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Am J Public Health. 1986 Nov;76(11):1293-6.

A randomized controlled trial of low carbohydrate and low fat/high fiber diets for weight loss.


Among 135 overweight subjects, we conducted a three-month randomized controlled trial of two sets of dietary advice, each providing approximately 1,000 calories per day but differing in fiber, carbohydrate, and fat content. Information on weight and eating habits, as well as measures of lipoprotein and glucose metabolism were obtained at entry and one and three months later. We found that dieters given low carbohydrate/low fiber dietary advice tended to lose more weight than those given a higher carbohydrate/higher fiber regimen (5.0 vs 3.7 kg on average at three months). This pattern was particularly marked among women, and among participants who were under age 40 or of lower social class. There were no differences between the diet groups in the proportion complaining of hunger but, in general, members of the low carbohydrate group complained of more problems in dieting. There were only minor differences in the serum lipoprotein patterns during the diet period. In view of these results, we believe previous claims of the benefits of fiber for weight loss may have been overstated.

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