Maybe the Atkins Diet isn’t so bad after all.
Atkins dieters triumph in study
By Rebecca Knight
Published: March 9 2007 02:00 | Last updated: March 9 2007 02:00
For weight-watchers trying to decide where to turn next, new research offers some help: the largest ever comparison of four popular diets tips the scale in favour of the low- carbohydrate eating plan known as the Atkins diet.
The study’s results, in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show that Atkins dieters lost more weight than those on other diets, and also experienced more benefits in terms of cholesterol and blood pressure.
In the study, conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, 311 overweight women were randomly assigned to follow either the Atkins, Zone, Learn or Ornish diet. The Atkins diet – fashionable among Hollywood celebrities – represents the lowest-carbohydrate diet. The Zone diet focuses on a 40:30:30 ratio of carbs to protein to fat, a balance said to minimise fat storage and hunger. The Learn diet, based on nutritional guidelines, is low in fat and high in carbs. The Ornish diet is very high in carbs and extremely low in fat.
At the end of a year, the women on Atkins had lost an average of 10.4lb. Those on Learn lost on average 5.7lb, the Ornish followers lost 4.8lb and women on the Zone diet lost 3.5lb.
Women following Atkins, relative to at least one of the other groups, also had larger decreases in body mass index and blood pressure. In addition, their good cholesterol increased more than that of women on the other diets.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007