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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Apr;24(4):337-43. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2013.12.008. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

The low-carbohydrate diet and cardiovascular risk factors: evidence from epidemiologic studies.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
2
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA. Electronic address: lbazzano@tulane.edu.

Abstract

AIMS:

Obesity is an important public health issue because of its high prevalence and concomitant increase in risk of cardiovascular diseases. Low carbohydrate diets are popular for weight loss and weight management but are not recommended in leading guidelines due to the perception that increases in dietary fat intake may lead to an adverse cardiovascular risk profile. To clarify the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss on cardiovascular disease risk factors as compared to a low fat diet for weight loss, we systematically reviewed data from randomized controlled clinical trials and large observational studies.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

We searched the MEDLINE database (Jan 1966-Nov 2013) to identify studies that examined a low-carbohydrate diet as compared to a low-fat diet for weight loss or the improvement of cardiovascular disease risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Recent randomized controlled trials document that low-carbohydrate diets not only decrease body weight but also improve cardiovascular risk factors. In light of this evidence from randomized controlled trials, dietary guidelines should be re-visited advocating a healthy low carbohydrate dietary pattern as an alternative dietary strategy for the prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease; Low carbohydrate diet; Risk factors; Weight loss

Comment in

PMID:
24613757
PMCID:
PMC4351995
DOI:
10.1016/j.numecd.2013.12.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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