top of page

Low-carb vs. Low-fat Diets & The Saturated Fat Paradox!

The graphs below summarize data from a 2008 study in which people were split in two diet groups: a low-fat group and a low-carb group (also known as the Very Low Carb Ketogenic Diet group). The groups were matched for caloric intake (1500 Calories/day). This mean, if one believes in the calories-in-calories out model of weight loss, both groups should have lost the same amount of weight. However, as you can see in the graph shown on the bottom left, the low-carb (VLCKD) group steadily lost twice as much weight as the low-fat group, an astonishing 10 kilograms (22 pounds) in the low-carb group as compared to 5 kilograms (11 pounds) in the low-fat group!

But that’s not even the best part. The best part is that, despite the fact that the low-carb group ate THREE TIMES MORE saturated fat than the low-fat group, 36 grams per day as compared to 12 grams per day (yellow highlight in top panel), the levels of saturated fat the low-carb group’s blood DECREASED by more than twice that of the low-fat group (yellow highlight in bottom right panel). In other words, the low-carb group ate more fat and this resulted in less fat in their bloodstream!

While no single study should be taken as gospel, we wanted to share these data because they beautifully illustrate two points that, in our opinion, are strongly supported by other great literature, but are also poorly publicized because they contradict the standard dietary guidelines. First, in the majority of studies that are conducted over a long enough time frame for individuals to “fat-adapt,” people on low-carb diets tend to exhibit superior (and more sustained) weight loss as compared to people on low-fat diets. This is likely because restricting carbs decreases levels of your body’s fat-storing hormone, insulin. Second, in the low-carb state, eating saturated fats isn’t dangerous (apart from potentially a few minor exceptions), if for no other reason than it’s not fat/saturated fat intake that increases the fat that ends up in your bloodstream, but carbs! Yes, this seems paradoxical. You would think eating more fat and fewer carbs would increase the fat in your blood more than eating less fat and more carbs. However, our bodies are complicated. Carbs get converted into fat and eating low carb teaches your body to burn fat. We won’t go into the biochemistry here but simply let these clinical data speak for themselves.


No medical advice

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.



bottom of page