Are there health benefits to a low carb diet?

Written by and verified by the Research Team. Last updated on Oct 22, 2018.


But weight loss isn’t one of them. Weight loss (or gain) depends on calories in versus calories out much more than on the ratio of macronutrients in your diet. A low-carb diet, however, can preserve muscle mass during weight loss and improve your levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and fasting glucose.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]</di|authors=Brooking LA, Williams SM, Mann JI|journal=Diabetes Res Clin Pract][10]


  1. Golay A, et al. Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets . Am J Clin Nutr. (1996)
  2. Golay A, et al. Weight-loss with low or high carbohydrate diet . Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1996)
  3. Parker B, et al. Effect of a high-protein, high-monounsaturated fat weight loss diet on glycemic control and lipid levels in type 2 diabetes . Diabetes Care. (2002)
  4. Noakes M, et al. Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women . Am J Clin Nutr. (2005)
  5. Keogh JB, et al. Long-term weight maintenance and cardiovascular risk factors are not different following weight loss on carbohydrate-restricted diets high in either monounsaturated fat or protein in obese hyperinsulinaemic men and women . Br J Nutr. (2007)
  6. Farnsworth E, et al. Effect of a high-protein, energy-restricted diet on body composition, glycemic control, and lipid concentrations in overweight and obese hyperinsulinemic men and women . Am J Clin Nutr. (2003)
  7. McLaughlin T, et al. Effects of moderate variations in macronutrient composition on weight loss and reduction in cardiovascular disease risk in obese, insulin-resistant adults . Am J Clin Nutr. (2006)
  8. Boden G, et al. Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes . Ann Intern Med. (2005)
  9. Effects of macronutrient composition of the diet on body fat in indigenous people at high risk of type 2 diabetes
  10. Mojtahedi MC, et al. The effects of a higher protein intake during energy restriction on changes in body composition and physical function in older women . J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. (2011)

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"Are there health benefits to a low carb diet?,", published on 30 April 2012, last updated on 22 October 2018,