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May 6

Do genome-based diets actually work? – Body+Soul

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Do genome-based diets actually work? - Body+Soul


May 6

We Tried The Top 4 Detox Diets. Find Out If They Actually Work – Men’s Health

DO TOXINS EXIST?Yes. Do you need adetoxcleanse to get them out of your body?

Spoiler alert: no.

Were exposed to hundreds of thousands of toxins daily that come from internal sources like infections, as well as synthetic materials like BPA in plastics, says Susan Payrovi, M.D., a specialist in integrative medicine at Stanford University.

But is it possible (or necessary) to detox your body with acleanse, fast, orsupplement? It depends on who you ask.

While many companies claim their detox products will rid your body of toxins and offer an array of health benefits, from increased energy to a longer life, theres little to no evidence supporting these bold promises. In fact, you already have exactly what you need to rid yourself of harmful toxins: Aliver.

Evolutionarily were lucky, because the liver has millions of enzymes and processes to help us detoxify, says Christopher Hoyte, M.D., medical director of the toxicology clinic at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It works overtime, all the time, to keep us healthy.

Some experts, however, say taking on a detox may be a great way to jump-start healthier eating habits. More on that below.

AsPallini Winnifred, in-house R.D.N. advisor atFitDominium, defines a detox diet as a diet that aims to remove toxins and impurities from the body. This is often done by consuming only certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and avoiding others, such as processed foods and alcohol, she says. She notes that some detox diet methods integrate supplements or juices (more on these below).

Kieran McSorley, R.D. atBrentwood Physiotherapy Calgary, echoes that sentiment sharing that a detox diet typically involves eating whole, unprocessed foods, while avoiding food additives and artificial ingredients.

But thatsin theory.

Winnifred says theres no scientific evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body.

Its a pretty terrible idea.

Too many detoxes or cleansesrestrict caloriesto brutal degrees. If youre an active adult male, you need at least 2,800 calories daily, according to theUSDA. If youre sipping bone broth or slugging back celery juice for even one of your meals, youre putting yourself at risk of hunger, moodiness, brain fog, and sub-par workout performance.

Additionally, it is important to remember that detox diets are only focused on short-term changes and will not produce long-term results, says McSorely.

Couple all this with a total lack of scientific evidence to support detox diet claims and you can begin to see why its a bad idea.

Remember, too: Your liver is already doing the work for you. Your liver is capable of neutralising or eliminating many different toxins, from alcohol to potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants in our environment. And yes, over time, your liver may become less effective at handling these toxins. Part of this is just a natural consequence of ageing, but lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption can also play a role.

If youre trying to help your liver out, the best wayand the only way thats backed by evidenceto cut back on alcohol. In addition to keeping your liver busy during and after consumption, long-term heaving drinking can lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease, acute alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis, all of which impair your liver function pretty severely.

If youre still determined to detox, speak with a doctor or another health professional, first. Some detoxes might result in the loss of muscle, and can complicate pre-existing medical conditions, such askidneydisease.

Nope. Still, theyre popular.

According to the International Food Information Councils 2021 Food and Health Survey, roughly 1 per cent of consumers reported following a cleanse in 2021, down from 2 per cent in 2020. Detoxing is declining in popularity, but theres no denying that detox diets, cleanses, and supplements are still very much a part of the wellness zeitgeist.

Since detox diets are primarily fuelled by word of mouth and anecdotal evidence (as opposed to actual research) Mens Health staffers tested a bevy of products and diets to see if any lived up to their promises. Heres what we learned.

There are a ton of them out there. We picked a few of the most popular and put them to the test.

What it is: Eating nothing but pulverised plants for the better part of a week is supposed to help your body rid itself of toxins, absorb nutrients, and provide mental clarity.

Who tried it:Raymond Ho, Deputy Art Director

I had persistent headaches and poor concentration. I never felt hungry, but that just woke up feeling never went away, he says.

What science says:In atrialpublished inNutrition Research, women on a multiday 400-calorie lemon water detox lost weight. (Right?) But each pound lost isnt just fat. When you follow a low-calorie diet, even if it contains protein, 25 to 30 per cent of each pound lost comes from muscle, says Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an expert in body composition training. Gulp.

