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October 29, 2013
DENVERIn an effort to reduce the national prevalence of obesity and diabetes, and improve heart health, Sweden has become the first Western nation to recommend a lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diet, such as AtkinsTM.
The recommendation is based on a literature review of 16,000 studies on diet and obesity, published by Swedish government advisers at the Council on Health Technology Assessment in September. The review suggested that following a low-carb, high-fat diet will improve body weight, blood sugar and good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol without adverse effects on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. An even lower carbohydrate intake (20% of total calories) would result in more benefits including improved blood sugar levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes and marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.
"It will be interesting to see how quickly other countries follow suit, recognizing that managing carbohydrates is the key to handling certain health conditions," said Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, professor and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut. "Lower-fat varieties of foods are often higher in sugars and carbohydrates, which is simply counter-intuitive for people who need to control metabolism-related conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity, all of which are related to obesity."
A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that low-carbohydrate diets, are more effective for long-term weight loss and maintenance. High-protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake so the body goes into ketosis.
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