A new study provides insights into the potential weight loss benefits of high fat low carb ketogenic diets. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to compare weight loss plans. The results showed that dieters on ketogenic low-carb diets lost weight while curbing their cravings, revealed the report published Nov. 17 in the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) journal.
“Thus, the clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss, although individuals may indeed feel slightly less hungry (or more full or satisfied),” noted the researchers. They credited nutritional ketosis for suppressing appetite.
What’s next in evaluating the potential benefits of ketogenic diets for weight loss, as well as low-carb plans? A recent exploration via ABC’s Catalyst program included experts ranging from Dr. Timothy Noakes to Dr. Stephen Phinney: Read about their views and publications by clicking here.
High fat low carb ketogenic diets typically include large percentages of fats, such as avocado and olive oil; moderate amounts of protein such as chicken and fish, and non-starchy vegetables. Foods excluded usually include grains, starchy vegetables, and most fruit. The ketogenic Atkins diet, however, does allow fruit after the initial induction phase.
Celebrities recently have praised the high fat low carb Atkins diet for helping them achieve their own weight loss goals. Among those stars are Kim Kardashian, Sharon Osbourne, and Kendra Wilkinson. Kim reportedly lost 70 pounds: Learn more by clicking here.
Another recent study compared low-fat diets to low-carb diets. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the research determined that dieters on low carb plans lost more weight and lowered their risk of heart disease more significantly, reported the Journal News on Nov. 17.
Northern Westchester Hospital’s lead clinical registered dietician, Jill Ashbey-Pejoves, expressed concern about the validity of those results, however. She argued that the study’s conclusion that the low-carb dieters had the biggest reduction in cardiovascular disease was contrary to “federal guidelines that favor low-fat eating.”
In addition, the dietitian contested the conclusion that some extracted, which is that the study provided validation for ketogenic diets such as the Atkins plan. Why? She pointed to the shift in total carbs during the year-long research project rather than evaluate an average per month or different phases.
The initial study assigned low-carb dieters to consume 40 grams of carbohydrates daily. However, after one year, the amounts changed, said Jill. She also noted that the low-carb diet group did not follow a ketogenic high fat low-carb diet, but also reduced their fat intake.
“If you look at the breakdown after 12 months, they were – on average – getting 127 grams of carbohydrates a day. No one would call 127 grams a day low. So that’s a tricky aspect of this study. The assumption is also that low-carb is high in protein and high in fat. In fact, both groups reduced their fat intake from the baseline,” said the dietitian.
Jill also disagreed with some reports that described the study as validating high fat low carb diets such as the Atkins plan.
“It’s the weight loss that matters, as long as (the diet) is generally healthful. But at the end of the day, the low-carb diet was not an Atkins diet. It was a more moderate carb diet. And the low-fat diet was not really low fat; it was what’s roughly recommended, between 30 and 35 percent of calories…and Atkins doesn’t necessarily promote healthy fats, whereas both of these groups were educated to choose plant-based fats, not saturated fats,” she said.
So what’s the bottom line when it comes to weight loss? The dietitian urges dieters to consume more fiber and focus on whole foods rather than processed foods. She also agrees that simple carbohydrates such as bread made with white flour and cake should be avoided.
“It’s about whole foods like beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins. It’s not a question of whether you’re meeting a certain percent of daily calories from one food group. It’s about the quality of what you put in your mouth — and the quantity!” concluded Jill.