In a similartrialpublished inScientific Reports, 20 healthy adults went on a 3-day juice cleanse, consuming only 6 bottles of juice per day. The participants lost an average of 1.7 kilograms during the cleanse, but had already gained back half of that two weeks later. And since the researchers only followed subjects for 17 days, its impossible to draw conclusions about long-term effects.

Anotherreviewpublished in theJournal of Human Nutrition and Dieteticsconcluded that there was no evidence to support the idea that a juice cleanse could aid long-term weight loss, improve health, or eliminate toxins from the body.

Juice cleanses are not only unsustainable but they can be dangerous, saysJessica DeGore, RD, CDE, a Pittsburgh-based dietitian. Common side effects of juicing include electrolyte losses, fatigue, headaches, and nausea. Juice cleanses can also disrupt your digestion, because theyre high in sugar and low in fiber, protein, and fat.Prepare to spend time in the bathroom,DeGore says. (Yikes.)

The takeaway:Fruits and vegetables help combat diseases from cancer to heart disease, but the health effects of slurping them down as your only food source are less known.Get your fiber from real food.

What are they: Those herb-filled capsules often contain large doses of fibre. The common promise: The herbs support detoxification and eliminate toxins (yes, via poop) from your body.

Who tried it:Jennifer Messimer, Research Chief

Other than exercising my gag reflex every morning, I didnt feel more energised or notice any elimination changes, she says.

What science says:One common supplement in the detox family is milk thistle. Compounds in this herb may increase antioxidant activity and reduce liver inflammation in animals.Human studies, however, have failed to confirm that effect. Milk thistle itself is safe, but other ingredients in the supplements may interfere with your medications.

A2019 studypublished in theJournal of Dietary Supplements featured a randomised trial where 22 healthy adult women were assigned to take either a placebo or a commercially available detox supplement every day for four weeks. Research concluded that the supplement had no effect on body composition, waist circumference, blood markers (like cholesterol and blood sugar), or digestive symptoms. Ultimately, the supplements did nothing.

Experts also warn that many detox supplements and teas contain laxatives. Detox teas are sneaky; they make you feel like youre detoxing without actually detoxing, says Amanda Sauceda, RD, a gut health dietitian based in Long Beach, CA. Literally, they make you poop more, which can trick you into thinking that your body is getting rid of toxins. But these supplements dont actually do anything to support your liver, which is where detoxing actually happens, Sauceda says.

The takeaway:Maintaining a healthy, well-rounded diet is enough to support your liver. Whats more, astudyin the journalNutrientsfound that obese people who ate a calorie-restricted high-fruit diet had improved markers of liver function.

What it is: This type of program is often low in calories and carbs and high in restrictions. The one we triedDr. Hymans 10-Day Detox promised to quash food cravings.

Who tried it:Tyler Daswick, Assistant Editor

My body didnt feel any cleaner than it did before. I wasnt any more alert, efficient, or energetic. In fact, I felt woozy and exhausted, he says.

What science says:Theres some evidence that restricting certain food types, such as carbs, can curb cravings for those foods, but to say you can make lifelong changes isnt realistic. Opting for whole foods over processed ones is part of healthy eating, but overly restricting yourself is not, says nutrition therapist Karin Kratina, Ph.D., R.D.

Research looking specifically at detox diets is extremely limited, though. In a 2015 review in theJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the authors state that, to the best of our knowledge, no randomised controlled trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of commercial detox diets in humans.

In 2019, researchers did attempt a randomised controlled trial of detox diets, and published their results in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 34 affluent and otherwise healthy women agreed to try a 21-day commercial detox diet. However, only 15 women completed the required questionnaires one week post-detox, and only 8 completed the questionnaire again two weeks post-detox. Considering it was such a small study on such a homogenous population, its impossible to draw conclusions from the results (which were negligible, anyway).

The takeaway: Some people end up being more interested in the very foods theyre telling themselves they cant have, Kratina warns. And dont cut out fruit unless youre directed to do so by a doctor. It contains fibre and other disease-fighting nutrients.

