Very low carbohydrate diets decrease body fat
Scientists say that low carbohydrate diets, like the Atkins and South Beach diets, may actually be the best option for men who want to slim. New research, published in the Open Access journal, Nutrition & Metabolism, shows that over 70 percent of men lost more weight and fat on a low carbohydrate diet, despite eating more calories.
Low carb diet means lower upper body fatJeff Volek and colleagues, from the University of Connecticut, also show for the first time that a low carbohydrate diet is much more effective in losing fat from the stomach and chest. Upper body fat carries "a greater health risk than fat stored in other regions of the body," say the authors.
They found that fat loss in men was three times greater in the trunk area, when they were on a low carbohydrate regime compared to the low-fat diet. Nearly all participants in the study (12 of 15 men and 12 of 13 women) lost more fat on their upper body on the low carbohydrate diet.
Fifteen overweight or obese men, and thirteen women, were randomly assigned to a very low carbohydrate diet or a low- fat diet. After 50 days, they were switched to the other diet. Eleven of the 15 men did better on the low carbohydrate diet, six lost greater than 10 pounds more on the low carbohydrate diet, and one subject lost almost 25 pounds more. Similar results were found for women, although the results were less dramatic.
Volek's lab, whose work is the first-ever to be funded in part by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation, has previously shown that low carbohydrate diets also improve cardiovascular risk factors.