On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, Yahoo, there was an Article from HealthDay entitled: Certain Diets May Help Body Burn More Calories: Study.”  This was a report of the study published in the June 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Supposedly the study attempted to compare Low Fat, Low Carb and Low Glycemic Index Diets.

The research subjects burned 350 calories more on the low-carb diet than on the low-fat one,” Ludwig said. “That’s roughly equal to an hour of moderate physical activity.

The difference between the low-glycemic diet and the low-fat diet was about 150 calories a day, favoring the low-glycemic diet,” he added. “That’s about an hour of light physical activity a day.”

Ludwig said the low-fat diet had the worst effects on metabolic syndrome, a group of heart disease risk factors. Low-fat diets had adverse effects on insulin sensitivity, triglyceride levels and good cholesterol levels, he said.

The low-carb diet had drawbacks, too, he said, causing high stress hormones and inflammation that could increase the risk of heart disease.

The study included 21 individuals and lasted only 4 weeks.  More importantly, “The low-carbohydrate diet, similar to an Atkins diet, contained 60 percent fat, 30 percent protein and 10 percent carbohydrates.”

Four weeks barely allows an individual to become keto-adapted.  Also, the amount of Fat is lower than necessary and the amount of Protein is higher than it should be.   The indication that it “caused” high stress hormones and inflammation” goes against the broad base of experience where inflammation on a Very Low Carb diet decreases.

We could pick apart the study, which we do not have a clean copy of – to our heart’s content.  The interesting component is the difference in calories burned.  350 is a significant amount.

There has always been a suspicion that a Very Low Carb diet will burn more calories.  Not even Volek and Phinney would back that concept – other than to reference the possibility.

I do not know the reality.  I do know that this study supports the concept that Calories In – Calories Out is an overly simplistic statement for a complex system.