What it is: Intermittent fasting involves set times when youre eating is restricted and others when you eat as normal or even more than you would typically. We chose one day of fasting followed by at least two days of normal eating. Claims: a more youthful appearance, more energy, and fewer aches, pains, and health troubles.

Who tried it:Brian Boye, Executive Fashion Director

I was concerned about going without food for 24 hours, but my energy level was unchanged. In the first two weeks, I lost 2.2 kilos, he says.

What science says:True, intermittent fasting can promote short-term weight loss, but ithasnt been proven to be any more effective than simplyeating less overall. There is little difference between intermittent fasting and a calorie reduction diet, says Elizabeth Barnes, MS, RD, owner ofWeight Neutral Wellness.

Most of the research that suggests potential benefits of intermittent fasting has been done in rodents. In one of the fewhuman trials, published inJAMAin 2020, researchers assigned 116 adults to one of two groups. One group ate three structured meals per day plus snacks, while the intermittent fasting group ate for 8 hours (between noon and 8 P.M.) and fasted for 16 hours. After 12 weeks, the intermittent fasting group lost very slightly more weight, but also lost more muscle mass and didnt show any significant health improvements.

Losing lean muscle mass means you are physically weaker and more likely to regain the weight you lost in the form of fat, Barnes says.

The takeaway:Fasting will inevitably lead to weight loss, but so will cutting back on candy and cookies. Heres the thing: Training yourself not to eat may also help you differentiate between real hunger and emotional hunger. Plus, fasting is a workout for your willpower.

This story originally appeared on Mens Health U.S.

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We Tried The Top 4 Detox Diets. Find Out If They Actually Work - Men's Health


Mar 22

Dietitians Explain Whether Apple Cider Vinegar Actually Works for Weight Loss – Prevention Magazine

By now, most of us know that fad diets are unlikely to work long-term, but that doesnt stop the wellness world from booming with quick-fix hacksapple cider vinegar for weight loss being one of them. There are hopes that it could be the sought-after, naturally-sourced magical elixir to dropping pounds, so we asked some experts to cut to the chase: Does it really work?

Meet the Experts: Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers, Vanessa Rissetto, M.S., R.D., CEO and co-founder of Culina Health, Erin Palinksi-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., L.D.N., Carol Johnston, Ph. D., associate professor at Arizona State University, Amy Goodson, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D., a dietitian in Dallas, Texas, et al.

A recent, small study out of Lebanon observed 120 people with obesity or overweight who were randomly assigned a placebo, five, 10, or 15 mL of apple cider vinegar over 12 weeks. The group that received the highest dose of apple cider vinegar saw reductions in body weight, some even dropping up to 15 lbs. But, do other studies back up these findings? Experts explain if you should try apple cider vinegar for weight loss, how much to take if you want to add it to your routine, and potential side effects.

Apple cider vinegar (a.k.a. ACV) is a fermented liquid made from apple juice, says Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. To make it, you ferment the sugar from apples, creating acetic acidthe main ingredient in vinegar.

Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, which converts the sugars to alcohol, says Vanessa Rissetto, M.S., R.D., CEO and co-founder of Culina Health. In a second fermentation step, the alcohol is converted into vinegar bacteria.

Taste-wise, apple cider vinegar has a strong, tart flavor with a hint of apples.

Lets get one thing clear up front: The only scientifically sound, proven way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories than you burn (or entering a calorie deficit) and exercising regularly to burn off any extra. As for how ACV may help with that, the evidence is scant.

One study in the Journal of Functional Foods, which followed 39 adults, found that participants who consumed a tablespoon of ACV at lunch and dinner, while cutting 250 calories per day, lost 8.8 lbs in 12 weeks. On the other hand, those who cut the same number of calories but didnt consume ACV lost only 5 lbs.

In another study in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 144 adults with obesity were randomly assigned to drink either a placebo or one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, those who drank two tablespoons had lost close to 4 lbs, while those who drank one tablespoon lost 2.5 lbs. (Those who drank the placebo actually gained a little bit of weight.) However, those findings alone dont prove that ACV is a magic fat melter. These studies were done on very small populations, says Erin Palinksi-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., L.D.N. But the consistent results indicate that ACV may be a beneficial tool in reducing body weight.

