Meta-study on low-carb diets
Won’t Cutting Carbs Help You Lose Weight?
Many people believe that following a low carb diet will help them lose weight. However, some studies show that low carb does not lead to better weight loss than other diets.
Low carb, keto, paleo – low to no carb diets are not only trendy, they also promise great weight loss potential. But do you really lose weight on a low-carb diet? A meta-analysis of 61 studies with a total of nearly 7,000 participants found no relevant benefit from the low-carb diet. So we don’t necessarily lose weight if we eat less pasta, rice and the like.
Studies Show Low-Carb Diets Aren’t As Effective As You Think
The researchers compared a low carb diet to a balanced carb diet. Adults were studied, some were overweight, others normal weight. Some participants had cardiovascular disease, but most had good heart health.
The results of the meta-review of studies may surprise some: “People who followed a low-carb diet for up to two years lost a similar amount of weight to those who followed a balanced, high-carb diet,” said said Celeste Naude of Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, first author of the analysis.
For a long time, many people assumed that they could lose weight quickly and effectively by not eating pizza, pasta, and other carbs, especially grain-based ones. Studies have not been able to confirm this effect. This is especially evident over long periods of time. Over a period of three to eight months, those tested who were overweight without diabetes were able to show weight loss of around one kilogram more compared to the other diets. However, over a period of one to two years, the difference was less than a kilo.
Heart health doesn’t necessarily benefit from a low-carb diet, either.
But not only does a low-carb diet have less of an impact on weight than expected, as Céleste Naude explains: “Changes in heart disease risk factors were also similar in people who followed these diets until recently. at two years.” This applies to people with type 2 diabetes as well as healthy people.
According to the study authors, those who want to lose weight for health reasons should try methods other than low-carb, such as limiting the amount of energy and dieting with healthier foods. This includes, above all, few processed foods, as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible and enough dietary fibre, for example from whole grain products.
Source used: cochrane.de