A very low-carb diet boosts metabolism in older adults: Study

A new study reveals how an eight-week very low-carbohydrate diet can boost metabolic health of older adults with obesity.

In a world full of different kinds of diet regimes—then be it Keto, GM or calorie deficit—choosing the right one for yourself can be a confusing task. Contrary to popular belief, a diet doesn’t just help in the process of weight gain or loss; it has a big role to play in boosting your metabolism—which has become all-the-more crucial in this pandemic-riddled world.

This new study, which reveals how an eight-week low-carbohydrate diet can improve body composition, fat distribution, and metabolic health.

Published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, the study was led by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nutrition Obesity Research Centre.

The researchers observed older adults with obesity, who are at a high risk of developing cardio-metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study’s lead author Amy Goss, an assistant professor with UAB’s Department of Nutrition Sciences says that the aim was to determine if a very low-carbohydrate (VLCD) and high-fat diet would deplete fat depots and preserve lean mass without intentional caloric restriction in older adults with obesity, thereby improving outcomes related to cardio-metabolic diseases, such as insulin sensitivity and the lipid profile.

“After the eight-week intervention, despite the recommendation to consume a weight-maintaining diet, the group consuming the very low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight and total fat mass than the control diet group,” Goss said.

Consuming eggs was an important part of the VLCD prescription. Goss and her team provided eggs to the participants in this diet group and asked them to eat at least three per day.

“While eggs were a part of this study, we can’t conclude that our findings are a result of daily egg consumption; but I think what we can conclude is that whole eggs can be incorporated into the diet in a healthful way without adversely impacting blood cholesterol in older adults,” she said. “We also found significant improvements in the overall lipid profile that would reflect the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease,” Goss said. “Further, insulin sensitivity improved reflecting the reduced risk of type-2 diabetes. Overall, we observed improvements in body composition, fat distribution, and metabolic health in response to an eight-week, very low-carbohydrate diet.”

Goss adds that there is ample of evidence about the benefits of a very low-carbohydrate diet in younger populations, and this study was one of the first to test this dietary approach to improve outcomes related to obesity in adults older than age 65—a population at particularly high risk of other diseases and in need of therapeutic interventions to improve health while preserving skeletal muscle mass to prevent or delay functional decline with age. (Source: healthshots.com)

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