Long Term, Low Carb Diets Not Superior to Other Diets

Douglas Perry

Technology, Cycling, Swimming


The researchers at Stanford University's School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, who are behind the recent review of the benefits of low carbohydrate diets found many issues with the benefits and risks and consider these approaches to be controversial and unresolved, particularly for very-low carbohydrate diets (VLCD).


They also concluded that beyond a six month period, the benefits of low carb diets diminish and that long-term weight loss and management isn't any better than any other diets. And that's pretty much confirmed by what other researchers are finding.



The reviews authors also addressed the efficacy of low carb diets in adults with prediabetes or diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes (T2DB) finding less evidence on the merits, overall, but noting that low carb diets can reduce appetites, triglycerides, and the need for diabetic medication but have adverse effects by raising cholesterol levels, impacting microbiomes, and causing inflammation.


Most research on low carb diets is in comparison more traditional low-fat diets, however, the researchers in this instance feel that enough research has been done in this area with more research needed on head-to-head comparsion of all lower carbohydrate diets, risks and benefits, and longer term reviews of the efficacy of these diets.


Some other salient points to be made: adherence to low carb diets is hard and where there are studies with well-controlled subjects the periods are short.


There are, as everyone knows, real-world limitations to a low carb dietary lifestyle. There are also varying degrees of low carb commitment: is it sugars, is it fruits and starches, or is meat and nuts?


What is clear is that dieting is dieting no matter how you cut it with deprivations and rigors that don't always hold up over time because people don't live and cook and eat like that.


The authors of this particuarly review of low carb diets are right in wanting greater transparency and greater curiosity about the definition of low carb diets because one size does not fit all.

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