You know your heart will thank you for dropping excess kilos. But does it care how you do it?
In a recent two-year comparison of low-carb versus low-fat diets, people lost the same amount of weight on either plan (seven percent of body weight). But the low-carb group had one important heart gain: more good HDL cholesterol. ‘If boosting HDL is important, then a low-carb diet makes sense,’ says lead author Dr Gary Foster of Temple University in the US.
‘Otherwise, choose the plan that most appeals to you and focus on sticking with it.’ If you do go low-carb, don’t simply replace pasta with pork: in the Nurses’ Health Study (a long-running US study of factors affecting women’s health), subjects who got most of their protein from animal sources, as opposed to nuts, legumes and other plant foods, were 14% more likely to die of heart disease over the next two decades.