Thursday, February 25, 2010

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diets Can Increase Bad Cholesterol

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Did you know your brain can only utilize glucose as a fuel source? The daily recommendation for the distribution of calories in the diets of both men and women is 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat and 45-65% carbohydrates for the above noted reason, among others. So, it should come as no surprise that restricting carbohydrates can lead to adverse health consequences, which has again been demonstrated in a recent study.

While some studies have indeed found a benefit to consuming fewer carbs in the diet, it is not recommended to fall below the 45% of calories mark; diets high or low in any particular macronutrient are not recommended as they inherently restrict the consumption of other macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, which all serve vital functions on the body.

Thanks to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diets that are low in carbohydrates but higher in fat tend to increase LDL, or "bad cholesterol" levels. In contrast, individuals who consumed 55% percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates showed a decrease in their LDL levels. Both groups consumed the same number of daily calories and lost the same amount of weight on average, however, as was demonstrated, their internal chemistry was notably different. The team concluded that "These data suggest that a high-fat diet may have adverse metabolic effects during active weight loss,".

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Low-carb diet can increase bad cholesterol levels" from Reuters Health (Feb. 24, 2010).