Details: 60 overweight individuals were randomized to a low-carb diet high in monounsaturated fat, or a low-fat diet based on the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
Both groups were calorie restricted and the study went on for 12 weeks.
Weight Loss: The low-carb group lost an average of 6.2 kg (13.6 lbs), while the low-fat group lost 3.4 kg (7.5 lbs). The difference was statistically significant.
Conclusion: The low-carb group lost 1.8 times as much weight. There were also several changes in biomarkers that are worth noting:
- Waist-to-hip ratio is a marker for abdominal fat. This marker improved slightly in the LC group, not in the LF group.
- Total cholesterol improved in both groups.
- Triglycerides went down by 42 mg/dL in the LC group, compared to 15.3 mg/dL in the LF group.
- LDL particle size increased by 4.8 nm and percentage of small, dense LDL decreased by 6.1% in the LC group, while there was no significant difference in the LF group.
Overall, the low-carb group lost more weight and had much greater improvements in several important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Aude YW, et al. The national cholesterol education program diet vs a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and monounsaturated fat. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2004.