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So What’s the Deal with Carbs? Are they Good or Bad??


Low-carb is STILL all-the-rage and without a doubt it remains one of the most popular diets our Dietitians, Kate and Rachel come across. To clear the air on the current evidence-base for low-carb, here’s where we’re at:

  • Low-carbohydrate diets have been associated with a higher risk of death from any cause, and have not been associated with a reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease [Noto H, et al. PLoS One. 2013, Mazidi M, et al. Eur Heart J. 2019].
  • Moderate carbohydrate diets (50-55% of intake) were associated with the least health risks in comparison to high and low carbohydrate diets [Seidlemann SB, et al. Public Health. 2018].
  • Low-carbohydrate diets do not increase total daily energy expenditure.” [Hall, Gou & Speakman, Int J Ob, 2019]
  • Low to moderate carbohydrate diets have greater effect on blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes compared with high-carbohydrate diets in the first year, but apart from this improved control over the short term, there is no superiority of low-carbohydrate diets in terms of blood-sugar control, weight, or LDL cholesterol [Snorgaard O, et al. BMJ Open Diab R & C. 2017].

How about a comparison of low-carb diets against all the other popular diets? In a review of Atkins, Ketogenic, Zone, Ornish, Paleo, Mediterannean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, 5:2, Alternate Day Fasting, Time-Restricted Feeding and Religious Fasting….

“Several popular diets for weight loss are not supported by scientific evidence. To date, no optimally effective weight loss diet exists for all individuals. The creation of new diets will continue to follow popular trends. However, the belief that these diets promote weight loss has emerged more from personal impressions and reports published in books, rather than from rigorously controlled research.” [Freire R. Nutr, 2019]

If you do require dietary carbohydrate modification for specific or short-term circumstances, BOOK NOW to see one of our Accredited Practicing Dietitians for the state of evidence on potential diet changes for your needs and personalised advice. Many sources of carbohydrate in our diet are an excellent source of energy, fibre, vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. If you’re not one of the few people who will benefit from reducing these foods for the long term, the state of play is you’re better off cutting carbs the old fashioned way – with a knife and fork!

Read more….

To learn more about What is a non-diet approach, read our blog HERE

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