Changes in plasma lipoproteins during low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets: Effects of energy intake

Siddika E Karakas, Rogelio U. Almario, Wendy M. Mueller, Janet Peerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Background: Low-fat diets can increase plasma triacylglycerol and reduce HDL cholesterol. Changes in energy intake and body weight can influence the lipoprotein response Objective: We sought to prospectively examine the effects of euenergetic and ad libitum dietary fat restriction on plasma lipoproteins in healthy postmenopausal women. Design: Participants first received a controlled euenergetic diet in which dietary fat was reduced stepwise from 35% to 25% to 15% over 4 mo. Thereafter, participants followed an ad libitum 15%-fat diet for 8 mo; 54 women completed the intervention. Results: During the controlled euenergetic diet, plasma triacylglycerol increased from 1.70 ± 0.10 to 2.30 ± 0.16 mmol/L, total cholesterol decreased from 5.87 ± 0.13 to 5.53 ± 0.13 mmol/L, LDL cholesterol decreased from 3.41 ± 0.10 to 2.87 ± 0.10 mmol/L, HDL cholesterol decreased from 1.76 ± 0.08 to 1.50 ± 0.08 mmol/L, and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I decreased from 5.11 ± 0.14 to 4.78 ± 0.14 mmol/L (P < 0.0001 for all changes). Hormone replacement therapy did not affect the relative change in HDL cholesterol. Plasma glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A(1C) free fatty acid, and apo B concentrations did not change significantly. During the ad libitum 15%-fat diet, participants lost 4.6 ± 0.4 kg. Plasma triacylglycerol and LDL cholesterol returned to baseline values (1.77 ± 0.12 and 3.31 ± 0.08 mmol/L, respectively), whereas HDL cholesterol and apo A-I remained low (1.40 ± 0.08 and 4.82 ± 0.18 mmol/L, respectively). HDL cholesterol and apo A-I concentrations stabilized in subjects who were not receiving hormone replacement therapy but continued to decline in women who were receiving hormone therapy. Conclusions: The ad libitum 15%-fat diet resulted in significant weight loss. The euenergetic but not the ad libitum diet caused hypertriacylglycerolemia. HDL cholesterol decreased during both low-fat diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1447
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Free fatty acids
  • Glucose
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Hemoglobin A(1C)
  • High-carbohydrate diet
  • High-density- lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Insulin
  • Lipoprotein response
  • Lipoproteins
  • Low-fat diet
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Triacylglycerol
  • Triglycerides
  • Weight reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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