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Low-Carb Diet or Low-Fat Diet: Which Is Better?

Written on September 12, 2014 at 9:52 am , by

We all know by now that maintaining a healthy weight promotes heart health. But finding the golden path to get you there can be an everlasting challenge, which is why there’s been so much buzz around a recent study that found low-carb diets to be more effective in aiding with weight loss and cardiovascular health than low-fat diets.

But before you run to the grocery store and stock your cart with strictly carb-free foods, there are some important facts about the study to keep in mind. We spoke with cardiologist James Beckerman, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member, to get the deets.

1. While participants on the low-carb diet lost an average of 8 more pounds than those on the low-fat diet, the study only followed each participant for one year. “We don’t know beyond a year what happened to these people,” Beckerman says.

2. Close to 90 percent of the weight loss among the low-carb group occurred within the first three months of the diet. “I think at the end of the day, every diet has a honeymoon period,” he says. “It’s showing the benefits of each diet were more significant just in the first three months as compared to over the whole year.”

3. Within the first three months of the study, the low-carb group ate fewer calories than the low-fat group. However, by the end of the study, the low-carb group had upped their calorie intake by 15 percent, while the low-fat group only upped theirs by 7.5 percent. “That kind of speaks to the fact that perhaps the low-fat dieters were able to stick with their diet a little bit longer term than the low-carb people,” Beckerman points out.

While we still can’t say a golden one-size-fits-all diet exists (everything in moderation, people!), keep in mind that making small changes to the kinds of nom-noms you’re placing in your mouth can reduce your cardiovascular disease risk. Avoiding as many processed foods as possible—especially processed meats— and trans fats is key. And make sure to pack in extra fiber to keep your cholesterol low.

Photo by Sarah Kehoe

More from FITNESS:

How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

Keep On Ticking: Your Essential Guide to Heart Health

The Heart Disease Prevention Guide for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s

Fit Links: An Equipment-Free Home Workout Challenge and 2012′s Top Fitness Findings

Written on December 21, 2012 at 11:02 am , by

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Save those dumbbells for another day. You won’t even need them for this workout! (Photo by Jason Todd)

Choosing the Best Canned Soup

Written on December 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm , by


alphabet soup

Photo by iStockphoto

By Kati Mora, RD for DietsInReview.com

As the weather turns colder, nothing quite hits the spot like a bowl or cup of delicious soup. Homemade soup is typically the most nutritious option for when you’re on a diet, because you have total control over which ingredients you add or omit from the mix…but it’s not always possible on a hectic day.

When canned soup is more convenient, knowing how to determine which ones are your best choice is important. Not all canned soups are created equal, so here’s what to look at on the label:

Cream-based soups are often higher in fat than their broth-based counterparts. Although this is an admitted generalization, you can be sure you are choosing a soup low in fat by checking the label. If your soup has 3 grams or less of fat per serving, consider it a low-fat choice.

Canned soups are notorious for their often high sodium content. Again, broth-based soups are typically lower in sodium than cream-based options, but this may not always be the case. You’re best bet? Soups that have 360 grams of sodium or less in each serving.

If you can, try to grab a can of soup that has at least 10% of its daily value of fiber. Most Americans don’t get enough of this very important nutrient. Plus, the more fiber your soup has, the more likely it will keep you feeling full.

Vitamins and Minerals
The more nutrients your canned soup has, the better. Look for soups that have plenty of vegetables, beans, and lentils. These ingredients can increase the amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and protein your soup has and help you more easily reach your daily nutritional needs. Plus, bean- and lentil-based soups are often higher in fiber and lower in sodium than other soup varieties.

Look for the Word “Healthy”
Soups that use the word “Healthy” in their brand name are required to meet specific guidelines. Brands such as Healthy Choice, Campbell’s Healthy Request, and Healthy Valley must keep sodium levels below a certain threshold, as set forth by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that these food may have a lower sodium option than others; however, it is still important to turn the can around and determine for yourself whether the sodium levels in each can meet your own specific requirements for health.

MORE from DietsinReview.com: If you do want to prepare your own healthy soup, try these recipes. It’s easy to spend some time on the weekend making a big batch (or two), filling single-serving containers, and then freezing or refrigerating for the perfect brown bag lunch during the week.


Diet Face-Off: The Most Popular Diets of 2011

Written on December 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm , by

Happy Woman on Scale

Photo by iStockPhoto

By Brandi Koskie for DietsInReview.com

Each year, every web site and publication comes out with their year-in-review lists, including the best and worst of everything from movies and fashion to Twitter trends and songs. DIR’s list includes the most popular diets of the year. Stick to what you know, right?

For the past four years there have been a few mainstays on the list, like Nutrisystem, Medifast, and Jillian Michaels. This year we saw newcomers from celebrity-endorsed weight loss plans, like Kirstie Alley’s Organic Liaison, Suzanne Somers’ Sexy Forever (with a forthcoming cookbook), and the rumored Dukan Diet of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

While the complete list of 20 includes the fads and the fantastic, there are a few that can be deemed most popular. According to DIR’s readers, the most popular diets of the year were:

17 Day Diet and 17 Day Diet Meal Plan
It’s the first time in DIR history that Weight Watchers hasn’t filled the top spot. After selling a million copies this year, as well as a 17 Day Diet Workbook and a version in Spanish, everyone from Dr. Phil to your favorite aunt was talking about Dr. Mike Moreno’s diet and fitness plan. It’s a four-cycle plan that integrates nutrition and fitness is a manageable way that sets you up for life-long success. The book was number one and the complementary meal delivery program, fulfilled by Bistro M.D., took position three.

Weight Watchers
With Jennifer Hudson singing the brand’s praises and a complete re-engineered plan called PointsPlus, Weight Watchers was a mainstay in the lives of many this year. It’s one of the most flexible weight loss programs out there, using the points program to let users make their own choices about food and exercise. Eating nutritionally dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains will fill you up and keep you within range; however, a chocolate cake splurge or day without exercise could quickly deplete your point stock, not to mention progress to goal.

Jillian Michaels Online
She may have left Biggest Loser, but Jillian’s presence over the fitness industry reigns supreme. Her daily appearances as a co-host on The Doctors no doubt helped raise the visibility of her no-nonsense and highly effective workouts. Subscribers to her online program will find meal plans and nutrition guidance, customized workout plans, a support community, and much more. You can supplement your work there with any one of her books, DVDs, or other products.

TELL US: Did you try a diet this year? Did it work and why or why not?