Which Diet to Recommend Low Carbohydrate or Low

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Cyclical Ketogenic Diets Review

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Is the choice of diet really important? A number of controlled studies [1-3] have all proved the same effectiveness, when the caloric intakes are similar, with a balanced diet, a diet poor in carbohydrates and a dissociated diet, over a 6-week or 6-month period (fig. 1).

Over 24 weeks, Samaha et al. [4] compared low carbohydrate and low fat diets in 132 obese patients with a body mass index of 43 kg/m2 and a high prevalence

Low carbohydrates

Balanced

Dissociated

Low In carbohydrates 30%

Rich In fat 45%

Sufficient In protein 25%

^ Weight loss j

Rich in carbohydrates 45%

Low in fat 30%

Sufficient in protein 25%

Weight loss

Rich in carbohydrates 45%

Low in fat 30%

Sufficient in protein 25%

^ Weight loss

Weight loss

Fig. 1. Diets of different compositions and weight loss. Adapted from Alford et al. [1] and Golay et al. [2].

Fig. 2. Low fat and low carbohydrate diets and weight loss. Adapted from Golay et al. [3] and Samaha et al. [4].

of diabetes (39%) or metabolic syndrome (43%). The patients in the low carbohydrate group (maximum 30 g carbohydrates/day) lost significantly more weight (p < 0.002) than those in the low fat group (500kcal/day reduction of total energy intake, with a maximum of 30% fat/day). However, Samaha's study was then supplemented by a follow-up of the same patients over 48 weeks [5]: no significant weight loss difference was found between the 2 groups (fig. 2), nor any lipid modification.

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