Objective: To study the effects of a carbohydrate-enriched (HiCarbo) or olive-oil-enriched (HiMUFA) hypocaloric diet on plasma lipoprotein levels and physical properties.
Design: A six-month follow-up dietary intervention study with a HiCarbo diet providing 60% of total calories as complex carbohydrates, 15% as proteins and 25% as fats [10% saturated (SFA); 7% monounsaturated (MUFA); 8% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)]; or a HiMUFA diet with 40% complex carbohydrates, 15% proteins and 45% fats (10% SFA; 27% MUFA; 8% PUFA).
Subjects: Twenty consecutive, mildly obese, normolipidemic premenopausal women (11 on HiCarbo and nine on HiMUFA diets) and 14 age- and sex-matched, lean controls.
Measurements: Body mass index (BMI), waist/hip ratio, plasma lipoproteins, apolipoprotein (apo) AI and B, LDL and HDL density distribution, and phospholipid fatty acid composition at baseline, and after 3 and 6 months on dietary treatment.
Results: Body weight progressively decreased during the first 3 months and then it stabilized during the following 3 months (-11% vs. baseline in both groups; P < 0.01). LDL-Cholesterol decreased significantly in both groups. HDL-Cholesterol increased significantly in the HiMUFA group, whereas a decreased level was observed in the HiCarbo group. At baseline the obese women had higher very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and dense LDL-Cholesterol, and lower HDL2 cholesterol levels than the controls; these abnormalities persisted in the HiCarbo diet, whilst a significant decrease in the dense LDL associated with an increase in the HDL2 cholesterol was seen in the HiMUFA diet. HDL3 was not affected by either diet. The LDL/HDL-Cholesterol ratio was not affected by the HiCarbo diet, whilst it was significantly reduced after 6 months of HiMUFA diet as compared with baseline. Apo AI increased in the HiMUFA group, and decreased in the HiCarbo group.
Conclusions: Both diets were effective in decreasing body weight. At steady weight conditions, only the HiMUFA diet improved LDL and HDL subclass distribution abnormalities present in mildly obese normolipidemic women.