Healthy diet has long-lasting effects even if weight is gained

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Following a ‘healthy’ Mediterranean or low-carbohydrate diets could have long lasting benefits on blood lipid profiles, even if weight is gained later, say researchers.

The findings – reported in the New England Journal of Medicine​ (NEJM​) – follow up the findings of a two year dietary trial published four years ago. That ‘landmark’ study (originally reported here​) suggested beneficial metabolic effects to low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets.

Led by Dr Dan Schwarzfuchs from the Nuclear Research Centre Negev, Israel, the follow-up study reveals that these healthy effects metabolic effects persist for the long term – even in people who have since stopped dieting and partially regained weight.

"Our follow-up subsequent data shows lasting, positive effects of Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets six years later,”​ said Schwarzfuchs.

The results suggest that the lipid profile – including lower cholesterol, triglycerides and arteriosclerosis – improved for the long term, regardless of partial regain of weight.

"This breakthrough, even years later, continues to yield valuable information that can help every one of us make healthier diet choices,"​ said Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The research was funded the Nuclear Research Center Negev; the Israel Ministry of Health, and the Atkins Research Foundation.

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