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December 07, 2011

To ease weight, low-carb diets are better!

LONDON: A British study has found that a low-carb diet is more preferable yet better than a standard, calorie-restricted one for cutting down weight & lowering blood levels of cancer-promoting hormone insulin.
The researchers at Genesis Prevention Centre at University Hospital in South Manchester, found that restricting carbohydrates two days per week may be better dietary approach for preventing breast cancer & other diseases. Michelle Harvie, research dietician at the Genesis Prevention Centre said that it is interesting that the diet that only restricts carbohydrates but allows protein & fats is as effective as the calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet. 

Harvie & her colleagues compared three diets during four months for effects on weight loss & blood markers of breast cancer risk among 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. They randomly assigned patients to one of the following diets: a calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet for two days per week; an "ad-lib" low-carbohydrate diet in which patients were permitted to eat unlimited protein & healthy fats, & a standard, calorie-restricted daily Mediterranean diet for seven days per week. 

Data revealed that both intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets were superior to the standard, daily Mediterranean diet in reducing weight, body fat & insulin resistance. Mean reduction in weight & body fat was roughly 4 kgs with the intermittent approaches compared with 2.4 kg with the standard dietary approach. 

The insulin resistance reduced by 22% with the restricted low-carbohydrate diet & by 14% with the "ad-lib" low-carbohydrate diet compared with 4% with the standard Mediterranean diet. These findings were presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in the US.  

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