Low-carb diets may help you to lose weight faster than low-fat diets, but these carb-cutting diets could be linked to higher levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol, say Swiss scientists at University Hospital Basel..
But, on the other hand, the findings, which are published in the Feb. 13 issue of JAMA Archives of Internal Medicine, also found -- in reviewing five different clinical studies -- that the low-carb dieters had lower triglyceride levels and higher HDL or ‘good' cholesterol levels.
Although the carb shunners -- who consumed large amounts of protein and fat -- lost weight more quickly, after 12 months, both groups had the same blood pressure, completion rates and weight loss levels. The researchers were concerned about the effect of their diets on cholesterol levels and their cardiovascular system.
In other words, the scientists concluded that there's "still insufficient evidence to make recommendations for or against the use of low-carbohydrate diets to induce weight loss, especially for durations longer than six months," the authors wrote.
Altough the researchers found low-carb diets to be "at least as effective as low-fat, energy-restricted diets in inducing weight loss for up to 1 year," they suggested that "potential favorable changes in triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol values should be weighed against potential unfavorable changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol values when low-carbohydrate diets to induce weight loss are considered."
Well, that's certainly food for thought.
Look, I'm not a scientist or doctor, but I'm willing to bet that if those low-carb dieters just cut back on all that meat they were eating and continued to gravitate towards high-quality carbs that their cholesterol levels wouldn't be so high.