A new diet study contradicts theories that high fat low carb ketogenic weight loss plans are linked to heart disease and diabetes. Instead, researchers at Ohio State University report that low-fat diets high in carbohydrates are the culprits, verifying previous studies indicating that high fat low carb diets are the most effective for weight loss and overall health.
The study “challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease,” stated senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. He is the co-author of several books, including “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable” (click for details).
Volek designed the research as a way to investigate what happens when you increase saturated fat versus what occurs in the body when carbohydrate intake is higher. He noted that low-carb diets resulted in reductions in palmitoleic acid. In contrast, higher levels of carbohydrates increased levels of palmitoleic acid. Because this type of fatty acid is associated with higher risks of diabetes and heart disease, Volek’s team concluded that high fat low carb ketogenic diets are the best approach for overall health as well as weight loss.
“When you consume a very low-carb diet, your body preferentially burns saturated fat,” explained Volek. “We had people eat 2 times more saturated fat than they had been eating before entering the study, yet when we measured saturated fat in their blood, it went down in the majority of people. Other traditional risk markers improved, as well.”
As for those who want to achieve their weight loss goals with food plans such as the Atkins ketogenic diet, Volek’s study also indicated that replacing carbohydrates with protein and fat is the key to both short-term and long-term success. Participants who reduced their carbohydrates lost weight as well as reducing their risk of disease in his research project.
On average, study participants lost 22 pounds after four and a half months of reduced carbohydrate intake. Those results included participants who consumed significantly more saturated fat than before commencing the study. “We had people eat two times more saturated fat than they had been eating before entering the study, yet when we measured saturated fat in their blood, it went down,” added Volek.