Many popular weight loss diets not heart healthy

October 4, 2007 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Many popular weight loss diets not heart healthy

Many of today's popular weight-loss diets fail to supply good nutrition, says a new study published by the American Dietetic Association.

The researchers examined six of the most popular diets from the New York Times bestsellers list, popular commercial plans from Weight Watchers, and the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.  

Each diet was measured on a the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) which gauges how heart-healthy a diet is based on how much fruits, vegetables and fibre it contains. The AHEI also looks at the ratio of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats versus so-called "bad" saturated fats.

At the bottom of the list were the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet and Weight Watchers High-Protein plan. These diets emphasize red meat, saturated fat and trans fat while limiting fruit and fibre intake. The researchers warned against using these diets for weight loss as they may compromise heart health.

Low-fat, vegetarian and high-carbohydrate diets that emphasize high fibre carbs scored the highest for heart disease prevention and overall nutrition. These diets include the Ornish plan, the New Glucose Revolution and the Weight-Watchers High-Carbohydrate plan.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.