February 7, 2024 — Atkins, Keto Diet, Zone, Paleo Diet – It seems like low-carb diets have been around forever, but they’ve only grown in popularity over the years. However, despite its fame, it remains unclear what “low carb” actually means.
a study recently published Critical reviews in food science and nutrition analyzed more than 500 articles on low-carbohydrate diets and found that substantial disagreement still exists among the scientific community about what “low-carb” means.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Taylor Wallace, CEO of Think Healthy Group and adjunct professor of nutrition and food research at George Mason University, was put into research into low-carbohydrate diets. He said this was surprising given the vast amount of research. This means that there is no clear definition.
The series of studies evaluated (all published between 2002 and 2022) found that most studies defined low carbohydrate as consuming less than 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. got it. However, many also had a stricter definition of consuming only 40 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Wallace said this variation should highlight the fact that low-carbohydrate diets aren’t suitable for everyone.
“There’s a lot of data showing that low-carbohydrate diets are effective in cases like diabetes and weight loss,” Wallace says. “But I also think there’s a lot we don’t know, and I don’t think we should deviate from the idea that you can eat as much saturated fat as you want, and as long as you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet, it’s fine.” . ‘That’s a bit of a stretch to me. ”
Another issue Wallace pointed out is that most studies haven’t looked at participants past six months, so it’s not clear how sustainable these eating plans are over the long term. Thing.
Systematic review and meta-analysis published by magazine BMJ For example, in 2021, researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes who followed a low-carbohydrate diet for six months had increased remission rates. However, the same review found that by 12 months, the benefits of the diet were significantly reduced and participants’ LDL cholesterol levels worsened.
The original daily recommended intake set by the Institute of Medicine in 2002 states that children and adults need at least 130 grams of carbohydrates per day for brain function and health. Masu.
Due to the popularity of diets such as the Keto and Atkins diets, which generally limit carbohydrates to less than the recommended daily intake, focusing on long-term compliance is a good way to ensure that your weight stays on the scale. is key to understanding its overall health effects beyond weight loss.
Registered dietitian Katrina Hartog notes that there is no literature addressing what the long-term consequences of following a carbohydrate diet of less than 130 grams per day may be. There is a need.” Nutritionist at New York University.
Even if you qualify as someone who could benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet, it’s also important to keep safety concerns in mind, Hartog said. Nutrient deficiencies, poor eating habits, loss of lean muscle mass – these should all be important parts of your low-carb study. And these events can be properly evaluated only after 6 months have passed.
Wallace said the findings should encourage further research. In particular, he would like to see a systematic review to really integrate the evidence from the many studies we already have.
“If everyone was calling ‘low-carb’ different things, the studies would never give us the answer, because every study is different,” Wallace said. “If we’re going to move forward in this field, we need to decide what ‘low carb’ means.”