According to a study released today, researchers at John Hopkins Medicine in the John Hopkins University of Medicine show that low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins are better at reducing systemic inflammation throughout the body than low-fat diets.
Participants in the study on low-carb diets lost an average of ten pounds more during the six-month study than those on a low-fat diet and reduced inflammation, a key marker for heart disease. Lead investigator Kerry Stewart, Ed.D said either diet could lower heart disease risk, but the important factor was the amount of fat lost, especially belly fat.
Participants on the Atkins diet lost more abdominal fat overall. Atkins dieters lost an average of 14.3 pounds of abdominal fat versus 8.4 pounds on the low-fat diets. The study was done on healthy adults between the ages of 30 and 65 who were overweight or obese.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded the study that was presented November 5, 2012 at the American Heart Institute Scientific Sessions. Exercise was also a part of the diet plan for both sets of dieters.
A low carbohydrate diet is composed of mostly protein, fat and high-fiber whole foods. This study is another vindication of proponents who claim that whole foods are better than packaged goods as a naturally healthy lifestyle. Packaged cakes, cookies, breads, potatoes, rice and pasta quickly break down and turn to sugar. The body stops burning fat to deal with the rise in blood sugar. Fat then gets stored in the abdomen instead of being metabolized.
A naturally healthy diet contains high-fiber vegetables such as beans, peas. broccoli, turnip greens, Brussels Sprouts and carrots. High-fiber fruits include berries, apples, pears and bananas. Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, barley and rye bread are much better for the body than bleached white flour and the packaged foods created with it.
Many nuts, like pistachio, almonds, walnuts and pecans are sources of good fats and protein. The diet also needs lean protein found in poultry, fish and lean beef. Switching to a low-carb diet is an easy lifestyle change that helps get the weight off and keeps it off. The Atkins diet and other low-carb diets are safe to stay on for life.
The body need carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet, but there are good carbs and bad carbs. Breaking three large meals down to five smaller portions throughout the day keeps blood sugar level and promotes metabolism, which means excess fat gets burned for fuel instead of stored in the belly.