Australian Researchers Compare Atkins Diet With Traditional Low-Fat Diet For Psychological Impact

Filed under: Study — @ September 18, 2007

Think a low-carb diet will destroy your brain? Think again!

It was a head-to-head match-up that ended in a tie.

Just wait until you see the stunning results of a new study comparing the traditional high-carb, low-fat diet with the increasingly popular low-carb, high-fat diet as it relates not just to weight loss, but also brain function. Now this oughta be interesting!

I recently interviewed one of the premier neurologists in the world named Dr. Larry McCleary who promotes carbohydrate-restriction as a means for improving brain health in his recently released book entitled The Brain Trust Program. He said something in that interview that should make anyone who advocates a high-carb diet for brain health to stop and think.

“If you want to age your brain just eat the typical [high-carb] diet most Americans consume. That will lead to memory, attention and mood difficulties and will hasten the path to Alzheimer’s.”

Yikes! That’s pretty scary if you ask me and it goes against everything we’ve always been led to believe about diet and the way our brain reacts. Of course, the popular stereotype of someone who is livin’ la vida low-carb is that you just walk around in a perpetual sense of depression and rage all the time like you’re some kind of zombie or something!

But according to the study conducted by lead researcher Angela K. Halyburton, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in the Department of Human Nutrition in Adelaide, Australia, that myth is just that–an unproven and unreasonable conclusion that is not based on the evidence. That’s because what she and her colleagues found was a surprising answer to the questions about diet and mood.

Halyburton and her fellow researchers observed 93 overweight or obese study participants who were placed on one of two specific diets with an appropriate fat/protein/carbohydrate ratio:

LCHF–an Atkins-like low-carb, high-fat diet–61/35/4
(NOTE: 20 percent of the fat intake was saturated)


HCLF–a traditional high-carb, low-fat diet–30/24/46

Both groups were given the same number of calories and consumed their respective diets for a total of eight weeks on this randomized, clinical trial. Study participants were weighed every two weeks and given a psychological well-being test based on the Profile of Mood States, Beck Depression Inventory, and Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory instruments. The researchers measured cognitive function, memory, and speed of brain processing at the beginning and end of the study.

Click here to read the results of this remarkable new study that should put an end to the stereotype that low-carb diets negatively impact your mood and brain function.


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