(OrganicJar) A vegetarian version of the Atkins low-carb diet may help people lose weight and lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. A month long study of the so-called Eco-Atkins diet, which stresses plant proteins, worked better than a high-carb diet at reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL, which raises the risks of heart attacks and strokes. It also showed signs of lowering blood pressure.
A team led by Dr. David Jenkins of St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto in Ontario, reported that the traditional Atkins low-carb diet, in which people cut out carbohydrates and eat more meat, has been shown to help lower blood fats known as triglycerides and raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL, the "good" cholesterol, but it also tends to raise bad cholesterol levels.
Jenkins and colleagues looked to see if a vegetarian version of the Atkins diet that was high in vegetable proteins from gluten, soy, nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals and vegetable oils might have more heart benefits.
The study suggests a plant-based low-carb diet can be an effective option for people with high cholesterol who want to lose weight. After a month, people in both groups lost about four kilograms, or 8.8 pounds. But people on the low-carb, plant protein diet had lower LDL cholesterol and healthier blood pressure compared with those on the high-carb diet.
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