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Low Carb-Mediterranean Diet Combo Sheds Fat in Clinical Trial (Average Weight Loss 35lbs in a Year)

Published on January 21, 2014,

The brain health and neuroscience bog Brain Posts has highlighted an interesting new research study that has combined low carb, high fat ketogenic dieting (for weight loss) and the Mediterranean diet (for maintenance) into a structured intervention for obese subjects with very positive results…

Mediterranean diet (close up)

Mediterranean diet (close up) (Photo credit: grobery)

Antonio Paoli and colleagues from Italy and Greece conducted a clinical trial in obese subjects that included the following key components:

Subjects: 68 subjects with mean BMI >30 between 25 and 65 years of age without diabetes or other severe chronic illness

Diet intervention: One clinical trial with two cycles of 20 days of a very low carbohydrate diet (30 grams carbohydrate per day), 20 days of low carbohydrate diet (90 grams carbohydrate per day) separated by 4 and 6 month Mediterranean diet maintenance phases (260 grams carbohydrate per day). During carbohydrate restriction cycles, subjects received vitamin, mineral and herbal supplementation.

Measurements: Body weight, body fat, lipids, blood glucose, liver and kidney function and blood pressure

The results of clinical trial were pretty impressive. The average weight loss over 12 months was 16 kilograms or 35 pounds. That is an average 15% loss of body weight. Mean BMI dropped from 35.4 to 30.3. Mean percent body fat decreased from 43% to 34%.

Metabolic parameters improved with weight loss over the trial with mean total cholesterol dropping from 193 to 180, fasting glucose from 102 to 95. Mean blood pressure dropped from 125 to 118 systolic.

The authors note there is significant skepticism by medical professionals about very low carbohydrate diets. There is limited long-term efficacy and safety data. There were no serious adverse effects or deaths noted in the study from participation in the study. The completion rate was high suggesting subjects tolerated the trial.

More at: Low Carb-Mediterranean Diet Combo Sheds Fat in Trial

Read more about the study here: Long Term Successful Weight Loss with a Combination Biphasic Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and Mediterranean Diet Maintenance Protocol

You can follow Brain Posts author Bill Yates on twitter @WRY999

BBC Reports Saturated Fat Heart Disease ‘Myth’

Published on October 29, 2013,

More signs that the mainstream media is starting to question orthodox thinking with this report on the BBC of a cardiologist’s claims that saturated fat is being demonised…

BBC saturated fat mythThe risk from saturated fat in foods such as butter, cakes and fatty meat is being overstated and demonised, according to a cardiologist.

Dr Aseem Malhotra said there was too much focus on the fat with other factors such as sugar often overlooked.

It is time to “bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease”, he writes in an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal.

But the British Heart Foundation said there was conflicting evidence.

It added reducing cholesterol through drugs or other means does lower heart risk.

Studies on the link between diet and disease have led to dietary advice and guidelines on how much saturated fat, particularly cholesterol, it is healthy to eat.

Millions of people in the UK have been prescribed statins to reduce cholesterol levels.

Dr Malhotra, a cardiology registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, says the “mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades”.

He says saturated fat has been “demonised” and any link with heart disease is not fully supported by scientific evidence.

The food industry has compensated for lowering saturated fat levels in food by replacing it with sugar, he says, which also contributes to heart disease.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet – olive oil, nuts, oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of red wine – after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin, writes Dr Malhotra.

However, Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, says studies on the link between diet and disease frequently produce conflicting results…

More at:  Saturated fat heart disease ‘myth’

Why New Research Must Mean The Death of the Low-Fat Diet

Published on March 4, 2013,

The New England Journal of Medicine has reported results of a large trial comparing the impact on cardiovascular disease of a low fat diet against a Mediterranean diet with more fat. After 5 years the trial has been stopped ahead of time because the low-fat group got significantly more heart disease. The Diet Doctor believes this must, at last, mean the death of the low fat diet. This is from the Diet Doctor…

Mediterranean diet (close up)

Mediterranean diet (close up) (Photo credit: grobery)

The low-fat diet has been on life support since 2006, when the failure of the WHI trial was published. A low-fat diet did not succeed in preventing heart disease. Instead people with pre-existing heart disease had a 30 percent increase in risk of heart disease!

Now it’s game over. Today the result of another large trial is published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigeous scientific journal in the world for this type of research.

About 7,500 people were randomized to either get advice on a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet with more fat, specifically olive oil or nuts. After almost five years the trial was stopped in advance. The result was clear. The group getting the low-fat diet advice got significantly more heart disease, again.

NEJM: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet

An earlier report from the same trial looked at the risk of diabetes. People exposed to low-fat diet advice had a much higher risk of getting diabetes. And study after study show that people have a harder time losing weight on a low-fat diet. So it’s more obesity, more diabetes and more heart disease on low fat.

R.I.P. low-fat diet. Welcome back, fat

More at: The Death of the Low-Fat Diet

The Diet Doctor also has a follow up article: What the Dangerous Low-Fat Diet Looked Like

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