Contrary to recent reports, very-low-carbohydrate diets may not necessarily be better than standard diets, suggest US researchers. They had randomised 160 overweight or obese adults to follow for a year the dietary component of one of four popular programs: Atkins (low carbohydrate), Ornish (low fat) Weight Watchers (low calorie) or Zone (macronutrient balance). The researchers found that each of the four diets led to a similar, and modest, reduction in body weight — about 5 kg or 5% — but only in the minority of participants who decided to keep to the diet for the full year. Further, in these participants, reductions in some of the cardiac risk factors measured (LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, and serum C-reactive protein and insulin levels) were similar, irrespective of the type of diet.
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