An update on low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets

Courtney A. Noble, Robert F. Kushner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The use of low-carbohydrate diets in weight loss is an area of great controversy. In recent years, a significant amount of research has been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of these diets. This review aims to discuss mechanisms of action for weight loss; to assess impact on metabolic parameters including insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk parameters and to evaluate the data regarding safety and effectiveness for weight loss. RECENT FINDINGS: Most studies demonstrate that subjects following low carbohydrate diets lose more weight over the first 3-6 months than subjects consuming control diets. This weight loss is not sustained, however, at 1 year. Carbohydrate controlled diets may be associated with increased insulin sensitivity and improved glycemic control. High carbohydrate, low fat diets appear to have a more favorable impact on total and LDL cholesterol, whereas low carbohydrate diets have been shown to significantly decrease triglyceride and increase HDL cholesterol levels in short-term studies. SUMMARY: Low carbohydrate diets may be effective in helping people to lose weight. More long-term studies need to be performed, however, to better evaluate efficacy, safety, and impact on metabolic profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006


  • High-protein diets
  • Low-carbohydrate diets
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'An update on low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this