The role of a low carbohydrate — high fat diet in treatment and prevention of diabetes and obesity

July 24, 2018

In the past, different types of diet with a low-carbohydrate content, even containing <50 g/day ketosis inducing levels, have been promoted, for weight loss and diabetes. The long term effectiveness of a very low dietary carbohydrate content has always been a matter of debate. A significant reduction in the amount of carbohydrates in the diet is usually accompanied by an increase in the amount of fat and, to a lesser extent, also protein. This review highlights metabolic and clinical outcomes of the «low carb — high fat» (LCHF) diet. Relevant observations are as follows: 1) any diet type will initially result in reduced energy intake, weight loss and related favorable metabolic and functional changes; 2) short-term LCHF studies show both favorable and less desirable effects; 3) sustained adherence to a ketogenic LCHF diet appears to be difficult; a non-ketogenic diet supplying 100–150 g carbohydrate/day, under good control, may be more practical; 4) there is lack of data supporting long-term efficacy, safety and health benefits of LCHF diets; 5) lifestyle intervention in people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while maintaining a relative carbohydrate-rich diet, results in long-term prevention of progression to type 2 diabetes and is generally seen as safe.

Published: 05.09.2018


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