low calorie diet

Very low calorie diet

Very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a diet with very or extremely low calorie consumption per day. It is defined medically as a diet of 800 kilocalories per day or less. VLCDs are formulated, nutritionally complete, liquid meals containing 3350 kJ (800 kcal) or less per day. VLCDs also contain the recommended daily requirements for vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids and protein. The VLCD products are usually a powder which is mixed with water or another low calorie liquid.

Because of the extremely low calories per day, a VLCD diet cannot be used by children no matter how obese.

A VLCD should never be undertaken without medical supervision.

Health effects

Health benefits

A 1997 study concludes that the short-term use of a VLCD is very effective in rapidly improving glycaemic control and promoting substantial weight loss in obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a VLCD increases insulin sensitivity and reduces the substrate for gluconeogenesis. Thus VLCD treatment may improve glycaemic control more than calorie restriction alone.

Adverse effects

The risk of gallbladder disease is greatly increased for individuals following a VLCD.

Another potential side effect is constipation (depending on the fibre content of the diet).

See also


External links

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