DENVER, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A just-released study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that when overweight or obese people lose weight, such as with the Atkins Diet, they can have a significant reduction in inflammation (a key marker for heart disease) throughout their body, as measured by three common markers. The study also showed that those that followed a low-carb diet lost more weight than those following a low-fat diet, in fact 10 lbs. more overall, and the low-carb group lost more abdominal fat overall. Results of the study were presented on November 5, 2012 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
"There continue to be misperceptions about the Atkins Diet and many continue to think it is not a heart-healthy diet plan. This is not the case. This is the first study of this scope that demonstrates a significant drop in the levels of all three measures of inflammation for those that lost weight and abdominal fat, with those following the Atkins Diet losing more weight and belly fat," said Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. "This study is further evidence that the Atkins Diet is a safe and sustainable way to eat for life."
The Johns Hopkins study examined overweight or obese but otherwise healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 years over a six-month period. One group was randomly assigned a low-carbohydrate diet and the other a low-fat diet. Exercise was included for all participants and inflammation was checked before and after six months. The low-carb group followed the Atkins Diet with initially, 15%, 30%, and 55% of calories coming from carbohydrates (CHO), protein, and fat. There was a gradual shift to a balance of 40%, 20%, and 40% of calories from CHO, protein, and fat. The low-fat diet followers had 30% of calories coming from fat, 50-55% from CHO, and 15-20% from protein.
At his presentation at the AHA meeting, lead investigator Kerry Stewart, Ed.D. said that the findings indicated that people can reduce systemic inflammation, and possibly lower their risk of heart disease, no matter which diet they choose—either low-carb or low-fat. Dr. Stewart is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology. His study indicated that the important factor is how much weight you lose—especially belly fat. Those in the study that followed the Atkins low-carb diet lost more abdominal fat overall.
According to the findings, the participants on the low-carb diet lost more weight, on average, than those on the low-fat diet—28 pounds versus 18 pounds. The low-carb diet group also had a greater drop in BMI (4.7 versus 2.9), and a greater drop in belly fat (14.3 versus 8.4 pounds). The level of aerobic fitness increased in both groups by about 20 percent.
The researchers measured the participants' blood levels for three common markers of inflammation at the beginning and end of the study. They also measured body weight, body mass index (BMI) and total body and belly fat. At the start, both groups were similar in the various measures, including elevated levels of inflammation markers.
The study was funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
About Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. is a leader in the $2.4 billion weight control nutrition category, and offers a powerful lifetime approach to weight loss and management. The Atkins Diet focuses on a healthy diet with reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars and encourages the consumption of protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Backed by research and consumer success stories, this approach allows the body to burn more fat and work more efficiently while helping individuals feel less hungry, more satisfied and more energetic.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., manufactures and sells a variety of nutrition bars and shakes designed around the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet. Atkins' four product lines: Advantage®, Day Break, Endulge and Cuisine appeal to a broad audience of both men and women who want to achieve their weight management goals and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Atkins products are available online at atkins.com and in more than 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit atkins.com.
SOURCE Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.