Lower-carb diet more effective for shifting toxic belly fat than a lower-fat one

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I spied this report earlier this week. It concerns a study presented at a scientific meeting in Boston. Here’s what I can make out about the study according to the description.

69 overweight men and women were put on a controlled diet for 8 weeks. The diet was designed to maintain them at a stable weight. After this, the study subjects were fed a diet that offered 1,000 less calories each day for another 8 weeks.

Half the group ate a low fat diet (27 per cent calories from fat, and 55 per cent from carbohydrate).

The other half ate a diet higher in fat and lower in carb (39 per cent fat and 43 per cent carb).

At the end of the study, those eating the lower-carb, higher-fat diet had 11 per cent less ‘deep abdominal fat’ than the others. By ‘deep abdominal fat’ I assume their referring to ‘visceral’ fat – fat found in and around the abdominal organs that is strongly associated with an increased risk things like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

This different between the two diets was found in Whites but not Blacks. It was noted, in the report, that for a given body weight and composition, Whites tend to have more deep abdominal fat than Blacks. This means they stand to gain more, probably, from approaches that are effective for shifting this form of fat specifically.

Should we be surprised to learn that a bit of carb restriction can go a long way in combating visceral fat? Probably not – it’s becoming increasingly clear from the literature, I think, that eating too many carbs is what got the fat to form there in the first place.

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