The evidence that a low-carb, saturated fat diet better for diabetics

  • Improves blood pressure, without drugs

    The difficulty is to reduce weight without increasing the risk of a heart attack or damaging arteries. So with that in mind here are two studies which do just that – by reducing carbohydrates and increasing fats:

    Sharman MJ, Kraemer WJ, Love DM, Avery NG, Gomez AL, Scheett TP, Volek JS. A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. J Nutr 2002; 132: 1879-85 Human Performance Laboratory, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269-1110, USA. Very low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets are popular yet little is known regarding the effects on serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study examined the effects of a 6-wk ketogenic diet on fasting and postprandial serum biomarkers in 20 normal-weight, normolipidemic men. Twelve men switched from their habitual diet (17% protein, 47% carbohydrate and 32% fat) to a ketogenic diet (30% protein, 8% carbohydrate and 61% fat) and eight control subjects consumed their habitual diet for 6 wk. Fasting blood lipids, insulin, LDL particle size, oxidized LDL and postprandial triacylglycerol (TAG) and insulin responses to a fat-rich meal were determined before and after treatment. There were significant decreases in fasting serum TAG (-33%), postprandial lipemia after a fat-rich meal (-29%), and fasting serum insulin concentrations (-34%) after men consumed the ketogenic diet. Fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL were unaffected and HDL cholesterol tended to increase with the ketogenic diet (+11.5%; P = 0.066). In subjects with a predominance of small LDL particles pattern B, there were significant increases in mean and peak LDL particle diameter and the percentage of LDL-1 after the ketogenic diet. There were no significant changes in blood lipids in the control group. To our knowledge this is the first study to document the effects of a ketogenic diet on fasting and postprandial CVD biomarkers independent of weight loss. The results suggest that a short-term ketogenic diet does not have a deleterious effect on CVD risk profile and may improve the lipid disorders characteristic of atherogenic dyslipidemia.

    COMMENT: with a diet in which 61% of calories came from fat, you might expect that cholesterol, etc, would rise. In fact, it did just the opposite. The figures are:

    • fasting serum triacylglycerol    – 33%
    • postprandial lipaemia                – 29%
    • postprandial insulin                   – 34%
    • HDL                                           +11.5%
    • Total cholesterol was unchanged

    Westman EC, Yancy WS, Edman JS, Tomlin KF, Perkins CE. Effect of 6-month adherence to a very low carbohydrate diet program. Am J Med 2002 Jul;113(1):30-6 Division of General Internal Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina To determine the effect of a 6-month very low carbohydrate diet program on body weight and other metabolic parameters. Fifty-one overweight or obese healthy volunteers who wanted to lose weight were placed on a very low carbohydrate diet (less than 25 grams per day), with no limit on total calorie intake. They also received nutritional supplementation and recommendations about exercise, and attended group meetings at a research clinic. The outcomes were body weight, body mass index, percentage of body fat (estimated by skinfold thickness), serum chemistry and lipid values, 24-hour urine measurements, and subjective adverse effects. Forty-one (80%) of the 51 subjects attended visits through 6 months. In these subjects, the mean (+/- SD) body weight decreased 10.3% +/- 5.9% (P