January 21, —When eating a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet LCD or LFD, choosing healthy foods is key to reducing the risk of premature death, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health. People who ate healthy versions of the diets—filling their plates with whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits, and nuts —had a lower risk of premature death compared to people who did not follow either diet. Previous research has shown that different types of carbohydrates and fats have varying effects on disease risk and health. For example, low-quality carbohydrates, such as white bread or sugar-sweetened cereals, can cause spikes in blood sugar that may contribute to insulin resistance and other metabolic problems. And foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat and butter, may increase the risk of heart disease. The current study is the first known investigation of associations between low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets and mortality that considers macronutrient quality. The researchers used data from 37, adults ages 20 or older participating in the U. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from to
Low-carbohydrate diets are popular for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have not been well-studied, particularly in diverse populations. To examine the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet compared with a low-fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors. A randomized, parallel-group trial. Both groups received dietary counseling at regular intervals throughout the trial. Data on weight, cardiovascular risk factors, and dietary composition were collected at 0, 3, 6, and 12 months. The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
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A team led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified several women’s health benefits from a low-fat diet. The findings, published in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition, found a low-fat diet commensurate with an increase in fruit, vegetable and grain servings reduced death following breast cancer, slowed diabetes progression and prevented coronary heart disease. The study involved nearly 49, postmenopausal women across the U. After nearly nine years of dietary change, they found that the low-fat diet did not significantly impact outcomes for these conditions. However, after longer-term follow-up of nearly 20 years, researchers found significant benefits, derived from modest dietary changes emerged and persisted including. Unlike other studies examining the link between diet, cancer and other diseases, WHI investigators designed the study as a long-term, randomized controlled clinical trial to limit bias and establish causal conclusions. Participants made intentional dietary changes resulting from learned integrated concepts about nutrition and behavior, taught by trained nutritionists during the first year and reinforced quarterly for nearly a decade. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News.