Objective: To determine whether a diet of high saturated fat and avoidance of starch (HSF-SA) results in weight loss without adverse effects on serum lipids in obese nondiabetic patients.
Patients and methods: Twenty-three patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease participated in a prospective 6-week trial at the Christiana Care Medical Center in Newark, Del, between August 2000 and September 2001. All patients were obese (mean +/- SD body mass index [BMI], 39.0+/-7.3 kg/m2) and had been treated with statins before entry in the trial. Fifteen obese patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (BMI, 36.1+/-9.7 kg/m2) and 8 obese patients with reactive hypoglycemia (BMI, 46.8+/-10 kg/m2) were monitored during an HSF-SA diet for 24 and 52 weeks, respectively, between 1997 and 2000.
Results: In patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, mean +/- SD total body weight (TBW) decreased 5.2%+/-2.5% (P<.001) as did body fat percentage (P=.02). Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analysis of lipids showed decreases in total triglycerides (P<.001), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides (P<.001), VLDL size (P<.001), large VLDL concentration (P<.001), and medium VLDL concentration (P<.001). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and LDL concentrations were unchanged, but HDL size (P=.01) and LDL size (P=.02) increased. Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome lost 14.3%+/-20.3% of TBW (P=.008) and patients with reactive hypoglycemia lost 19.9%+/-8.7% of TBW (P<.001) at 24 and 52 weeks, respectively, without adverse effects on serum lipids.
Conclusion: An HSF-SA diet results in weight loss after 6 weeks without adverse effects on serum lipid levels verified by nuclear magnetic resonance, and further weight loss with a lipid-neutral effect may persist for up to 52 weeks.