Total cholesterol control is within your reach–and a new study proves that you don’t need meds… just a good diet.
Call it one more reason to kick the sugar habit, because researchers say low-carb diets top low-fat ones when it comes to boosting good cholesterol levels.
In the newest study, researchers assigned 307 non-diabetic obese people with an average age of 45.5 to either a low- fat or low-carb diet. The low-carb dieters were allowed 20 grams of carbs per day for three months, and then gradually got to increase that limit by 5 grams a day each week.
The low-fat dieters were limited to between 1,200 and 1,800 calories a day, with less than 30 percent of those calories coming from fat. I’m guessing that led to a lot of rumbling tummies, because it’s hard to eat well within those limits.
At the end of two years, both sets of dieters lost roughly the same amount of weight: 15 pounds.
Both sets of dieters had better cholesterol overall. Both groups had higher levels of HDL "good" cholesterol and lower levels of the bad stuff, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
But the low-carb dieters came out on top. They got a bigger boost in good cholesterol, raising their HDL levels by an average of 23 percent–versus just 12 percent among the low-fat dieters, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers say the improvement seen in the low-carb dieters is in line with what some people get from meds.
And that means you can wave goodbye to those prescription co-pays and drug side effects if you’re just willing to make a little adjustment in your eating habits.
So if you’re looking for a good diet, skip low-fat and all the unhealthy and unfulfilling processed foods that are considered an acceptable part of that diet, and go low-carb instead. Studies have found that it’s one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Low-carb diets can also lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and even boost your energy levels. Since it’s low in sugar, it’s great for your teeth, too.
Edward Martin is a health journalist who writes about today's most pressing health issues. He chronicles the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating everything from diabetes to cancer and reports on the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.