Energy and macronutrient intakes of obese adults fed an Atkins or low-fat diet

Burden, V.; Stadler, D.; Mcmurry, M.; Gerhard, G.; Connor, W.; Karanja, N.

FASEB Journal 17(4-5): Abstract 679

2003


ISSN/ISBN: 0892-6638
Accession: 034853825

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Abstract
Very low carbohydrate diets have gained popularity with claims that significant weight loss occurs even while foods restricted in conventional low-fat diets are allowed. A 6-week controlled feeding study was carried out in healthy, obese adults (BMI = 30-44) to observe energy intake of an Atkins-like diet (AD) and to characterize the nutrient profile of an AD compared to a Low-fat diet (LFD). The AD group (n=13) received a diet designed to provide 120% of estimated energy allowance (EEA) for weight maintenance with 20 g/day carbohydrate (CHO). To obtain intake data, foods were weighed to the nearest gram both in preparation and upon return of uneaten portions. Mean self-selected energy intake by the AD group was 67 +- 16% of EEA. The LFD group (n=12) was energy matched to the AD group. Weight loss in both groups was similar 6.5 2.8 kg AD; 5.2 (1.3 kg LFD (NS)). 42-day Average Intakes Atkins Low-fat % kCal Carbohydrates 4 +- 118 +- 555 +- 1295 +- 43 Protein 30 +- 3156 +- 5818 +- 097 +- 14 Fat 66 +- 2153 +- 4627 +- 165 +- 11 Saturated fat 30 +- 267 +- 216 +- 014 +- 2 Fiber (g) 3 +- 133 +- 4 Cholesterol (mg) 941 +- 321 157 +- 29 Energy (kCal/d) 2090 +- 665 2083 +- 322. Means between groups were significantly different, except energy intake (t-test; p<0.01). Surprisingly, not all AD individuals exhibited urine ketones despite the severe reduction in CHO (measured by urine strip test). These results show that self-selected energy intake on an AD is markedly reduced and demonstrate the extreme extent to which an AD is high in cholesterol and saturated fat.