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Low Sodium vs Low Carb

Monday, July 04, 2011

Evidently it is very difficult to stay on any diet and very expensive to run diet studies. I found only one study that compared multiple diet plans. The A TO Z (Atkins, Traditional, Ornish, Zone) Weight Loss Study was the only one I could find with real data collected from multiple diets. I found nothing that compared sodium intake across diet plans.

“In the A TO Z (Atkins, Traditional, Ornish, Zone) Weight Loss Study, investigators randomized 311 women (age range, 25–50) to one of four diets: Atkins (very low carbohydrate); Zone (low carbohydrate); Traditional (lifestyle, exercise, attitudes, relationships, nutrition [LEARN]; low fat, high carbohydrate); and Ornish (very high carbohydrate)” (Biggs, 2007).

“One-year retention was >75% for all diets. Women lost a mean of 4.7 kg on Atkins, 2.6 kg on Ornish, 2.2 kg on LEARN, and 1.6 kg on Zone, with a significant difference between the Atkins and Zone diets” (Biggs, 2007). So it seems that we have a hard time sticking to any diet plan. This is probably the main reason diets fail.

“Interestingly, the decrease in blood pressure seen in these women [Atkins] is comparable to that attained with the low-sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet” (Biggs, 2007). If this is true then following a very low carb diet is good for reducing both insulin resistance and hypertension. It should also prove to be a preventative measure for people who have not yet been diagnosed with either condition, but who have risk factors for one or both.

References:
Wendy S. Biggs, MD
Published in Journal Watch Women's Health April 12, 2007

Citation(s):Gardner CD et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: The A to Z Weight Loss Study: A randomized trial. JAMA 2007 Mar 7; 297:969-77.

See the full study report here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/conte
nt/297/9/969.full

Disclaimer: Nothing here should be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor. Do your own research. Make up your own mind. Consult your doctor or dietician.
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