More research is warranted to confirm the health benefits of ACV, but there is the most evidence around its potential for blood sugar management, says Gregory Curtis, M.D., a weight loss doctor and director of clinical care at knownwell. Studies have shown that drinking vinegar may improve insulin function and lower blood sugar when consumed after meals. A 2021 review also found that ACV consumption may benefit glycemic status in adults, but disclaimed that additional research is necessary to fully understand its health applications.

Ultimately, all the research on ACV and weight loss is from small studiesand its really hard to draw conclusions from those, says Cording. We really dont have any conclusive data on this, she adds.

But it may help in other ways.

Any satiety prompted by ACV is typically due to delayed gastric emptying, which happens when digestion slows, leaving you fuller, longer, explains Dr. Curtis. Nausea, which is a semi-common symptom of drinking ACV, he explains, may also cause some food aversion, but wont necessarily cause fullness.

Its also possible that ACV might directly make you want to eat lessthis is what experts call improved satiation. One study by Carol Johnston, Ph.D., in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that participants who drank the fermented liquid before a meal consumed up to 275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day. But again, the reasons behind that are murky.

On top of that, ACV seems to have properties that could potentially support your weight-loss efforts. For instance, a 2013 study from the Journal of Functional Foods suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar before eating is linked to smaller blood sugar spikes. Another 2010 study from the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism shows that having two teaspoons of ACV during mealtime could help reduce sugar crashes and keep blood sugar levels stabilized. Why this happens isnt totally clear, but nutrition researchers like Johnston, who has studied ACV at Arizona State University for years, suspect that compounds in the vinegar interfere with the absorption of some starches.

That matters because blood sugar highs and lows tend to lead to cravings for sugary snacks. So, if apple cider vinegar can help control blood sugar, this could help manage cravings and portion control, potentially leading to fewer calories consumed, explains Amy Goodson, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.

Whats more, a 2014 study from the Journal of Food Science suggests that vinegars, such as apple cider vinegar, can help reduce the effects of diabetes and prevent cardiovascular disease due to its antioxidant activity. Apple cider vinegar has high levels of a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, which could help improve heart health by inhibiting the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol.

Theres not enough recent and conclusive evidence to say that ACV is a body fat or weight loss solution, says Dr. Curtis. Overall, ACV is no magic bullet for weight loss based on the evidence at hand, says Dr. Curtis. However, if you use ACV to replace more calorie-dense salad dressings and marinades that you use often, it could help you lose weight by cutting calories, Cording points out.

Ultimately, its up to you. If you want to try ACV, stick with a tablespoon no more than twice daily, and always dilute it in eight ounces of water, recommends Palinski-Wade, which may increase the chances that it will boost your satiety and help keep your blood sugar steady.

If you cant stomach the idea of drinking vinegar, think about working it into your meals instead. Try drizzling ACV and olive oil over a salad or steamed veggies, says Palinski-Wade. Or add a tablespoon of ACV to a smoothie.

To maximize the health benefits, choose an ACV thats labeled raw and unfiltered. Unfiltered versions contain proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria from the vinegar starter or mother, Palinski-Wade says. Try Bragg Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar or Spectrum Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.

As mentioned above, it may cause nausea or an upset stomach. And like all vinegar, ACVs high acidity can irritate your throat and strip tooth enamel, Johnston says. Plus, the acidity could bother you if you experience reflux, adds Rissetto. With that being said, its best to stick to the above recommendation of no more than a tablespoon twice daily, diluted in eight ounces of water. ACV should never be consumed straight, Palinski-Wade warns.

And if you already have gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach), use caution. One study noted may help delay the process of gastric emptying in those with type 1 diabetes.

Definitely go slow with this one, Cording adds. I dont recommend doing a shot or anythingthat will really hurt your esophagus.

Ultimately, Cording says, whenever someone tells me that they want to be taking apple cider vinegar in liquid form or supplement form for weight loss, I usually try to steer them in another direction.

Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer for Prevention, Parade, Womens Health, Redbook, and others. Shes also the co-author of Preventions Eat Clean, Stay Lean: The Diet and Preventions Mediterranean Kitchen. Visit her at marygracetaylor.com.

