Toronto: In addition to weight loss, a specific low-carbohydrate diet may also reduce the risk of heart disease by 10 percent over 10 years, a research indicates.
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have shown for the first time that the diet, often called Eco-Atkins, is a low-carbohydrate vegan diet.
“We designed a diet that combined both vegan and low-carb elements to get the weight loss and cholesterol-lowering benefits of both,” said David Jenkins, director of the clinical nutrition and risk modification centre at St. Michael's Hospital here.
The team compared Eco-Atkins to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
The Eco-Atkins diet reduced cholesterol by 10 percent while also helping participants lose on average four pounds more than the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet over six months.
“We could expect similar results in the real world because study participants selected their own diets and were able to adjust to their needs and preferences,” Dr Jenkins noted.
Eco-Atkins participants aimed for a balance of 26 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 31 percent from proteins and 43 percent from fat - primarily vegetable oils.
Predominant fat sources for the Eco-Atkins diet were nuts, vegetable oils, soy products and avocado, said the study published in British Medical Journal Open.