Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Diet and Exercise: Effect of a 10-Week Intervention on Body Composition and CVD Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Women—A Randomized Controlled Trial
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNutrients. 2020, 13 (1), . 10.3390/nu13010110
We assessed the effect of weight-loss induced with a low-carbohydrate-high-fat diet with and without exercise, on body-composition, cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular risk factors. A total of 57 overweight and obese women (age 40 ± 3.5 years, body mass index 31.1 ± 2.6 kg∙m−2) completed a 10-week intervention using a low-carbohydrate-high-fat diet, with or without interval exercise. An equal deficit of 700 kcal∙day−1 was prescribed, restricting diet only, or moderately restricting diet and adding exercise, producing four groups; normal diet (NORM); low-carbohydrate-high-fat diet (LCHF); normal diet and exercise (NORM-EX); and low-carbohydrate-high-fat diet and exercise (LCHF-EX). Linear Mixed Models were used to assess between-group differences. The intervention resulted in an average 6.7 ± 2.5% weight-loss (p < 0.001). Post-intervention % fat was lower in NORM-EX than NORM (40.0 ± 4.2 vs. 43.5 ± 3.5%, p = 0.024). NORM-EX reached lower values in total cholesterol than NORM (3.9 ± 0.6 vs. 4.7 ± 0.7 mmol/L, p = 0.003), and LCHF-EX (3.9 ± 0.6 vs. 4.9 ± 1.1 mmol/L, p = 0.004). Post intervention triglycerides levels were lower in NORM-EX than NORM (0.87 ± 0.21 vs. 1.11 ± 0.34 mmol/L, p = 0.030). The low-carbohydrate-high-fat diet had no superior effect on body composition, V˙O2peak or cardiovascular risk factors compared to a normal diet, with or without exercise. In conclusion, the intervention decreased fat mass, but exercise improved body composition and caused the most favorable changes in total cholesterol and triglycerides in the NORM-EX. Exercise increased cardiorespiratory fitness, regardless of diet.