DIET&FITNESS Published November11, 2014 By Staff Writer

Fad Diets Don’t Improve Heart Health, New Study Suggests

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(Photo : amontillado-wikimedia commons)

As they say, it's so easy to gain weight than lose it. It may take many months to a few years before we can go back our ideal weight after putting on a significant amount of fat for only a few months. It doesn't come as a surprise therefore that many are interested in fad diets.

Fad diets are called as such since they are trendy but often hardly long lasting. Many are restrictive as to the types of food that you eat or the calories consumed. Moreover, based on a new study, these diets don't really significantly aid in weight loss or improvement of heart health.

McGill University researchers wanted to find out how popular fad diets fare compared to traditional methods of losing weight, which include exercising and reducing fat intake.

For the study, they chose those who are morbidly obese and have undergone gastric bypass surgery as participants. They also looked into four fad diets, namely, Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, and Zone. Some of the participants then went on to do each of these diets for a period of one year.

Those who participated in the diet programs lost weight within 12 months. The average pound lost in Atkins went as high as 10.3. Those who enrolled in Weight Watchers lost around 6.5 pounds while Zone dieters dropped about 7 pounds.

However, the control group, or those who didn't follow any kind of plan, also experienced an average weight loss of almost 5 pounds.

The study also showed that other than the short-term weight loss, these diets don't generally improve one's health as participants didn't experience any significant improvement to their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, which all relate to cardiovascular health.

Although they still need to perform a larger clinical study that tests these diets in the long term, they also determined that often those who experienced short-term weight loss get their excess weight back in two years.  

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