- Low-carbohydrate diets yielded greater weight loss, whereas low-fat diets yielded a smaller increase in LDL cholesterol levels.
- Relative to peers on low-fats diets, participants on low-carb diets lost more weight (weighted mean difference, –2.17 kg; 95% CI, –3.36 to –0.99), had a greater reduction in triglyceride levels (–0.26 mmol/L; –0.37 to –0.15), and had a greater increase in HDL cholesterol levels (0.14 mmol/L; 0.09 to 0.19).
- However, the low-carb diet group also had a greater increase in levels of LDL cholesterol (weighted mean difference, 0.16 mmol/L; 95% CI, 0.003 to 0.33).
- There were no significant differences between diets with respect to changes in total cholesterol, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, and glucose or insulin levels.
- A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials having a total of 1,369 healthy overweight participants and an intervention period of at least 6 months.
- The main outcomes were weight loss and changes in cardiovascular risk indicators.
- There was moderate to high heterogeneity in the trial variables assessed.
- Findings may have been influenced by publication bias.
- The trials used different support systems.
- Some trials found drift in participants' diets over time.
- Findings may not apply to individuals with obesity-related comorbidities.
Why this matters
- The greater weight loss with low-carb diets should be balanced against the greater increase in LDL cholesterol levels.