Navigation Links
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
Date:3/18/2010

But researcher adds it's still a good choice for losing weight

THURSDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- The latest report from a massive trial to determine the health value of a low-fat diet comes to the unexciting conclusion that it is probably not bad for your heart.

Such an eating regimen had almost no effect on cholesterol levels, according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a national trial that gave some women intensive training and education on eating a low-fat diet and compared their health with women who didn't change their eating habits.

The best that study author Barbara V. Howard, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, could say for a low-fat diet was that it didn't make things worse as far as affecting blood levels of good fats, such as HDL cholesterol, and bad fats, such as triglycerides.

"This diet did not raise triglycerides and didn't lower HDL cholesterol," Howard said. "It didn't do any of the adverse things that high-fat people have claimed."

In addition, women who lowered intake of specific kinds of fats -- saturated fats and trans fatty acids -- did have lower a lower rate of heart disease, she said.

And eating a low-fat diet might make it easier to lose weight, which is important because of the current American epidemic of obesity, Howard noted.

"If you start out eating too many calories and you cut fat, that automatically makes you eat a higher-carbohydrate diet," she said. "If a person wants to reduce weight and is comfortable with cutting fat, that is a good strategy."

Begun in 1991, the WHI was initially designed to determine the effect of a low-fat diet on cancer risk, with heart disease reduction a secondary goal. In 2006, the first results showed there was no effect on cancer risk.

In the trial, women who followed the low-fat regimen consumed 29.3 percent of their calories as fat, compared with 37 percent of those in the comparison group. But the low-fat diet did not affect blood triglyceride, HDL cholesterol or other lipoprotein levels.

"The main message here is that if you want to lose weight and cut fat to do it, you do not have adverse effects," Howard said. Though the choice of diet can be influenced by many factors, including cultural background, "in my opinion, if you have to cut calories to lose weight, it is easier to cut fat because fat is denser," she said.

So a recommended diet would "focus on vegetables, grains, healthy products that are not calorie-dense and that can fill you up more easily," she said.

But Howard's advice to switch to a high-carbohydrate diet is disputed by Jeff. S. Volek, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and an expert in the field.

The study "does hint at the fact that people with insulin resistance, as shown by high triglycerides or being diabetic, tend to do worse when carbohydrates are increased," Volek said. "Decreasing carbohydrates represents the preferred approach for people with insulin resistance."

In the end, Volek said, "it's difficult to make any firm conclusions from a study like Women's Health Initiative because, after years of being prescribed a diet, very few people are actually on the diet." Self-reports of food intake "are notoriously inaccurate," he said, and "even though the number of subjects is large, the noise is even greater so that these studies contribute very little to actual knowledge on the interaction of diet and health."

"There is a distinct difference," he pointed out, "in studying what happens when you assign a diet vs. what happens when people actually follow a diet."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers help in planning a heart-healthy diet.



SOURCES: Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D., professor, medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., associate professor, kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.; April 2010, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Media availability: low-fat dietary pattern may lower risk of ovarian cancer
2. Low-Carb Diets Better Than Low-Fat Diets at Preventing Diabetes
3. The Low-Fat Diet is Fueling Our Rate of Obesity, Says Researcher Phoenix Gilman
4. Low-Fat Dairy Reduces High Blood Pressure Risk
5. NEJM: Low-fat diets not best for weight loss: New study by Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev
6. Low-Fat Milk OK for Some Toddlers
7. An Open Letter Regarding Recent Reports That Low-Fat Fish Like Tilapia Are Unhealthy (July 16, 2008)
8. Squeezing Calories? New Study Finds That Low-Fat Popcorn Before Lunch Does Not Increase Total Calorie Intake
9. Nuchia Foods Gluten-Free Chia Seed Flour Is a Tasty, Low-Fat Alternative Flour
10. To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
11. Limiting Residents Hours Has Little Impact on Patient Mortality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and ... to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two ... currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs ... College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. ... treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new ... the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, Binder, ... Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 Billion ... forecast period 2016 to 2021. The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Global MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to ... The report contains up to date financial ... reliable analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on ... dive analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: