Carbohydrate Restricted Diet Better for Blood Lipids than Fat Restricted Diet

It is often thought that carbohydrate-restricted diets increase the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high content of fats and in particular saturated fat.

Carbohydrate Restricted Diet

A meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials (RCT) shows the opposite: carbohydrate-restricted diets are better for blood lipids than fat-restricted diets. According to British researchers at Liverpool John Moores University , carbohydrate-restricted diets therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease more than fat-restricted diets.

Effect on cholesterol levels

The RCTs compared carbohydrate-restricted diets with fat-restricted diets. They were performed on a total of 1633 overweight or obese people and lasted 6-24 months. For carbohydrate-restricted diets, the researchers made a distinction between a moderate carbohydrate restriction (35-40 energy percent carbohydrates) and a very low carbohydrate diet (20-50 grams per day).In people who followed a carbohydrate-restricted diet, the LDL cholesterol level was slightly higher, but the difference with people on a fat-restricted diet was not statistically significant. The researchers did find statistically significant differences in the levels of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides: they were more favorable with a carbohydrate-restricted diet than with a fat-restricted diet.

New guidelines

Based on these results, the authors believe that a carbohydrate restriction should be included in current dietary guidelines as an alternative for people with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


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