LCHF Studies


I thought it would be good to compile a list of studies pertaining to the low carb/high fat lifestyle. Below you will find studies on saturated fat, cholesterol, weight loss, ketones, disease risk and more. If you have found this list helpful, feel free to share it and also consider supporting me on Patreon.

Weight Loss

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diet

Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (Bueno et al., 2013)

Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial (Bazzano et al., 2014)

The effects of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low-fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self-reported symptoms (McClernon et al., 2007)

Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women (Volek et al., 2004)

The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat: a randomized trial (Wady Aude et al, 2004)

Very-low-calorie ketogenic diet with aminoacid supplement versus very low restricted-calorie diet for preserving muscle mass during weight loss: a pilot double-blind study (Merra et al., 2016)

Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Versus Low-Fat Diets on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (Hu et al., 2012

Adherence to low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets in relation to weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors (Hu et al., 2016)

A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity (Samaha et al., 2003)

Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (Bueno et al, 2013)

Low Carb Diet and Weight Loss

Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum (Johnstone et al., 2008)

The effects of a high-protein, low-fat, ketogenic diet on adolescents with morbid obesity: body composition, blood chemistries, and sleep abnormalities (Willi et al., 1998)

Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? (Paoli, 2014)

Resistance training in overweight women on a ketogenic diet conserved lean body mass while reducing body fat (Jabekk et al., 2010)

Short-term safety, tolerability and efficacy of a very low-calorie-ketogenic diet interventional weight loss program versus hypocaloric diet in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (Goday et al., 2016)

A Ketogenic Diet Reduces Central Obesity and Serum Insulin in Women with Ovarian or Endometrial Cancer (Cohen et al., 2018)

Effect of A Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet on Food and Alcohol Cravings, Physical and Sexual Activity, Sleep Disturbances, and Quality of Life in Obese Patients (Castro et al., 2018)

Nutritional Ketosis for Weight Management and Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome (Gershuni et al., 2018)

Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets: a narrative review (Noakes and Windt, 2016)

Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism (Westman et al., 2007)

A low-carbohydrate survey: Evidence for sustainable metabolic syndrome reversal (Cucuzzella et al., 2017)

Common Concerns

Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Chowdhury, 2014)

Dietary fatty acids in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression (Schwingshackle and Hoffman, 2014)

Evidence from prospective cohort studies does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Harcombe et al., 2017)

Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data from Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73) (Ramsden et al., 2016)

The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (Hamley, 2016)

Dietary fat and coronary heart disease: summary of evidence from prospective cohort and randomised controlled trials (Skeaff and Miller, 2009)

High LDL Cholesterol

LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature (Ravnskov et al., 2018)

Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: an analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines (Sachdeva et al., 2009)

High Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL-Cholesterol Predicts Extensive Coronary Disease (Lemos da Lz et al., 2008)

Dietary Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Berger et al., 2015)

Rethinking dietary cholesterol (Fernandez, 2012)

Effects of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol: a meta-analysis and review (Hopkins, 2009)

Low Carb and Heart Disease Risk

Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies (Kosinski and Jornayvaz, 2017)

A Ketogenic Diet Favorably Affects Serum Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Disease in Normal-Weight Men (Sharman et al., 2002)

Carbohydrate restriction alters lipoprotein metabolism by modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL subfraction distribution and size in overweight men (Wood et al., 2006)

Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism (Westman et al., 2007)

Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients (Dashti et al., 2004)

Low/No Fiber

Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms (Ho et al., 2012)

Dietary Fiber and Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Related Mechanisms (Chen et al., 2018)

Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (El-Salhy et al., 2017)

Animal Products and Disease

Red meat and colorectal cancer: a critical summary of prospective epidemiologic studies (Alexander and Cushing, 2011)

Meta-analysis of animal fat or animal protein intake and colorectal cancer (Alexander et al., 2009)

No association between meat intake and mortality in Asian countries (Alexander, 2013)

Intake of dairy products, calcium, and vitamin d and risk of breast cancer (Shin et al., 2002)

Disease Treatment

Low Carb Diet and Diabetes

Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: critical review and evidence base (Feinman et al., 2015)

Systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary carbohydrate restriction in patients with type 2 diabetes (Snorgaard et al., 2017)

Implementing a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to manage type 2 diabetes mellitus (Westman et al., 2018)

Effectiveness and Safety of a Novel Care Model for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes at 1 Year: An Open-Label, Non-Randomized, Controlled Study (Hallberg et al., 2018)

A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes (Yancy Jr. et al., 2005)

The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (Westman et al., 2008)

Has carbohydrate-restriction been forgotten as a treatment for diabetes mellitus? A perspective on the ACCORD study design (Westman, 2008)

Comparison of low- and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomized trial (Tay et al., 2015)

Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes (Hussain et al., 2012

Short-term safety, tolerability and efficacy of a very low-calorie-ketogenic diet interventional weight loss program versus hypocaloric diet in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (Goday et al., 2016)

An Online Intervention Comparing a Very Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations Versus a Plate Method Diet in Overweight Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Saslow et al., 2017)

Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects (Dashti et al., 2007)

Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism (Westman et al., 2007)

Diets low in carbohydrates for type 2 diabetics. Systematic review (Valenzuela Mencía et al., 2017)

