Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthi

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    Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthi

    Even if a low carbohydrate diet does not make you slimmer, it still makes you healthier

    Even if it doesn't make you lose one gram of body fat, a low-carbohydrate diet will make you healthier. That is the conclusion of a small experimental study that American researchers, led by Jeff Volek, published in JCI Insight.

    Study
    The researchers experimented with 16 obese test subjects, all of whom suffered from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a series of negative health effects associated with being overweight and a Western lifestyle, such as a deteriorated cholesterol balance and a reduced sensitivity to insulin.

    For 4 weeks, the researchers gave their test subjects a diet that consisted of 57 percent energy by carbs [HC]. On two other occasions the subjects were given a diet for 4 weeks with energy coming from 32 [MC] or 6 percent [LC] from carbohydrates, respectively.

    The total amount of energy in the 3 diet types was the same, and so was the amount of protein. The amount of energy was just enough to keep the test subjects on their weight.

    The researchers were paid by the American and Dutch dairy industry.

    Results
    Although the subjects did not become slimmer if they ate less carbohydrates, they did become healthier. After 4 weeks of low carb, 9 of the 16 test persons officially no longer had metabolic syndrome.

    The decrease in the amount of carbohydrates in the diet increased the HDL level and reduced the concentration of glucose and triglycerides in the blood.

    The low carb diet yielded 2.5 more saturated fats and the high carb diet. If you expose your cells to high concentrations of saturated fat, they will generally become less vital as a result. The low carb diet reduced the concentration of saturated fatty acids in the blood.

    PL SFA = saturated fat as phospholipid; TG SFA = saturated fat as triglyceride.

    The low carb diet also changed the metabolism of the fatty acids. It allowed the conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid to proceed more smoothly.

    Conclusion
    "In summary, our results show that the metabolic syndrome can be rapidly (within 4 weeks) reversed by a low carbohydrate diet in the majority of participants who are obese even when 1 of the main characteristics of the syndrome, increased waist circumference or adiposity, is locked out of the equation", write the researchers.

    "Thus, these results likely underestimate the true benefits of low carbohydrate diets that are commonly associated with weight loss when fed ad libitum."

    "Although our findings extend a growing amount of research exploring low carbohydrate diets on the metabolic syndrome, it remains unknown whether the improvements in the specific component of the syndrome observed here translate into decreased cardiometabolic outcomes."

    "Based on these results, any long-term diet trials in participants with metabolic syndrome studying hard outcomes should include low carbohydrate diets."

    Source: JCI Insight. 2019 Jun 20;4(12). pii: 128308.
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