Researchers have found that eating food low in carbohydrates is safe for up to six months and can also help reduce more weight than following a low-fat diet.
“Adhering to a short-term low-carb diet appears to be safe and may be associated with weight reduction,” said lead researcher Heather Fields, MD, an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, US.
“We encourage patient to eat real food and avoid highly processed foods, especially processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and ham when following any particular diet,” Fields noted.
Depending on the diet, participants lost between two-and-a-half to almost nine more pounds than those who followed a low-fat diet, showed the findings published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Analysing research published over more than a decade, Fields reviewed articles that addressed potential adverse effects and overall safety of low-carb diets.
Diets that heavily restrict carbohydrates often lead to greater consumption of meats — some of which have been implicated in worsened all-cause mortality and increased cancer risk.
While available studies did not consistently address the source or quality of proteins and fats consumed in such diets, they did show short-term efficacy in weight loss without negative effects on blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol, compared with other diets.