Nutritionists at the University of Lincoln suggest that keeping a low-carb diet is better at eliminating fat and heart diseases than just a low-fat diet.
Their award-winning research kept tabs on 40 overweight women who followed a low-calorie, low-carb diet and a low-fat diet for eight weeks.
The groups of 20 followed diets with a calorie intake of 1,200 calories per day, and took part in blood tests at the start, half-way and end of the eight weeks.
The first group found they lost weight, BMI, blood pressure, and a drop in bloodstream enzymes and compounds linked to heart problems and liver damage.
The latter group also lost weight, BMI and blood pressure, but did not get not the bloodstream changes.
The Lincoln researchers’ findings support that the low Glycemic Index (GI) diet could have added health benefits.
The GI diet works be reducing carb intake, which in turn lessens a rise in blood sugars. Food such as chips are high in carbs and produce a sugar rush.
The research was conducted by Dr Anne Morris, Dr Shamusi Fagbemi and Dr Tanefa Apekey from the university’s School of Natural and Applied Sciences.
They were aided by Graham Griffiths from Lincoln County Hospital’s clinical pathology department.
Dr Apekey said: “Conventional wisdom and current government advice for people wanting to lose weight is to reduce their daily calorie count through a low-fat diet and to exercise regularly.
“In this study we wanted to compare the health benefits of low-fat and low-GI diets.
“Our findings indicate that while the effects on weight, BMI and blood pressure were largely the same, the low-GI diet appeared to produce other effects which could make it more effective at reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease and could also improve liver function.”
Their findings were published in the Nutrition & Food Science journal and won Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2010′s Highly Commended Paper.
Dr Morris said: “We were extremely proud to receive this award for our research paper, particularly as it was selected by an editorial panel comprised of eminent academics.
“For our work to be considered one of the best papers published in Nutrition and Food Science in 2009 is a tremendous accolade for the School of Natural and Applied Sciences here at Lincoln.
“This research has built on previous findings on the potential health benefits of low-GI diets and opened interesting new avenues for further study.”