Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Nutrition & Metabolism and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research

Effects of low carbohydrate diets high in red meats or poultry, fish and shellfish on plasma lipids and weight loss

Bridget A Cassady1, Nicole L Charboneau1, Emily E Brys1, Kristin A Crouse1, Donald C Beitz2 and Ted Wilson1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, Winona State University, Winona, MN, USA

2 Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Nutrition & Metabolism 2007, 4:23  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-4-23

Published: 31 October 2007



Low carbohydrate diets (LCDs) have been demonstrated to be effective tools for promoting weight loss and an improved plasma lipid profile. Such diets are often associated with increased meat consumption, either poultry, fish, and shellfish (PFS), which are generally high in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) or red meats (RM), generally high in saturated fat (SFA). The fatty acid profile and content of a diet may influence the plasma lipid profile of humans. This study examined whether the type of meat consumed could influence the outcome of an LCD.


Moderately obese subjects consumed two different LCDs as part of a weight loss regimen: 1) a diet high in foods of mammalian origin (RM) intended to contain more SFA, or 2) a diet high in PFS intended to contain more PUFA. Diet dependent changes in body weight, nutritional intake, and plasma lipids were evaluated during a 28 day study period.


Both diets were associated with significant weight loss after 28 days, -5.26 ± 0.84 kg and -5.74 ± 0.63 kg for RM and PFS groups, respectively. The PFS diet was associated with a significantly higher intake of PUFA and cholesterol. Despite high cholesterol and fat intakes, neither diet was associated with significant changes in plasma cholesterol or the plasma lipoprotein cholesterol profile. While plasma triglycerides were reduced in both groups, the effect was only statistically significant for the PFS diet.