The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (Huntriss et al., 2018)

Low Carb Diet and Epilepsy

The ketogenic diet for the treatment of childhood epilepsy: a randomised controlled trial (Neal et al., 2008)

Effect of Ketogenic Diet on Motor Functions and Daily Living Activities of Children With Multidrug-Resistant Epilepsy: A Prospective Study (Cubukcu et al., 2018)

Ketogenic diet for the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children: A systematic review of efficacy (Lefevre and Aronson, 2000

A Multicenter Study of the Efficacy of the Ketogenic Diet (Vining et al., 1998)

Ketogenic diet for treatment of epilepsy (Rogovik and Goldman, 2010)

The ketogenic diet: metabolic influences on brain excitability and epilepsy (Lutas and Yellen, 2013)

Dietary and Medication Adjustments to Improve Seizure Control in Patients Treated With the Ketogenic Diet (Selter et al., 2014)

Ketogenic diet in adolescents and adults with epilepsy (Nei et al., 2014)

Ketogenic diet and other dietary treatments for epilepsy (Martin et al., 2016)

A randomized controlled trial of the ketogenic diet in refractory childhood epilepsy (Lambrechts et al., 2016)

Low Carb Diet and Fatty Liver Disease

An Integrated Understanding of the Rapid Metabolic Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet on Hepatic Steatosis in Humans (Mardinoglu et al., 2018)

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and low-carbohydrate diets (York et al., 2009)

Low Carb Diet and GERDS

Improvement of gastroesophageal reflux disease after initiation of a low-carbohydrate diet: five brief case reports (Yancy et al., 2001)

A Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet Improves Gastroesophageal Reflux and Its Symptoms (Austin et al, 2006)

Dietary carbohydrate intake, insulin resistance and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a pilot study in European- and African-American obese women (Pointer et al., 2016)

Low Carb Diet and Cancer

Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer? (Klement and Kämmerer, 2011)

A Nutritional Perspective of Ketogenic Diet in Cancer: A Narrative Review (Oliveira et al., 2017)

Systematic review: isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes for cancer patients (Erickson et al., 2017

Beneficial effects of ketogenic diets for cancer patients: a realist review with focus on evidence and confirmation (Klement, 2017)

The calorically restricted ketogenic diet, an effective alternative therapy for malignant brain cancer (Zhou et al., 2007)

Assessing the Role of the Ketogenic Diet as a Metabolic Therapy in Cancer: Is it Evidence Based? (Macias and Sharpe, 2017)

Pleiotropic effects of nutritional ketosis: Conceptual framework for keto-adaptation as a breast cancer therapy (Hyde et al., 2017)

The Potential Use of a Ketogenic Diet in Pancreatobiliary Cancer Patients After Pancreatectomy (Ok et al., 2018)

The emerging role of ketogenic diets in cancer treatment (Klement, 2018)

Low Carb Diet and Gallbladder

Gallbladder motility and gallstone formation in obese patients following very low calorie diets (Festi et al., 1998)

Ursodeoxycholic Acid and Diets Higher in Fat Prevent Gallbladder Stones During Weight Loss: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (Stokes et al., 2014)

Low Carb Diet and Disease Prevention

Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet (Gasior et al., 2006)

Safety Long-Term

Nutritional Adequacy

Efficacy and safety of very-low-calorie ketogenic diet: a double blind randomized crossover study (Colica et al., 2017)

Carbohydrates Not Essential

Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids, Chapter: 6 Dietary Carbohydrates: Sugars and Starches (2005)

Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism (Westman et al., 2007)

Clinical review: ketones and brain injury (White and Venkatesh, 2011)

Disease Risk

Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients (Dashti et al., 2004)


Brain Function

Clinical review: ketones and brain injury (White and Venkatesh, 2011)

Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment (Krikorian et al., 2013)



Ketogenic diets and physical performance (Phinney, 2004)

Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism (Cox and Clarke, 2014

Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts (Paoli et al., 2012)

The Effects of Ketogenic Dieting on Body Composition, Strength, Power, and Hormonal Profiles in Resistance Training Males (Wilson et al., 2017)

Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes (Cox et al., 2016)

The Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Exercise Metabolism and Physical Performance in Off-Road Cyclists (Zajac et al., 2014)

Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners (Volek et al., 2016)

Effects of Ketone Bodies on Endurance Exercise (Sansone et al., 2018)

Body Composition

A Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet Combined with 6-Weeks of Crossfit Training Improves Body Composition and Performance (Gregory et al., 2017)

The effect of weight loss by ketogenic diet on the body composition, performance-related physical fitness factors and cytokines of Taekwondo athletes (Rhyu and Cho, 2014)

A Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet Reduces Body Mass Without Compromising Performance in Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting Athletes (Greene et al., 2018)

Low-Carbohydrate Diets Promote a More Favorable Body Composition Than Low-Fat Diets (Volek et al., 2010)

The effect of an 8-week low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) diet in sub-elite Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters on strength, body composition, mental state and adherence: a pilot case-study (Chatterton et al., 2017)

If there are any (I am sure there are) that I missed, you can comment below and I will add them! Again, if you have found this list helpful, feel free to share it!