Not all low carb diets are created equal for keeping the kilos at bay

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Research using data from three large studies has found that not all low-carb diets will help you keep the kilos off to the same degree. The study found low-carb diets that emphasised high-quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates from whole grains and other healthy plant-based foods helped slow weight gain compared to low-carb diets that emphasised animal proteins and fats or refined carbohydrates. The authors say that this suggests nutrient quality has a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body weight.

Journal/conference: JAMA

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.49552

Organisation/s: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA

Funder: This study was funded by research grants from the National Institutes of Health (grant No. UM1
CA186107, U01 CA176726, U01 CA167552, P01 CA87969, R01 HL034594, R01 HL035464, R01 HL60712, R01
DK120870, R01 DK126698, R01 DK119268, U2C DK129670, DK119268, R01 ES022981, and R21 AG070375). Dr Rai is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Media release

From: JAMA

Low-Carbohydrate Diet Macronutrient Quality and Weight Change

JAMA Network Open
Original Investigation

About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is an online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. On weekdays, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

About The Study: In this study using data from three large prospective cohort studies among 123,000 individuals, low-carbohydrate diets that emphasized high-quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates from whole grains and other healthy plant-based foods were significantly associated with slower weight gain in the long term. In contrast, low-carbohydrate diets emphasizing animal-sourced proteins and fats or refined carbohydrates were associated with faster weight gain.

Authors: Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, is the corresponding author.


Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support.

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