Low carb winning 14 – 0


I just updated my list of high quality studies (RCTs) showing statistically significantly more weight loss with advice on low carb diets. Do you know of any exceptions? As far as I know low carb is winning 14 – 0.

How many studies like these do we need before the diet advice to overweight people are changed? It’s hardly reasonable to keep giving the advice that has been shown to be the least effective advice fourteen times over.


  1. Margaretrc
    I'm convinced--but then again, I was already convinced. Unfortunately, it isn't all about the science. There are a lot of vested interests--and egos and reputations--staked on the old advice and I don't have a lot of hope for things to change on a large scale until the people with egos and reputations at stake are gone. As to the vested interests--there is never going to be a lot of money to be made off healthy people (except by health insurance companies) and whole, unprocessed foods, so it'd difficult to say if they will ever get behind this, regardless of what the science says. The best we can do is continue to provide information at the grass roots level and hope it reaches more and more people, who will then educate their doctors and tell the people giving bad advice to stick it.
  2. Dr J
    A repeat of my tardy comment on the earlier post.

    A couple of things:

    1) The studies that are often cited to disparage LCHF are usually poorly executed effectiveness trials. Typically a LCHF diet is compared to a "healthy" weight loss diet. Subjects are randomized after exclusion criteria are applied which often eliminate the people who benefit most from LCHF like type 2 diabetics. The results are subjected to an "intention to treat" analysis which includes the results of people who dropped out or who did not necessarily comply with their assigned diet. This will dilute the benefits of LCHF if there is attrition in that arm. More importantly, attrition can be affected if the administration of the LCHF diet itself is done poorly, which is usually the case. A good example is the recent Foster et al study where they excluded T2D, restricted salt and encouraged water consumption, advised increasing carbs after 12 weeks and promoted high omega-6 vegetable oils. All of these errors skewed the study in favour of the control diet. Yet, the findings which found that weight loss at 24 months was the same, are reported as evidence that LCHF offers no advantage.

    2) Yes, people on LCHF eat less. That is the whole point, FCS! They eat less because they have normalized their appetite homeostatic systems by reversing their hyperinsulinemia and leptin resistance by cutting carbs. People on a low-calorie diet struggle with this because the high carb content attenuates the diet's effect on those important regulatory factors. This is why on LCHF people spontaneously cut calories without feeling hungry all the time. Yet, instead of recognizing this as a desired feature of LCHF over low-cal the critics cite this as evidence against LCHF. Truly a Bizarro World response!

    Thankfully there are some researchers who know what they are doing. The best studies at the moment are being done by Jeff Volek et al at UConn. Unfortunately, he struggles to get funding and can't get published in the high impact journals, the ones that love to publish the other poorly done effectiveness studies. Go figure!

  3. Mary Buetow
    I have a question about oils. I understand that vegetable oils have omega-6. I also have read that most people get too much omega-6 from a standard diet. I stay strict with my low carb diet. I have switched my oil to coconut for cooking, and olive oil for other uses. What I am wondering is, now that I don't use vegetable oils anymore...am I in danger of not getting enough omega-6? It is a ratio of Omega-3's to omega-6's that is healthy correct?
  4. Milton
    Mary, among the sources of Omega-6 fats are poultry, eggs, avocados, and nuts. Even without vegetable oils, most diets will provide more than enough Omega-6 fats. An LCHF diet should provide you with all the Omega-6 you need.
  5. Mary Buetow
    Thank you Milton...you have eased my worried mind. :-) I eat lots of those foods you listed, so I should be fine.
  6. Margaretrc
    Here's another article by someone who knows the science--NOT: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/fats-dietary-guideli... Awful stuff. When will it end?
  7. Peggy Holloway
    Thanks for posting your comments on the post article. At least there is some hope when all the comments on such a terrible article are critical and offer a truthful rebuttal!
    Not one supportive comment as of tonight.
  8. "How many studies like these do we need before the diet advice to overweight people are changed?"

    Only one more. It will probably be done by Ron Krauss and it will not cite any of the others and will claim to have discovered low carb for the first time. The American Heart will then fund all of Krauss's buddies to re-do the studies you cited.

    For a related story, check out my post on a blast from the future: http://wp.me/p16vK0-2Y

  9. Dr J
    I agree with Richard. It has always been my prediction that when we finally reach the tipping point, those who have been the most obstructive will jump up to take the credit and claim they were supportive all along. We will all be pushed aside as they stampede to the podium.
  10. Margaretrc
    No problem, Peggy. I can't resist the temptation to set the record straight when the person spewing misinformation is a media reporter whose words will be read and taken to heart by way too many unsuspecting readers. My only hope is that people won't stop at the article and will read the comments as well and I'm glad all the comments were in the same vein. Should give readers pause!
  11. I agree. A change in conventional thinking on weight loss is way overdue.

    More and more scientific studies are backing up what many of us have known for some time now.

    A strict low carb diet will win over the normal calorie counting low fat diet you see all over the television and media.

    Sticking to the meat, fish, eggs and vegetables and staying away from white carbs and fruit, I eat a lot of legumes to boast the calories.

    I get my protein from:

    - Egg whites
    - Chicken breast or thigh
    - Beef
    - Fish
    - Pork
    - Legumes
    - Lentils
    - Black beans
    - Pinto beans
    - Red beans
    - Soybeans

    Keep up the good work and spread the word. One day this will be the advice given to the general public and the low fat calorie counting will be a thing of the past.

  12. Jenny W
    Weight change might be a better way of looking at it. I was an underweight, un-diagnosed coeliac. On eliminating first gluten and then most grains, my weight normalised upwards- into a normal BMI instead of bouncing along the underweight range.

    Before, I could not 'put on' weight when I needed to. However, like everyone else, my hunger patterns 'normalised' and became a lot more comfortable.

    I do wonder how much this would help anorexics. Just removing the inflammatory component of wheat might also prove useful.

  13. Mary
    I have been on Low carb on and off for years. I feel better and less hunger and also have noticed lower pain levels, maybe from no grains of any kind.
    However I seem to have a problem continuing to lose weight. I lost 10 pounds and am stuck at that weight for weeks. I don't know how to break this pattern. I am eating very low carb around 20 the same as in th beginning. This has led to me giving up on the diet before. I want o figure this out and continue to lose as others do. I would appreciate any suggestions that I can take to break this plateau.
  14. Zepp
    Every one doesnt get thin, the most can lose some weight and get a better healt.

    But if you have gaind extra fat cells they dont disappear in a hurry, and they take any chans to be fild again.

    Some peopel try to much, eating less, eating moore, moore fat, less fat.. then they just do LCHF to another crasy diet.

    Try to relax, dont count that much and just eat good LCHF food for some time.

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