Thursday, July 11, 2013

Study of Diets and Cholesterol

It was a fascinating report in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at three approaches to diet; the low-carb diet, the low-fat diet, and the so-called Mediterranean Diet.  They all achieve weight loss and improve cholesterol, but the low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two.  The study lasted two years and 85% of the people stuck to their diets.  That's pretty amazing.  Three hundred and twenty-two participants who worked in a controlled environment, in an isolated nuclear research facility in Israel, got their main meal of the day.  For breakfast or dinner the participants were on their own, but the dieters were counseled on how to stick to their eating plans and they were asked to fill out questionnaires on what they ate.  In case you are wondering, the low fat diet included no more than 30% of calories from fat, restricted calories and cholesterol and focused on low fat grains, vegetables and fruits as options.  The Mediterranean Diet had similar calorie, fat and cholesterol restrictions and emphasized poultry, fish, olive oil and nuts. 

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