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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.

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

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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