New ADA guide gives equal weight to low-carb, low-fat dieting

January 3, 2008

New ADA recommendations state weight-loss plans are equally effective

The 2008 "Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes," from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that there is growing evidence that both low-fat and low-carbohydrate dieting are equally safe and effective for reducing short-term weight loss (up to one year). The most important determinant of weight loss, according to the new guide, is the patient's ability to stick to the program and not the composition of the diet. Previously, the ADA had not recommended low-carb diets due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting their safety and efficacy. The ADA also stated that patients on low-carb weight-loss programs should monitor their lipid profiles since replacing calories from carbohydrates with fat or protein could affect lipid levels. Also, patients with kidney disease should be counseled on appropriate protein intake since high-protein diets can worsen the condition. The updated guidelines also include new information on diabetes testing and treatment recommendations for older adults. More information can be found at