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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Low Carb Diet vs. High Fat Diet

Is a low carb diet really better for you than a low fat
diet? According to Dr. Jeff Volek from The University
of Connecticut it is.

Dr. Volek states "Low carbohydrate diets outperform
low fat diets on just about every risk factor you can
measure. This includes standard and emerging markers
such as lipid markers, inflammatory markers, vascular
markers, metabolic and hormonal markers, etc."

He also adds "the improvements in metabolic risk
factor on low carbohydrate diets are not dependent of
weight loss, that is, even if you don't lose weight metabolic
improvements persist. However, low fat diets only result
in improvement in risk factors if weight loss occurs."

In his study participants ate a larger percentage of
vegetables as compared to the usual suspects when most
think of a low carb diet.

Dr. Volek says "The main goal is to have subjects restrict
carbohydrates so that they produce ketones in the urine.
The usual breakdown is about 10% carbohydrate, 65% fat,
and 25% protein. There are no restrictions on the type of
fat from saturated and unsaturated sources or cholesterol
levels. Examples of foods consumed by the subjects included
unlimited amounts of beef, poultry, fish, and eggs,
moderate amounts of hard cheeses and low carbohydrate
vegetables and salad dressings, and small amounts of nuts
and seeds."

What other benefits can be derived from a low carb diet
as opposed to a low fat, hgher carb diet?

"The potential problem with low fat/high carbohydrate diets
is that they can exacerbate the features associated with
metabolic syndrome, unless you also exercise or lose weight
as part of the low fat diet. High carbohydrate diets
increase triglycerides, lower HDL-cholesterol, and
lead to greater fluctuations in glucose and insulin.
There is also an emerging concept that carbohydrates tend
to be more pro-inflammatory. To some extent the
over-emphasis on carbohydrates explains why we
have seen such an increase in diabetes." says Dr. Volek.

Click here to read this whole interview.

Personally, as a weight lifter I prefer a higher protein intake
to support muscle growth.

But that's another story!

low carb diet


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