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Dietitians Explain Whether Apple Cider Vinegar Actually Works for Weight Loss - Prevention Magazine


Mar 22

Detox or Cleanse? What To Know Before You Start – Health Essentials

Be gone, toxins! Those three words sum up the main objective of many internal cleanses and detoxes. These quick-fix programs supposedly remove all sorts of icky stuff from your body to make you healthier.

Its easy to do, too: Just swap out some regular ol foods in favor of some special drinks, powders or smoothies, and then let the magic happen!

If you think that all sounds too good to be true well, you may be onto something. So, lets explore the world of cleanses and detoxes a little more with registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, LD.

Fans of cleanses and detoxes often claim they experience benefits like:

So, how does this happen? The theory is that eliminating solid foods or specific food groups helps your body shed toxins gumming up your system. Detoxification diets and cleanses often recommend consuming primarily drinks like special water, tea or fruit and vegetable juices.

The idea is to give your digestive system a break, allowing it to heal and better absorb nutrients in the future, explains Patton. And most of the time, the ingredients suggested in a cleanse or detox arent necessarily bad for you.

The terms cleanse and detox are often used interchangeably. In some cases, theyre even merged in phrasing. (A detox cleanse, anyone?)

If there is a subtle difference, though, its this: Cleanses tend to focus more directly on your digestive system and literally flushing you out, while detoxes may take a broader approach that extends to your liver, kidneys and other organs.

There isnt exactly a mountain of scientific research proving that cleanses or detoxes offer the many claimed health benefits, reports the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Now, its true that a few small research studies show positive results for weight loss, insulin resistance and blood pressure but the research isnt quite rock solid, according to the NCCIH.

And various study reviews of detoxification diets raise more doubt than offer validation.

Bottom line? Be skeptical of health claims connected to cleanses or detoxes. Theyre just not likely to do what they say, says Patton.

While cleanses and detoxes may not work magic, there are some potential benefits, notes Patton. They include:

Theres a chance that trying a detox or cleanse may create a health issue instead of resolving one. Concerns about detoxification programs include:

Theres no shortage of cleanse and detox programs. Just go searching for ideas on TikTok. Its overwhelming. But here are a few of the more popular options and why they deserve some caution.

Consider green tea the official drink of superfoods. For proof, check out this medical literature review. It gushes about green teas ability to combat cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other health concerns,

Good stuff, that green tea but that doesnt mean drinking it by the gallon can cleanse your whole system and make you more radiant.

Too much green tea can cause issues, too. Drinking an excessive quantity of green tea or taking high dosages of green tea supplements is linked to arrhythmias, sleep disturbance, constipation, high blood pressure, rash and liver injury, warns Patton.

An entire industry has been built around the notion of cleaning out your system with a series of juices. The idea is that all those vitamins and minerals can kick-start your system by purging toxins and giving you a clean slate.

At least one study shows that because juicing is commonly associated with low consumption of calories, it can lead to some quick weight loss. But the effects arent likely to last.

Some people claim that drinking water laced with lemon, apple cider, cayenne pepper or other additives will do amazing things for you. Clearer skin! Weight loss! Better poops! The list goes on and on.

Lets start with the obvious: Theres nothing wrong with drinking water, which is super important for your body to function properly.

But a water detox drink? Meh. Its probably not going to do much for you. But if flavoring your water with a little cucumber or vinegar for that matter is your thing, go for it. Just dont expect any miracles, cautions Patton.

And be careful not to chug excessive amounts of water. Drinking too much can flush out electrolytes your body needs, says Patton. (Pro tip: If you drink so much water that your pee is constantly clear, youre overdoing it.)

Learn more about how much water you need a day.

Theres little proof that a planned cleanse or detox lives up to the promises and high expectations often connected to the concept.

In a way, too, youre trying to do something your body naturally does. Your digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin break down toxins daily and get rid of them through your urine, stool and sweat.

Your body is built to take care of business, says Patton. If you fuel it with a balanced diet of whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes, itll help you get the results youre looking for without starting a special cleanse or detox.

