Low carb diet may be best for reducing heart risk, say researchers

2 September 2014        

Cheese

A low carb diet may be better at reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease than a diet low in fat, according to researchers.

Scientists randomly assigned a group of 148 people a diet that was either low in fat or low in carbohydrates. After a year, the group who had eaten a diet low in carbohydrates – such as rice, potatoes, pasta – had lost more weight than the group on the low fat diet. Similarly, their HDL – or ‘good’ – cholesterol levels had improved more than the low fat group.

Tracy Parker, our Heart Health Dietitian, said: “This was a small study but it reminds us that obese people can have a positive impact on their risk factors for cardiovascular disease by losing weight.

“While those on the low carb diet lost more weight and had a greater improvement in their cardiovascular risk factors than those on the low fat diet, we don’t know if these improvements can be maintained over time.

“Knowing that you need to lose weight, finding a dietary approach that suits you combined with a regular physical activity programme, will help to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.”