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Intermittent low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in losing weight than standard diets
Observance of intermittent low-carbohydrate diet helps to lose weight more effectively and reduce the risk of cancer, compared with other diets, scientists say.
Scientists from the University Hospital in South Manchester (England) found that limiting carbohydrates two days a week may be the best dietary approach than standard diets to prevent the risk of developing breast cancer and certain other diseases.
"Weight loss and insulin reduction are necessary to prevent the development of breast cancer, but adhering to standard dietary approaches of such a result is difficult to achieve and maintain," said study author, dietician Michelle Harvey.
Harvey and his colleagues compared three diets for four months to study their effect on weight loss and cancer risk markers among 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. Scholars randomly assigned one of the diets to the patients:
- low-carbohydrate diet with a restriction of calories for two days a week;
- low-carb diet "impromptu" - women were allowed to eat unlimited amounts of proteins and unsaturated fats, such as lean meats, olives and nuts, for two days a week,
- the standard Mediterranean diet is a daily calorie restriction for seven days a week.
The results of the study showed that the intermittent, low-carbohydrate diet proved to be more effective than the standard Mediterranean diet in reducing weight, fatty layer and the development of insulin resistance. The average weight loss was approximately 4 kg when the intermittent approach was observed, compared with 2.4 kilograms while observing a standard dietary approach. Insulin resistance was reduced by 22% with a discontinuous low-carbohydrate diet, by 14% with a diet with impromptu, and by 4% with a standard Mediterranean diet.
"Interestingly, a diet with only carbohydrate restriction, with normal consumption of proteins and fats, was just as effective as a discontinuous low-carbohydrate diet," Harvey said.