What Are the Benefits of a Low Carb Diet?


Quick Answer

Evidence suggests that a low-carbohydrate diet can help people lose weight faster and maintain their weight better than a low-fat diet, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. A moderately low-carbohydrate diet with protein and fat selections from healthy sources is good for the heart.

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What Are the Benefits of a Low Carb Diet?
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Full Answer

Studies show that healthy diets with varied proportions of various macronutrients, including carbohydrates, protein and fats, worked equally well over a long period, states the Harvard School of Public Health. The low-carb diet was found most effective in reducing triglycerides, the primary fat-carrying particle in the bloodstream. It also delivered the largest boost in protective HDL cholesterol. A lower-carbohydrate diet consists of fruits, vegetables and whole grains containing essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

The Harvard School of Public Health reports that a 20-year prospective study involving 82,802 women found that women who maintained low-carbohydrate diets that were rich in fat or protein vegetable sources had a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease and around 20 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than women who consumed high-carb, low-fat diets. More studies reveal that a healthy low-carb diet that replaced some carbohydrates with protein or fat effectively lowered blood pressure and "bad" LDL cholesterol compared to a healthy, higher-carb diet. Furthermore, participants in an "EcoAtkins" weight loss trial who followed a low-carb "EcoAtkins" diet experienced improvements in blood pressure and blood lipids.

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