carb and high-fat diet could win on all fronts against low-fat diets.

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