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Vegetarian, low-calorie, Mediterranean and even intermittent fasting: today there are countless diets that guarantee rapid or gradual weight loss depending on the needs of each individual. But what is the most effective without harming your health? Researchers from Harvard University have looked into this topic, noting that low-carb diets consisting primarily of plant proteins and fats, in addition to so-called “healthy” carbohydrates, slow weight gain in the long term.
“Our study goes beyond the simple question of “carbs or no carbs.” She dissects the low-carb diet and provides a nuanced look at how the combination of these diets affects health over years, not just weeks or months.“, explains Bincai Liu, of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who coordinated this work. In a press release. To reach such conclusions, the researchers set out to evaluate different types of low-carb diets, the benefits of which are already known for short-term weight loss.
The team of American scientists analyzed the diet and weight of 123,332 healthy adults, between 1986 and 2018, from three large studies (Nurses' Health Study, Nurses' Health Study II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study). All people included in this research were asked to provide information about their diet and weight every four years, knowing that the researchers relied on five categories of low-carb diets. Which can focus in particular on fats and proteins of animal or plant origin but also on eating fewer carbohydrates in general.
Published in the magazine The JAMA Network is openTheir work reveals that the most effective diets for reducing weight gain in the long term are those based on proteins and fats of plant origin and so-called “healthy” carbohydrates – in other words including proteins of plant origin, healthy fats and lower amounts of fat. Refined carbohydrates. The researchers determine that participants who chose the other three diets, including the one consisting of proteins and fats of animal origin, gained on average more weight than the others over the years. They also point out that these results were more conclusive in participants who were younger than 55 years of age, were overweight or obese, and were less physically active.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and legumes
According to this work, these diets rely on legumes (lentils and beans), whole grains, or soy products, in addition to vegetable oils, avocados, seeds, etc., which are associated with fruits and vegetables, and are low in calories. Fatty dairy products, which will be most efficient in the long run. We also note that the scientific conclusions on the basis of a basic diet and vegetable origins include: the results of the participants’ findings in the Nurses’ Health Study II on the basis of a healthy diet. at the long term. This would prompt researchers to do more in-depth work.
“The bottom line is that not all low-carb diets are equal when it comes to long-term weight management. Our findings could change the way we view popular low-carb diets, and suggest that public health initiatives should continue to promote dietary patterns that focus on healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.“, concludes one of the lead authors of the study.
These results are consistent with the dietary recommendations specified in National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS) It was launched in the early 2000s in France. This includes a preference for fruits, vegetables, dried vegetables, unsalted nuts and homemade products, at the expense of sugary drinks, fatty, salty and sugary foods, highly processed foods, meat and cold cuts or even alcohol. It is also recommended to switch to whole-grain breads and cereals, alternating between fatty and lean fish, rapeseed oil, walnuts and olive oil. All this is complemented by regular physical activity.
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