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Detox or Cleanse? What To Know Before You Start - Health Essentials


Mar 13

Does the GOLO Diet work? Experts explain the pros, cons, and risks – Fortune

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Does the GOLO Diet work? Experts explain the pros, cons, and risks - Fortune


Mar 13

Plant-Based Low-Carb Diets Work Best for Weight Management – Health.com

People who cut carbohydrates from their diet often turn to meat as a replacement, but a new study suggests that loading up on plant-based foods instead could lead to less long-term weight gain.

The research, published in JAMA Network Open, found that low-carb dieters who relied heavily on animal-based protein gained more weight over time than those embracing foods such as non-starchy vegetables and whole grains.

The key takeaway here is that not all low-carbohydrate diets are created equal when it comes to managing weight in the long-term, study author Qi Sun, MD, ScD, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release.

People who follow a low-carb diet often restrict carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, fruit, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and legumes. Instead, they focus on obtaining calories from protein and fat.

Researchers have long linked low-carb diets with rapid weight loss, but fewer studies have examined how the eating plan affects weight in the long term.

Our study goes beyond the simple question of, To carb or not to carb? lead author Binkai Liu, a research assistant at Harvard Universitys Department of Nutrition, said in the release. It dissects the low-carbohydrate diet and provides a nuanced look at how the composition of these diets can affect health over years, not just weeks or months.

Heres what you need to know about the study, the benefits of eating plant-based foods, and how to incorporate more of them into your diet.

recep-bg / Getty Images

The study used data from 123,000 generally healthy medical professionals enrolled in several ongoing studies that began in the 1970s and 80s. Participants in the current study were between ages 25 and 65 and all followed a low-carb diet. More than 80% were women, and most were white.

Researchers analyzed reports participants filled out every four years about their eating habits and weight. Then they divided participants into categories based on their eating patterns.

The researchers found a significant association between slower long-term weight gain and diets emphasizing plant-based foods and healthy carbs and fats.On the other hand, they found a link between diets heavy in animal products or refined carbs and weight gain over time.

The associations were particularly pronounced for participants who were younger than 55, overweight or obese, or relatively sedentary.

Our findings could shake up the way we think about popular low-carbohydrate diets and suggest that public health initiatives should continue to promote dietary patterns that emphasize healthful foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, Sun said in the release.

Toby Amidor, RD, registered dietitian and cookbook author, told Health that the study is reflective of previous studies that promote healthy foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other wholesome foods when on a low-carb diet.

Given that 90% of Americans dont meet their daily recommendation for vegetables and 85% dont meet their daily recommendation for fruit per the dietary guidelines, eating more plants in general on any diet, including a low-carb one, can be beneficial, especially if those foods replace higher calorie, lower nutrient-dense foods, she said.

If youre following a low-carb diet, loading up on plant-based foods can provide benefits beyond potentially preventing long-term weight gain.

The evidence has been pretty clear that we should all be eating a more plant-based diet, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, author of The Plant-Powered Plan to Beat Diabetes, told Health. These diets are rich in fibers, healthy fats, micronutrients, and phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.

A bulk of research has linked the Mediterranean diet, an eating pattern emphasizing healthy fats and plant-based foods, not only with weight loss but many other health benefits, such as a reduced risk of developing heart disease, strokes, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers. Some studies show it may even boost brain health for older adults.

Its important to note that incorporating some animal products into your eating plan doesnt negate the benefits of a plant-rich diet and doesnt necessarily mean you wont lose weight.

In fact, research has shown that adding small quantities of leaner, minimally processed animal protein could even help you stay slim. In a paper published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research in 2015, for example, researchers concluded that people who incorporate poultry meat into a vegetable-rich diet have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Furthermore, a study from 2019 found a link between fish intake and a reduced chance of developing obesity.

While veggies like broccoli, lettuce, and zucchini might spring to mind when you imagine plant-based foods, a low-carb plant-rich diet isnt solely about eating leafy greens and other non-starchy veggiesthough they are undoubtedly nutritious choices. There are many options to choose from.

Here are some other ingredients to integrate into your diet if youre cutting back on carbs but ramping up on plants:

While following a plant-based diet has general benefits, its always a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider before changing your eating patterns.

Some people may need to avoid certain ingredientsthose with thyroid disorders, for example, may have to limit their intake of goitrogenic foods like raw cruciferous vegetables.

