Carbohydrate for weight and metabolic control: Where do we stand?

Department of Nutrition and Health, Nestlé Research Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.05). 02/2010; 26(2):141-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.07.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Changes in lifestyle are considered to play an important role in the etiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and improvements in diet and physical activity are the first-choice treatment for these metabolic diseases. Since the dietary recommendations of almost 40 y ago that fat should be decreased and that carbohydrate should be increased, recommendations for a healthy diet, except for minor amendments, have not changed that much. It is generally considered that caloric restriction is more important than changes in the macronutrient composition of the diet for weight loss and body weight control. Although this is true, there is increasing evidence that changes in the macronutrient composition of the diet (decreasing carbohydrate and increasing unsaturated fats and/or protein) play a role that facilitates weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, and improves cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, blood lipid profile, and inflammatory markers, often independent of weight loss. Low-carbohydrate diets, whether they be high in unsaturated fats and/or protein, are not recommended by the American Diabetes Association; however, despite this the Joslin Diabetes Center currently advocates a diet composition of approximately 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 30% protein energy for overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes or those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hopefully, future studies will indicate whether diets with a more equilibrated macronutrient composition than presently recommended are more appropriate for body weight and metabolic control.

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    • "In addition to central nervous system effects, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets are also considered as a potential alternative to low-fat, high-carbohydrate dieting in preventing obesity and its metabolic complications [4]. Human trials have shown that the weight loss achieved on low carbohydrate diets is equivalent to caloric restriction on a high carbohydrate diet and may also confer cardiovascular benefits [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets are commonly used as weight loss alternatives to low-fat diets, however the physiological and molecular adaptations to these diets are not completely understood. It is assumed that the metabolic phenotype of the ketogenic diet (KD) is caused by the absence of carbohydrate and high fat content, however in rodents the protein content of KD affects weight gain and ketosis. In this study we examined the role of methionine and choline in mediating the metabolic effects of KD. We have found that choline was more effective than methionine in decreasing the liver steatosis of KD-fed mice. On the other hand, methionine supplementation was more effective than choline in restoring weight gain and normalizing the expression of several fatty acid and inflammatory genes in the liver of KD-fed mice. Our results indicate that choline and methionine restriction rather than carbohydrate restriction underlies many of the metabolic effects of KD.
    08/2013; 2(3):306-13. DOI:10.1016/j.molmet.2013.07.003
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    • "Numerous discussions and investigations have focused on whether sedentary lifestyles, contemporary changes in diet, or both are responsible for the rise in obesity found throughout Westernized cultures. Proponents of the diet change argument point to the fact that our current diet is comprised of unbalanced nutrients, mainly too many carbohydrates, and has a total caloric intake that is well above our daily needs [1] [2]. Some anthropologists who subscribe to this view believe that early humans (hominids) consumed a significant amount of meat and possibly obtained most of their food from hunting [3]. "
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    07/2011; 2011:392708. DOI:10.4061/2011/392708
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