Sunday, October 16, 2011

Atkins Pounds Other Popular Diets in U.S. Test

(HealthDay News) -- The low-carbohydrate, high-protein Atkins diet has nabbed first place in a yearlong, U.S. government-funded study of four popular weight-loss regimens.

Women on the Atkins plan lost nearly 11 pounds on average over 12 months -- almost double that of participants on the Zone diet, the Ornish diet, and a diet favored by nutritionists called LEARN.

There didn't seem to be a downside to the Atkins diet, either -- at least in the short-term. The Stanford University researchers who conducted the trial of 311 overweight women found no differences in heart disease risk factors between the four groups, despite the fact that Atkins practitioners were given free rein when it came to fat intake.

"We've all been worried that the high saturated fat content of Atkins would be bad for you," said study author Christopher Gardner, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. The plan's high-fat levels "still make us nervous," he said, "but I think the weight loss that comes with the diet must be more powerful" in keeping cholesterol and other heart risk factors at bay. Read more...

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