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Atkins Heart Health Fact #1: Low-Carb Diets Decrease Fat in your Bloodstream and Increase Good Cholesterol Better than Low-Fat Diets

We have a large number that show that low carb diets improve triglycerides and good cholesterol (HDL) levels better than low-fat diets. In fact, a 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who followed low-carb diets had more favorable improvements on triglycerides and HDL levels better than low-fat or even Mediterranean diets over a time period of two years. The low-carb dieters in this study started with an Induction level of 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, with a gradual increase to a maximum of 120 grams of carbohydrates per day to maintain the weight they lost. The dieters were counseled to avoid trans fats, and were also taught how to choose vegetarian fat and protein options if necessary. They were able to select protein from sources such as soy, fish and lean meats, plus a variety of healthy fats from seed oils and other sources. The majority of their carbohydrates came from vegetables, and eventually nuts, legumes, fruits and whole grains.

All diet groups experienced decreases in waist circumference and blood pressure, while the low-carb and Mediterranean dieters lost the most weight, but as mentioned previously, the low-carb group had the most improvements in triglycerides and HDL levels.

For more information, you can access this study here: Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet

Need more proof? Check out these other studies below.

  1. Clinical Experience of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet for the Metabolic Syndrome
  2. Carbohydrate restriction has a more favorable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet
  3. A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
  4. A Low-carbohydrate as Compared With a Low-fat Diet in Severe Obesity.
  5. The Effects of Low-Carbohydrate versus Conventional Weight Loss Diets in Severely Obese Adults: One-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial
  6. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet vs orlistat plus a low-fat diet for weight loss
  7. Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet: A Randomized Trial
  8. A Randomized Trial of a Low-carbohydrate Diet For Obesity
  9. The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat
  10. A Randomized Trial Comparing a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet and a Calorie-Restricted Low Fat Diet on Body Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Healthy Women
  11. The Role of Energy Expenditure in the Differential Weight Loss in Obese Women on Low-fat and Low-carbohydrate Diets
  12. Effects of a Low-carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factor in Overweight Adolescents


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