Are focused diets good enough? » Are focused diets good enough?

Are focused diets good enough? » Are focused diets good enough?

Are focused diets good enough? » Are focused diets good enough?Popular diets that emphasize one type of food, such as carbohydrates or proteins, may not contribute to a person’s overall health, University of Cincinnati researchers conclude in a recent study.

The scientists reviewed a range of studies of diets, including low-carb/high-fat regimens and low-fat/high-carb regimens, to see if any of them produced long-term health benefits.

And the verdict?

“We’re starting to be able to say what we can recommend in the short term, but we don’t have long- term studies,” says Bonnie Brehm, a professor in UC’s College of Nursing and co-author of the paper. “We need studies of at least two years’ duration to say what are the long-term effects.”

There’s no doubt that you can lose weight with any of these plans, Brehm says. Nor does any of these causes any detrimental short-term effects.

But the question remains whether following any of these diets long-term will have adverse health effects. The answer to that question could be critical for doctors and other providers, Brehm says.

“Health-care professionals need to know whether we should be encouraging people to stay on these diets and make these permanent lifestyle changes or not,” says Brehm, a dietitian.

None of the most popular diets has been tested over time in clinical studies, she says. Even the Mediterranean diet, followed in that part of the world, has never been studied under carefully controlled conditions, says Brehm, whose review is in the March issue of Nature Clinical Practice.

Agencies

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