This study blows the lid off these 3 super popular diets

Surviving indefinite self-isolation has a lot to do with staying active. In the months since national social restrictions have been imposed, people have taken up hobbies, finished novels and even reconsidered their diet resolutions in an effort to keep a level head until the tide begins to turn. 

Staying fit is particularly important during our developing health crisis, so it’s important you don’t allow fads to waste your time—even if you suddenly have a lot of it.

Researchers from China, America, Switzerland, and Canada collaborated on a new study indexing the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular diet regimens. According to their data, most offer the same weight loss and cardiovascular benefits. However, after six months the pros begin to taper off and by a year these same results are wholly indiscernible. 

“A plethora of choice but no clear winner,” said the researchers. 

“One-hundred and twenty-one eligible trials with 21,942 patients were included and reported on 14 named diets and three control diets, ” the authors wrote in the new report. “Moderate certainty evidence shows that most macronutrient diets, over six months, result in modest weight loss and substantial improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, particularly blood pressure. At 12 months the effects on weight reduction and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors largely disappear.”

Unsurprisingly, these finds did not apply to The Mediterranean diet. Those who correctly adhered to this regimen and ones similar to it enjoyed benefits well beyond a year. 

“Weight reduction at the 12-month follow-up diminished, and aside from the Mediterranean diet for LDL reduction, improvements in cardiovascular risk factors largely disappeared,” the authors continued. 

Ultimately the differences between popular fads were found to be fractional at best. 

The Atkins, DASH, and Zone were associated with the largest weight loss benefits with a medium reduction of seven to 12 pounds ascribed to each during the study window and significant cardiovascular improvements observable for up to six months. Unfortunately, none of the diets studied offered any notable boosts to good cholesterol (HDL) or C reactive proteins. 

“If we are to change the weight trajectory of whole populations, we may learn more from understanding how commercial diet companies engage and retain their customers, and translate that knowledge into more effective health promotion campaigns,” the authors conclude.

There are conflicting objectives at play, both within the diet industry and among its subscribers. Maintaining a healthy BMI and achieving a desirable figure isn’t always conducive to one another. 

The Mediterranean diet was an outlier in the new study published in the BMJ journal because the diet tends to promote relevant lifestyle adjustments 

Limiting food groups in favor of healthy ones yields optimal results with the help of regular physical activity and a secure mental state. ‘

“Conversations should shift away from a specific choice of diet, and focus instead on how best to maintain any weight loss achieved. The researchers believe these elements should be included more frequently in commercial diet advertisements. The researchers told EurekAlert. “As national dietary guidelines fail to resonate with the public, taking a food-based approach with individuals and encouraging them to eat more vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and less sugar, salt and alcohol is sound advice.”

Read the full paper in the BMJ Journal as well as  Ladders step by step guide to The Mediterranean Diet and The Blue Zone diet.