Interesting study on low-carb diets, insulin, and fat storage

The takeaways seem to be:

  1. The hypothesis that Carbs lead to high insulin levels lead to body fat doesn’t seem to be true.

  2. Low-carb diet does lead to lower circulating insulin levels, but not lower calorie consumption or fat loss (equivalent high carb diet does)

  3. Low carb diets don’t increase resting energy expenditure

  4. Generally, the connection between high circulating insulin levels and weight gain is tenuous:

I’m sure those who advocate for LCHF diets will find lots to quibble with in the study, of course.

Also, this seems mostly tied to T2 or even those who are prediabetic, rather than T1.


I think the insulin finding is probably the most significant one that can be drawn from this work and the most interesting, i.e. basal insulin levels increasing has more effect than post meal excursions in adipose fat creation.

As for the lower calorie consumption testing, this study really wasn’t really set up for that, since the participants only ate low carb for a couple of weeks. In most of my experience with low carb it takes at least that long if not longer for the body to adjust to it, and once adjusted it isn’t the miracle of fat being used as a fuel (ketosis) but rather the long term appetite suppression that comes from eating that way that makes people able to lose weight. Too many people think it is a miracle rather than just plain old natural appetite suppression leading to lower calories being consumed.