You can also discuss how to plan meals carefully so that you dont miss out on essential nutrients found predominantly in animal protein: vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Plant-Based Low-Carb Diets Work Best for Weight Management - Health.com


Mar 13

Why weight-loss diets don’t work long-term – New Zealand Herald

Diet culture makes us ashamed of our bodies, but weight-loss diets dont work long-term or lead to better health. Photo / Getty Images

Question:

I am elderly and after struggling all my life to keep my weight at a reasonable level, I succeeded with the help of a diet company. So I know all about healthy eating, the importance of exercising regularly and my psychology. But successive Covid lockdowns sent my resolutions out the window: Ive put on weight, none of my clothes fit, and I hate how I look. How do I lose weight safely?

Answer:

While many diets produce weight loss in the short term, almost all diets fail long-term, and typically, all lost weight is regained within three to five years. Despite this conspicuous failure rate, the dieter is still blamed for the failure rather than the dieting process itself. It is time we examined our beliefs about weight loss, diets and health.

The desire to lose weight is typically founded on the assumption that this will improve health. This ignores the lack of evidence that intentional weight loss improves health outcomes independently of behaviour changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a more nutritious diet, a 2022 article in Frontiers of Psychiatry noted. It is likely the acts of exercising regularly and eating healthier foods improve health outcomes rather than weight loss as such. Weight loss is neither a prerequisite for improved health nor an appropriate target for treatment, the article noted.

Moreover, being overweight is associated with improved mortality among community-dwelling older adults, a 2022 study published in Gerontology found.

So, why are overweight people encouraged to diet and become skinny? Diet culture is a widespread belief system in Western cultures that equates thinness with health, gives social status to weight loss and exercise behaviours, prioritises control and restriction of foods, moralises food choices, and contributes significantly to body dissatisfaction. Studies since 1985 have reported variously that 69-84% of American women were dissatisfied with their bodies; 93% of 168 female students surveyed at a Spanish university wanted to change at least three areas of their body; and 60% of Austrian women aged 60-70 were dissatisfied with their bodies. Women, no matter their age, are habitually unhappy with their bodies and want to be thinner.

Social scientists have long been aware of this cultural phenomenon. For example, the impact of Western diet culture was profoundly demonstrated in Fiji during the 1990s when broadcasters introduced Western television shows. Until then, bulimia nervosa had been unheard of in the Pacific Island nation.

However, three years after the introduction of Western soap operas and advertisements, Fijian teenage girls reported dissatisfaction with their bodies. Critical indicators of disordered eating were now present, with 11% of Fijian teenage girls inducing vomiting to control their body weight. While 74% reported feeling too big or fat sometimes, 83% stated that television had influenced their feelings or their friends feelings about their body shape or weight.

Diet culture is all around us but is not consciously seen. It shapes how women (and men) think and feel about our bodies and eating habits, whether through newspaper headlines, magazine advertisements for womens shapewear, derogatory jokes about fat bodies, or metaphors like you are what you eat.

You mentioned that you hate how you look, and that is a very telling illustration of diet cultures impact on women. It is unfortunate that even at retirement age, diet culture is still able to make women feel less than worthy because of their body weight.

The problem is not your body weight but instead that our culture has convinced you that losing weight is the only path to good health and looking good. You know about healthy eating, the importance of exercising regularly and understanding your psychology, so focus on those things, not your body weight, and your body will settle into its natural weight range. That weight may not be what diet culture tells you it should be or what you wish to be, but your body is the ultimate authority in this case, and no amount of dieting will permanently downsize your body to a weight it cannot sustain long-term.

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Why weight-loss diets don't work long-term - New Zealand Herald


Jan 27

Crash diets may work against you and could have permanent consequences – New Zealand Herald

Crash diets may work against you and may make weight loss more difficult. Photo / 123rf

Those trying to kick-start their weight loss or wanting to lose a few pounds before a big event or holiday may be tempted to try a crash diet. While its true that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses each day, crash diets may actually work against you and may make weight loss more difficult.

