A new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the low-carb diet is the best way for weight loss and cholesterol level.(File Photo)
A new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the low-carb diet is the best way for weight loss and cholesterol level, compared with the low-fat diet and the Mediterranean-style diet.
The two-year study trailed the weights of 322 participants who were randomly assigned to adopt one of the three diets: a low-carb diet, a low-fat diet and a Mediterranean-style diet.
The low-fat diet emphasizes grains, whole wheat pasta and bread, fruits and vegetables; the low-carb diet suggests meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and just a few vegetables; and the Mediterranean diet includes lean protein and vegetables, along with lots of olive oil and nuts.
While low-fat dieters lost an average of 3.3 kg (7.3 pounds) over the two-year period, those following the Mediterranean diet shed 4.6 kg (10.1 pounds) and the low-carb dieters 5.5 kg (12.1 pounds).
And the low-carb diet excelled at improving the cholesterol profile, reducing the total cholesterol-to-good cholesterol ratio by 20 percent, compared to just 12 percent in the low-fat diet.
"A low-carb diet, by giving up pasta, and bread, and potatoes, lowers insulin levels in the body," Dr. Eric Westfall of Duke University said. "And when there's less insulin, the body produces less harmful cholesterol."
Researchers are quick to point out, however, that different diets work for different people. For example, the Mediterranean diet was best for lowering fasting glucose levels for diabetics.
(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency July 18,2008)