Current Evidence for Low Carb and Keto 
Recent Papers & Presentations
Above: Dr. Jim McCarter: Debunking Common Keto Myths - Courtesy Crossfit  Dec 5, 2019
  • A carbohydrate-restricted diet is a widely recommended intervention for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but a systematic perspective on the multiple benefits of this diet is lacking. Here, we performed a short-term intervention with an isocaloric low-carbohydrate diet with increased protein content in obese subjects with NAFLD and characterized the resulting alterations in metabolism and the gut microbiota using a multi-omics approach. We observed rapid and dramatic reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29456073
  • UK GP Dr David Unwin used to worry about what would happen to Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels for his patients who went keto or low carb, so he measured them and published the results here https://mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/15/2680… In fact they improve significantly. Particularly note the triglycerides and HDL.


Randomised Controlled Trials  showing significantly more weight loss with low-carb diets vs. other diets

  1. New England Journal of Medicine 2008: Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, mediterranean, or low-fat diet [moderate evidence]

    This was a two-year trial in which 322 people were randomly assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet, a low-fat diet, or a low-carb diet. By the study’s end, the low-carb group had lost the most weight – even though they were allowed to eat as much low-carb food as they needed to feel satisfied, while the other two groups followed calorie-restricted diets.

  2. Annals of Internal Medicine 2014: Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial [moderate evidence] 

    In this study, 148 people were randomized to consume a low-carb diet (less than 40 grams per day) or a low-fat diet (less than 30% of daily carbs per day) for one year. In addition to losing 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) more than the low-fat group, the low-carb group also had greater improvements in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.

  3. Journal of the American Medical Association 2007: Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women. The A to Z weight loss study: a randomized trial[moderate evidence]

    One of the most well-known weight-loss trials (often referred to as the A to Z study) involved randomizing overweight premenopausal women to eat either a low-carb (Atkins), moderate-carb (Zone), low-fat (Ornish), or low-calorie, portion-controlled (LEARN) diet for one year. At the end of the study, the women in the low-carb group had lost twice as much weight (4.7 kg, or 10.3 lbs) as the Ornish and LEARN groups and nearly three times as much as the women in the Zone group.

  4. Nutrition & Diabetes 2017: Twelve-month outcomes of a randomized trial of a moderate-carbohydrate versus very low-carbohydrate diet in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes [moderate evidence]
  5. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2017: A 12-week low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet improves metabolic health outcomes over a control diet in a randomised controlled trial with overweight defence force personnel [moderate evidence]
  6. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2017: PROP nontaster women lose more weight following a low-carbohydrate versus a low-fat diet in a randomized controlled trial [moderate evidence]
  7. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2017: An online intervention comparing a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and lifestyle recommendations versus a plate method diet in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial [moderate evidence]
  8. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome 2017: Induced and controlled dietary ketosis as a regulator of obesity and metabolic syndrome pathologies [moderate evidence]
  9. Clinical Nutrition 2017: A randomized controlled trial of 130 g/day low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes with poor glycemic control [moderate evidence]
  10. The Journal of Nutrition 2015: A lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diet reduces abdominal and intermuscular fat and increases insulin sensitivity in adults at risk of type 2 diabet[moderate evidence]
  11. PloS One 2014: A randomized pilot trial of a moderate carbohydrate diet compared to a very low carbohydrate diet in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes [moderate evidence]
  12. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2012: Metabolic impact of a ketogenic diet compared to a hypocaloric diet in obese children and adolescents [moderate evidence]
  13. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011: Adiponectin changes in relation to the macronutrient composition of a weight-loss diet [moderate evidence]
  14. The Journal of Pediatrics 2010: Efficacy and safety of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for weight loss in severely obese adolescents [moderate evidence]
  15. Lipids 2009: Carbohydrate restriction has a more favorable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet [moderate evidence]
  16. Obesity 2009: Effects of a low carbohydrate weight loss diet on exercise capacity and tolerance in obese subjects [moderate evidence]
  17. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008: Effects of weight loss from a very-low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial function and markers of cardiovascular disease risk in subjects with abdominal obesity [moderate evidence]
  18. Nutrition & Metabolism 2008: The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic-index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus [moderate evidence]
  19. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007: Low- and high-carbohydrate weight-loss diets have similar effects on mood [moderate evidence]
  20. Diabetic Medicine 2007: A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects [moderate evidence]
  21. Diabetic Medicine 2006: Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes–a randomized controlled trial [moderate evidence]
  22. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2005: Perceived hunger is lower and weight loss is greater in overweight premenopausal women consuming a low-carbohydrate/high-protein vs high carbohydrate/low-fat diet [moderate evidence]
  23. Diabetologia 2005: Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women [moderate evidence]
  24. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2005: The role of energy expenditure in the differential weight loss in obese women on low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets [moderate evidence]
  25. Archives of Internal Medicine 2004: The national cholesterol education program diet vs a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and monounsaturated fat. A randomized trial [moderate evidence]
  26. Nutrition & Metabolism 2004: Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women[moderate evidence]
  27. Annals of Internal Medicine 2004: A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. A randomized, controlled trial [moderate evidence]
  28. The Journal of Nutrition 2004: Very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets affect fasting lipids and postprandial lipemia differently in overweight men [moderate evidence]
  29. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2003: A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women [moderate evidence]
  30. The New England Journal of Medicine 2003: A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity [moderate evidence]
  31. The Journal of Pediatrics 2003: Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents [moderate evidence]
Click HERE to download pdf of the above summary.
This website does not provide medical advice. Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. This program is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, video, images and other material, contained on this website is for educational purposes only. The content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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