Saturday, November 27, 2021

Intermittent Fasting Can Lead to Weight Loss, Improvements in Type 2 Diabetes and the Cardiovascular System

Since diet is a key element in weight loss, weight maintenance, and overall health, a lot of research has gone into looking at different types of diets. One diet approach that has received much attention in the past several years is the intermittent fasting (IF) diet. Usually, in the IF diet, an individual follows a very low or zero calorie plan for some period, and a normal eating plan at other times. The diet can lead to weight loss. And IF studies have determined that the IF diets can be effective in glycemic control and cardiovascular improvements.

One study consisted of a control group and two intervention groups. One of the intervention groups followed a protocol using a 600 calorie diet for two days a week, and the other intervention group followed a protocol using a 600 calorie diet for 4 days a week. On the non-calorie-restricted days of the week, the participants in both intervention groups were free to eat anything they wanted.

At the end of the twentieth week, participants in both intervention groups showed a decrease in HbA1c and insulin resistance. Further, a 29% "diabetes remission without ... medication" was seen in both groups.

And another study indicated that the 5:2 IF diet, where a person follows a 500-to-600 calorie diet on two days of the week, and a normal diet on the other days of the week, is a beneficial diet. The diet allows an individual to lose weight and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, the study’s investigators “found that following weight loss, participants in the 5:2 group continue to eliminate fats (triglycerides) faster and more effectively than other volunteers. Scientists have also noticed a greater reduction in arterial systolic pressure associated with decreased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

So, healthcare providers might want to add IF to their weight loss tools. Not only could IF enable some patients to lose weight, but the weight loss approach might also lead to improvement in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Choose a Healthful Plant-Based Diet

Today, many people are following plant-based diets. These diets appear to be beneficial in combating many chronic diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease. One study has indicated that a plant-based diet is effective in lowering the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, plant-based diets are most beneficial when the diet is a healthful plant-based diet.

So, first of all, what exactly is a plant-based diet? Depending on who you talk to, a plant-based diet can be anything from a semi-vegetarian diet, consisting of very small portions of animal products, to a vegan diet, consisting of absolutely no animal products. At any rate, compared to diets that include a goodly number of animal products, healthful plant-based diets appear to be significantly helpful in lowering CHD.

So, what is a healthful plant-based diet? Well, a healthful plant-based diet is a diet that is a diet focused on the consumption of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts legumes and oils. A less healthful plant-based diet, for example, is a diet involving the large consumption of juices, refined grains and french fries.

To determine how a healthful plant-based diet can prevent CHD, in one study, researchers followed over 200,000 participants who had no CHD, stroke or coronary artery surgery. The participants were free of most cancers. The participants were asked to fill out a "questionnaire every 2 years on lifestyle, health behaviors, and mental health ... "

The researchers concluded that individuals that followed a diet, built around healthful plant foods, had a lower risk of CHD than those individuals that followed a diet containing less healthful plant foods.

Indeed, there are indications that the use of a healthful plant-based diet can improve health, in general, and CHD risk factors in particular. The evidence creates an opportunity for cardiologists and other healthcare providers. Therefore, healthcare providers should learn more about healthful plant-based diets and how to counsel patients on the benefits that can be gained from the diets.

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