Obesity Reviews just published details of a recent meta-analyis of low-carbohydrate diet effects on cardiovascular risk factors.
A systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out to study the effects of low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors (search performed on PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Scopus databases). A total of 23 reports, corresponding to 17 clinical investigations, were identified as meeting the pre-specified criteria.
Over a thousand obese patients were involved. By eating low-carb, average body weight decreased by 7 kg (15 lb), body mass index dropped by 2, blood pressure dropped by 3-4 mmHg, triglycerides decreased by 30 mg/dl, hemoglobin A1c dropped by 0.21% (absolute decrease), insulin levels fell by 2.23 micro IU/ml, while HDL cholesterol rose by 1.73 mg/dl. LDL cholesterol didn’t change.
The authors conclusion:
Low-carboydrate diet was shown to have favourable effects on body weight and major cardiovascular risk factors; however the effects on long-term health are unknown.
I haven’t see the full text of the article yet, so I don’t know the carbohydrate level under review. I bet it’s under 50 g of digestible carb daily. My Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet starts at 20-30 grams a day.
Reference: Santos, F.L., et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Obesity Reviews. Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01021.x