A large group of scientists have tested the effectiveness of popular diets that use cores to stop the progress of diseases and delay death. Of the seven diets, two work, and then with a stretch.
This follows from a study published in a well-known scientific publication – BMJ (The British Medical Journal).
Old science gives birth to new data
The scientists analyzed 40 previous studies that included observations of 35,548 people, lasting an average of about 3 years. This is a popular genre of scientific research, when high-quality publications are re-introduced into circulation. It is called meta-analysis, and by combining big data, it allows you to “dig” out of them new and important information.
The aim of the study was the impact of seven popular diets on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and death from them. All patients had a high risk of developing such ailments. The assessment of weight loss was not analyzed, although it was certainly observed in many cases – for such a contingent, health in general is more important than getting rid of a few kilograms.
Focusing on the Mediterranean Diet
The best was the famous Mediterranean diet, popular among lovers of healthy lifestyles in Russia. It reduced the number of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from them. For example, the overall risk of death was reduced by about 30%. In terms of a specific number, this is 17 saved lives among 1000 people, which, according to calculations, should have happened to them within 5 years. This is a decent indicator.
And more importantly, patients with a high risk of death, that is, with a large set of risk factors, received the maximum benefit from the diet. Among them, the number of lives saved was twice that: 36 deaths were canceled among 1000 people in 5 years. Plus, they had fewer strokes and heart attacks by 16 and 42, respectively. In patients at moderate risk, the number of lives saved was 13, plus 7 missed strokes and 17 heart attacks.
The second most useful was a low-fat diet. But it was less effective, about half of the Mediterranean. It only reduced overall mortality by 9 cases, and the number of heart attacks by 7. All these figures are also given for 1000 people and for a period of five years.
Diets that are recognized as outsiders
Information on all other diets was more modest. Sometimes they seemed to reduce mortality, heart attacks and strokes, but these figures were not reliable, and therefore could be explained by chance, and not by the diet itself.
For the information to be useful to our readers, it is worth naming these diets so that when choosing for themselves, they prefer more proven nutrition programs. In addition to the two named, scientists also evaluated the following diets:
– A very low fat diet. With such a diet, the patient receives less than 20% of all energy from fat, the remaining 80% is contributed by proteins and carbohydrates. By comparison, a typical low-fat diet, which has proven to be the best, consumes about 20-30% of daily calories as fat.
– Diet with modification of fats. With this diet, the total amount of fat consumed is normal, but the emphasis is on more healthy polyunsaturated fats (vegetable and marine). There are more of them in the diet than unhealthy saturated fats.
– Combination diets low in fat and sodium. Sodium restriction is due to the fact that salt (the main source of sodium) is bad for the cores.
— The diet of Dr. Ornish. This is essentially a vegetarian diet in which the amount of food is not limited so as not to experience hunger. The emphasis is on beans and legumes, vegetables, grains and fruits. At the same time, low-fat dairy products and desserts should be limited, and all animal foods should be avoided. If this is not possible, then at least severely limit its amount.
– Diet Pritikin. Unlike the others, she is less known in our country. Its inventor Nathan Pritikin became a healthy lifestyle enthusiast after 40 years. His diet is popular in the US. It is typically high in fiber, low in fat, meat, alcohol, and processed foods.