Crash diets have been around for years, but have stayed popular more recently thanks to influencers and social media. Typically, these diets involve drastically reducing calorie intake to 800-1200 calories a day for a few weeks at a time. Proponents of these diets claim they can lead to rapid weight loss, which may explain why they have such a significant appeal.

Indeed, research has shown these diets can be very effective for certain people.

In a study of 278 adults with obesity, a 12-week crash diet of 810 calories a day led to greater weight loss after 12 months than people who reduced their calories only by portion control. The crash diet group lost an average of nearly 11kg versus 3kg in the moderate diet group.

Similarly, one study showed that very low-calorie diets may be beneficial for people with type-2 diabetes. The researchers found that 60 per cent of participants who ate 600 calories a day for eight weeks were able to put their type-2 diabetes into remission. They also lost about 15kg on average.

A follow-up at 12 weeks showed participants put about 3kg back on but, importantly, their blood sugar levels remained similar.

But while these diets may lead to short-term weight loss success in some people, they can have the long-term consequence of damaging your metabolism. This may explain why about 80 per cent of diets fail with the person ultimately putting all the weight they lost back on, or even gaining more than they lost.

Your metabolism is the sum of all chemical reactions in the body. Its responsible for converting the food we eat into energy and storing any surplus energy as fat. Your metabolism is affected by many things, including diet, exercise and your hormones. Crash diets affect all these components.

With a crash diet, you consume far less food than normal. This means your body doesnt need to use as much energy (calories) to digest and absorb the foods youve eaten. You also lose muscle. All these factors lower metabolic rate meaning the body will burn fewer calories when not exercising.

In the short term, crash diets can lead to feelings of tiredness, which makes doing any activity (let alone a workout) challenging. This is because less energy is available and what is available is prioritised for life-sustaining reactions.

In the long term, crash diets can change the hormone makeup of our bodies. They increase our stress hormones, such as cortisol. And over an extended period, typically months, high cortisol levels can cause our bodies to store more fat.

Crash diets can also reduce levels of the hormone T3, which is produced by the thyroid gland. Its critical in regulating our basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body needs to sustain itself). Long-term changes in T3 levels can lead to hypothyroidism and weight gain.

Together, all these changes make the body more adept at putting on weight when you begin consuming more calories again. And these changes may exist for months, if not years.

If youre trying to lose weight, the best strategy is to follow a long-term, gradual weight-loss diet.

Gradual diets have been shown to be more sustainable and have a less negative impact on your metabolic rate than crash diets. Gradual diets can also help maintain energy levels enough to exercise, which can help you lose weight.

These types of diet also preserve the function of our mitochondria the calorie-burning powerhouses in our muscles. This creates a greater capacity for burning calories even after we finish dieting.

The ideal diet is one that reduces body weight by about 0.5 to 1kg a week. The number of calories youll need to eat per day will depend on your starting weight and how physically active you are.

Eating certain foods can also help maintain your metabolism while dieting.

Fats and carbohydrates use fewer calories to power digestion, compared with protein. Indeed, high-protein diets increase your metabolic rate 11-14 per cent above normal levels, whereas diets high in carbohydrates or fats can only do this by 4-8 per cent. As such, try to ensure about 30 per cent of your days calories are made up of protein when trying to lose weight.

High-protein diets also help you feel fuller for longer. One study found that, when a participants diet consisted of 30 per cent protein, they consumed 441 calories fewer over the 12-week study period compared with a 15 per cent protein diet. This ultimately led to 5kg weight loss, of which 3.7kg was fat loss.

While it may be tempting to crash diet if youre trying to lose weight fast, it could have long-term consequences for your metabolism. The best way to lose weight is to slightly reduce the number of calories you need per day, exercise and eat plenty of protein.

See the article here:
Crash diets may work against you and could have permanent consequences - New Zealand Herald


Jan 3

The popular diets that do and don’t work, according to a dietitian – Body+Soul

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The popular diets that do and don't work, according to a dietitian - Body+Soul


Jan 3

Low Carb Diet Meal Plan: Dietitians Share Foods To Eat And Tips – TODAY

Low Carb Diet Meal Plan: Dietitians Share Foods To Eat And Tips  TODAY

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Low Carb Diet Meal Plan: Dietitians Share Foods To Eat And Tips - TODAY



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