Purpose of review: There has been continued interest in the physiological, nutritional and clinical aspects of low-carbohydrate diets. This review will discuss the effects on appetite regulation, metabolic parameters, body weight and body composition, the role of glycemic index and glycemic load, as well as long-term outcomes.
Recent findings: Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets appear to improve satiety through their actions on measures of adiposity and gut peptides that influence appetite and caloric intake. Specific macronutrients such as low glycemic index carbohydrates and dietary protein impact appetite, calorie intake and metabolic parameters independent of weight loss. Long-term data, however, continue to support that total weight loss among low-carbohydrate dieters is not significantly different from low-fat dieters. The long-term safety of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets on cardiovascular disease risk remains undetermined.
Summary: Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may be an effective choice for weight loss, enhanced satiety and improved metabolic parameters.