Are low-carb diets healthy?
(versión en español: pinchar aquí)
In the year 2012 it was published a review of 23 scientific trials, analysing the effect of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors (Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Obes Rev. 2012 Nov;13(11):1048-66. Epub 2012 Aug 21.)
The results of the review are overwhelming: low-carb diets
- decrease body weight
- decrease body mass index
- decrease abdminal circumference
- decrease systolic blood pressure
- decrease diastolic blood pressure
- decrease plasma tryglicerides
- decrease glycated hemoglobin
- decrease plasma insulin
- decrease plasma C-reactive protein
- increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol)
Those results can be read in the article’s summary:
It is a review of randomized clinical trials in humans, so it uses results from 23 top quality scientific articles. Those are not «expert’s opinions», nor epidemiological studies, nor results obtained in mice. They are much more than any MD’s opinion, or mine.
Besides the reported health benefits, in my personal case GERD and NAFLD disappeared. That is not a surprise:
- «Six months of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet led to significant weight loss and histologic improvement of fatty liver disease.» The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot study.Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Feb;52(2):589-93. Epub 2007 Jan 12.
- «[...] a very low-carbohydrate diet in obese individuals with GERD significantly reduces distal esophageal acid exposure and improves symptoms«. A very low-carbohydrate diet improves gastroesophageal reflux and its symptoms. Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Aug;51(8):1307-12. Epub 2006 Jul 27.
If you want to read more about the health benefits of low-carb diets, Kris Gunnars made a review of 20 scientific studies (may be the same ones used in the review I commented before, I didn’t check that):