Both diets improved cholesterol in a two-year study that included intensive group counseling. But those on the low-carbohydrate diet got a bigger boost in their so-called good cholesterol.
The latest test is one of the longest to compare the approaches. At the end of two years, average weight loss was the same for both -- about 15 pounds or 7 percent of body weight.
The key difference was in good cholesterol. Low-carb dieters' good cholesterol improved by 23 percent compared to 12 percent for low-fat. The findings are published in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine.