Low-Carb Diets Improve Cholesterol Long Term
Low-Carb Diet Edges Out Low-Fat Diet in Raising 'Good' Cholesterol
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Low-Carb Diet Heart-Healthy continued...
All the participants attended group sessions designed to motivate them to stay on the diets. The groups met weekly at first and then monthly toward the end of the study.
“The No. 1 thing was getting people to keep track of what they ate and their activities on a daily basis,” Foster says.
Other topics included limiting eating to specific places and times, managing the holidays, and getting back on track after overeating.
Even though HDL profiles were better in the low-carb group, Foster says dieters who successfully lost weight on both diets showed improvements in heart disease risk.
He says people who want to shed pounds should pick a diet that is most likely to work for them.
“I think the main message is that people need to spend less time worrying about whether they should follow a weight loss diet that is low in this or high in that and spend more time learning strategies to help them stick to the diet they chose.”
Expert: ‘Extreme Diets Don’t Work’
Weight loss researcher Frank M. Sacks, MD, of Harvard School of Health says the more extreme the diet, the less likely someone is to stick to it.
“Extremely low-carbohydrate diets may be safe, but people tend to get sick of them after a few months,” he says. “In this study, 42% of the low-carbohydrate dieters dropped out over time. They also reported more symptoms associated with the diet.”
Those symptoms included constipation, bad breath, and dry mouth.
He agrees that dieters should choose a weight loss plan they can stick to, with the goal being safe, gradual weight loss.
By following his own advice, Sacks was able to lose 15 pounds over nine months and keep it off.
“Half a pound a week may not sound like much, but over the course of a year that’s 24 pounds, which is huge,” he says.