Let me state right up front that I do not recommend following a low carb diet. That being said I want to share some of the latest research with you.
A study published on January 25, 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine compared a low carb diet versus a low fat plus orlistat diet. Researchers analyzed the effect of these two diets on weight loss and blood pressure.
Just in case you don’t know, orlistat is also known by the names Xenical and Alli.
Researchers studied 146 participants from the Department of Veterans Affairs primary care clinics in Durham, North Carolina. Participants were randomly assigned to either the low carb of the low fat plus orlistat diet, received instructions, and were monitored for 48 weeks. Some factors analyzed included body weight, blood pressure, fasting serum lipid, and glycemic parameters.
Results of the study found weight loss to be similar between the two groups at ~9% body weight. The low carbohydrate diet resulted in a lower blood pressure for participants when compared to the low fat diet with orlistat. The low carb diet lowered systolic (top number) blood pressure on average 5.9 mm Hg and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure 4.5 mm Hg.
HDL Cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved for individuals on each diet, while LDL cholesterol improved only for those on the low fat plus orlistat diet. Glycemic parameters, such as glucose, insulin, and hemoglobin A1C only improved for low carbohydrate diet participants. Although it’s worth noting that the difference between groups was not statistically significant.
Like I said at the beginning I do not recommend a low carb diet. My first choice to promote a lower blood pressure would be the DASH diet. A study on the DASH diet was actually published in this same journal issue.
The DASH Diet alone was compared to the DASH diet in combination with a weight management and exercise plan. The DASH Diet when combined with an exercise/weight management plan resulted in an 11.2 mm Hg drop of systolic blood pressure and an average weight loss of 19 pounds over a 4 month period.
The main thing to remember is that you need to pick a plan you can stick with for the long term. Steady, consistent action is what will lead to results. If you haven’t already I encourage you to sign-up for the e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at http://www.lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.
What do you think about using a low carb diet to lower blood pressure? Share your thoughts below.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD