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The Science Behind Diet Trends Like Mono, Charcoal Detox, Noom & Fast800

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Every year a new batch of diets become trendy. In the past, the blood group, ketogenic, Pioppi and gluten-free diets were among the most popular. These have made way for the mono diet, charcoal detox, Noom, time-restricted feeding and Fast800.

So what are these new diets and is there any scientific evidence to support them?


Read more: Health Check: six tips for losing weight without fad diets


1. Mono diet

The monotrophic or mono diet limits food intake to just one food group such as meat or fruit, or one individual food like potato or chicken, each day.

The mono diet has no scientific basis and no research has been done on it. It’s definitely a fad and should not be followed.

It leads to weight loss because your food intake is so limited (one food per day) that you get sick of that food very quickly and so automatically achieve a reduced kilojoule intake.

If you ate three apples at each main meal and had another three as between-meal snacks then your total kilojoule intake from the 12 apples would be about 4,000 kilojoules (950 calories).

The mono diet is nutritionally inadequate. The nutrients most deficient will depend on the individual foods consumed, but if you follow the mono diet long term, you would eventually develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

2. Charcoal detox

The charcoal detox diet claims to help people lose weight by “detoxing” them. It involves periods of fasting and consumption of tea or juice drinks that contain charcoal.

It is definitely not recommended.

Medical professionals use activated charcoal to treat patients who have been poisoned or have overdosed on specific medications. Charcoal can bind to some compounds and remove them from the body.

There is no scientific evidence to support the use of charcoal as a weight loss strategy.

Avoid the charcoal detox diet. Andasea/Shutterstock

Read more: Five supplements that claim to speed up weight loss – and what the science says


Charcoal detox plans also include dietary restrictions or fasts, so people might lose weight because they’re consuming fewer kilojoules.

Charcoal is not selective. It can bind to some medications and nutrients, as well as toxic substances, so there is the potential for charcoal to trigger nutrient deficiencies and/or make some medications less effective.

Side-effects of using charcoal include nausea and constipation.

3. Noom diet

The Noom diet isn’t actually a diet at all. It is a smartphone app called Noom Coach that focuses on behaviour change techniques to assist with weight loss. It allows users to monitor their eating and physical activity, and provides support and feedback.

The Noom diet does not provide a diet plan, but it gets users to record within the app, all foods and drinks consumed. It then uses a traffic light system (red, yellow, green) to indicate how healthy the foods are.

One advantage of Noom is that is doesn’t eliminate any foods or food groups, and it encourages healthy lifestyle behaviour change to assist with weight loss.

A disadvantage is that while you can download the app for a free short-term trial, membership is about A$50 per month for four months. And additional services cost extra. So consider whether this approach suits your budget.

One study has examined the app’s effectiveness. In a cohort of 35,921 Noom app users over 18 months, almost 78% reported a reduction in body weight. About 23% of these people reported losing more than 10% of their body weight.


Read more: Health Check: should you weigh yourself regularly?


Although the data are observational and don’t compare Noom app users to a control group, the results are promising.

In other weight-loss interventions in adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers found losing 5-10% body weight and being active for about 30 minutes a day lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50%.

4. Time-restricted feeding

Time-restricted feeding is a type of intermittent fast that involves restricting the time of day that you are “allowed” to eat. This typically means eating in a window lasting four to ten hours.

While energy-restriction during this period is not a specific recommendation, it happens as a consequence of eating only during a shorter period of time than usual.

It’s unclear whether weight loss results from changes in the body after you fast, or if it’s just because you can’t eat as much in a short period of time. Best_nj/Shutterstock

The difference between time-restricted feeding compared to other intermittent fasting strategies is that recent research suggests some metabolic benefits are initiated following a fasting period that lasts for 16 hours, as opposed to a typical overnight fast of ten to 12 hours.


Read more: Health Check: what’s the best diet for weight loss?


Researchers have reported some promising effects on the amount of body fat, insulin sensitivity and blood cholesterol with time-restricted feeding windows, although some studies have reported benefits for weight but not for fat mass, blood cholesterol or markers of type 2 diabetes risk.

Further research is required to determine whether any health effects of time-restricted feeding are due to regular 16-hour fasting periods, or simply because eating over a small time window reduces energy intake.

If this approach helps you get started on a healthy lifestyle and your GP gives you the all clear, then try it. You will need to follow up with some permanent changes to your lifestyle so your food and physical activity patterns are improved in the long term.

5. Fast800

The Fast800 diet by Dr Michael Mosley encourages a daily intake of just 800 calories (about 3,350 kilojoules) during the initial intensive phase of the Blood Sugar Diet.

This lasts for up to eight weeks and is supposed to help you rapidly lose weight and improve your blood sugar levels. You can buy the book for about A$20 or pay A$175 for a 12-week online program that says it includes a personal assessment, recipes, physical and mindfulness exercises, tools, access to experts, an online community, information for your doctor and advice for long-term healthy living.

Michael Mosley’s diet program is based on a very low daily energy intake. Screenshot of https://thefast800.com/

Two recent studies provide some evidence that supports these claims: the DiRECT and DROPLET trials.

In these studies, GPs prescribed patients who were obese and/or had type 2 diabetes an initial diet of 800 calories, using formulated meal replacements. This initial phase was followed by a gradual reintroduction of food. Participants also received structured support to help them maintain the weight loss.

Both studies compared the intervention to a control group who received either usual care or treatment using best practice guidelines.

They found participants in the 800 calorie groups lost more weight and more of the adults with type 2 diabetes achieved remission than the control groups.

This is what you would expect, given the intervention was very intensive and included a very low total daily energy intake.

But the low energy intake can make the Fast800 difficult to stick to. It can also be challenging to get enough nutrients, so protocols need to be carefully followed and any recommended nutrient supplements taken.


Read more: What are ‘fasting’ diets and do they help you lose weight?


Fast800 is not suitable for people with a history of eating disorders or health conditions such as liver disease. So if you’re considering it, talk to your GP.

When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks that guarantee success. Have a health check up with your GP, focus on making healthy lifestyle changes and if you need more support, ask to be referred to an accredited practising dietitian.

If you would like to learn more about weight loss, you can enrol in our free online course The Science of Weight Loss – Dispelling Diet Myths.

Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle

 

 

Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Newcastle

 

 

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Newcastle

 

Clare Collins is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, the University of Newcastle, NSW. She is an NHMRC Senior Research and Gladys M Brawn Research Fellow. She has received research grants from NHMRC, ARC, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Meat and Livestock Australia, Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, nib foundation, Rijk Zwaan Australia and Greater Charitable Foundation. She has consulted to SHINE Australia, Novo Nordisk, Quality Bakers, the Sax Institute and the ABC. She was a team member conducting systematic reviews to inform the Australian Dietary Guidelines update and the Heart Foundation evidence reviews on meat and dietary patterns.

Lee Ashton is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Rebecca Williams is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Debunking some common diets, and seeing which work! More Food and Health Science videos! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztiHR… Subscribe for more! http://bit.ly/asap Eating Disorder Information: http://www.nedic.ca/ Created by: Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown Written by: Annik Carson, Rachel Salt, Greg Brown and Mitchell Moffit Illustrated: by: Max Simmons Edited by: Sel Ghebrehiwot GET THE ASAPSCIENCE BOOK: http://asapscience.com/book/ FOLLOW US! Instagram and Twitter: @whalewatchmeplz and @mitchellmoffit Clickable: http://bit.ly/16F1jeC and http://bit.ly/15J7ube AsapINSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/asapscience/ Snapchat: realasapscience Facebook: http://facebook.com/AsapSCIENCE Twitter: http://twitter.com/AsapSCIENCE Tumblr: http://asapscience.tumblr.com Vine: Search “AsapSCIENCE” on vine! SNAPCHAT US ‘whalewatchmeplz’ and ‘pixelmitch’ Created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz). Send us stuff! ASAPSCIENCE INC. P.O. Box 93, Toronto P Toronto, ON, M5S2S6 Further Reading — Weight Loss Overview Studies http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/66/… http://www.jstor.org/stable/25457080?… Low Carb http://annals.org/aim/article/717452/… http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/… https://login.medscape.com/login/sso/… http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/… http://content.onlinejacc.org/article… High Protein http://www.pnas.org/content/110/26/10… https://www.researchgate.net/profile/… Metabolic Slowing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Biggest Loser http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/hea… White Tongue http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/wh…

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11 Mediterranean Diet Recipes to Make in Your Instant Pot

Want a quick and easy way to make good-for-you recipes? Well, here’s how you can easily combine the healthful eating guidelines of the Mediterranean diet with the time-saving convenience of a multi-cooker. To get you started, I’ll share a quick overview of the Mediterranean diet plus easy recipes you can make in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Quick Q&A on the Mediterranean Diet

What is the Mediterranean diet? This popular healthy eating plan emphasizes whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado, and proteins such as chicken, seafood, nuts, beans, and legumes. In addition, you’ll cut back on added sugars and processed foods, and eat dairy in moderation. You’ll also cut back on added salt by using fresh and dried herbs to flavor your food instead.

What are the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet? According to the Mayo Clinic, following this eating style can result in a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases. In fact, it’s been consistently ranked among the best diets overall.

RELATED: 8 Mediterranean Diet Snacks to Keep You Satisfied All Day

1. Instant Pot® Yardbird Chili with White Beans

Instant Pot(R) Yardbird Chili with White Beans
Photo by bd.weld

“I’ve made this recipe twice in the last month and we just love it! The Instant Pot makes it so easy. The only change I made the second time around was to cut the beans back by half a cup (this seemed to make the bean consistency less tough), increased the broth by a quarter cup and used a mixture of chicken breast and thighs. The flavor of this is amazing and it’s just so hearty and perfect for chilly weather days!” — Heidi Nelson Thomas

2. Instant Pot® Chicken Cacciatore

To keep this easy recipe more in line with the Mediterranean diet, you can reduce the salt by cutting back on the bouillon cubes and bumping up the herbs. “Flavors meld together like they’ve been simmering all day in a fraction of the time. A couple of small changes: I season the chicken prior to sauteeing. Instead of chicken bouillon cubes, I started using Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base as it contains much less salt and seems to have more flavor.” — kirby1kat

RELATED: 5 Clever Hacks for Your Instant Pot That You Haven’t Tried Yet

3. Instant Pot® Vegan Cabbage Detox Soup

Instant Pot(R) Vegan Cabbage Detox Soup
Photo by Fioa

“I loved it! Super tasty, I did not change anything, and it was perfect! I was worried about not putting salt into it, but it was great as is!” — Ildo76

4. Instant Pot® Frozen Salmon

Instant Pot(R) Frozen Salmon
Photo by Tracey Ferrari Posner

Mediterranean diet guidelines suggest you eat fish twice a week. With this easy recipe, you’ll be able to stock up and freeze salmon when it’s on sale, and cook it easily from frozen. “Salmon doesn’t get much easier than this! This turned out so moist and I like how it can be seasoned to individual preference.” — thedailygourmet

RELATED: The Instant Pot Hack That Can Get a Meal on the Table in 30 Minutes

5. Instant Pot® Lemon Rotisserie Chicken

Instant Pot(R) Lemon Rotisserie Chicken
Photo by Fioa

Be sure to choose low-sodium chicken broth for this easy recipe. While the skin might not be as crispy as what you’ll get with an oven-roasted chicken, you’ll still end up with plenty of tender chicken meat to use in recipes using rotisserie chicken.

6. Red Lentil and Yellow Split Pea Soup Made with a Pressure Cooker

Red Lentil and Yellow Split Pea Soup Made with a Pressure Cooker
Photo by Buckwheat Queen

“Tried it with my pressure cooker and it was delicious. I also added 1/2 tsp of curry and a couple handfuls of frozen kale. We ate it over some brown rice and even my 6-yr-old loved it!” — yocook

7. Instant Pot® Chicken Posole Verde

Instant Pot(R) Chicken Posole Verde
Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

“You can have posole without having to stand over the stove for hours. Let your multi-functional pressure cooker do the work for you. Garnish with avocado slices, lime wedges, sliced radish, jalapeno slices, and/or tortilla strips.” — Soup Loving Nicole (May we suggest baked tortilla chips instead of fried?)

RELATED: Mediterranean Diet Boosts Memory and Keeps Brain Young, Study Finds

8. Instant Pot® Greek Chicken

Instant Pot(R) Greek Chicken
Photo by Festively Southern

“I made it pretty much ‘as is’ other than I kept the olives whole and roughly chopped the onion. Delicious! I’ll make it again.” — Judy Good

9. Makhani Daal (Buttery Lentils)

Makhani Daal (Buttery Lentils)
Photo by Buckwheat Queen

“My first thought was maybe I should cut back on the spices cuz it seemed so much, but I am certainly glad I did not! Followed recipe & since I eat dairy free diet, used vegan butter & left out yogurt & this recipe is amazing! I’d give it 10 stars if I could … just that awesome!!” — CCCooks

10. Instant Pot® Spicy Black Bean Soup (Vegan)

Instant Pot(R) Spicy Black Bean Soup (Vegan)
Photo by bd.weld

“You don’t have to soak beans when using an electric pressure cooker. Adjust the spices to your liking in this healthier, easy-to-make black bean soup that freezes well.” — bd.weld

11. Instant Pot® Spanish Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice
Photo by Diana71

“This delicious arroz-con-pollo-esque dish is so easy to make with the Instant Pot,” says Diana71. “Colorful, appetizing, and nourishing, this meal comes together in a flash and is chock full of flavor! I hope it becomes your next favorite weeknight meal. Squeeze lime or lemon wedges over if you like!”

Source: 11 Mediterranean Diet Recipes to Make in Your Instant Pot – Health

Fad Diets Come And Go, But Restaurants Are Finding Plenty Of Success Catering To Health-Conscious Consumers

Remember when McDonald’s launched the McLean Deluxe in the early ’90s to ride the wave of the low-fat diet era? The burger featured a 91% fat-free beef patty (the secret ingredient was a seaweed extract) and lasted a few years on the menu before it was yanked due to poor sales.

It is now considered one of McDonald’s top five biggest menu flops.

This example brings up an important question: What role, if any, should restaurants play in the latest fad diet or in the chase for the fickle health-conscious consumer in general? After all, restaurant visits have long been considered an indulgence and, from A (Atkins) to Z (Zone), diets come and go quicker than most operators can change a static menu board.

But that hasn’t stopped restaurant concepts from trying. And lately it seems as though there has been a higher degree of success in doing so—at least more so than the McLean Deluxe.

Noodles & Company, for example, just expanded its zucchini-noodle based offerings with two new menu items as part of a new category, “Zoodles and Other Noodles.” In a release, the company said the expansion is in response to overwhelmingly positive guest feedback to its initial Zoodles launch last year. During the company’s Q4 earnings call, executive chairman Paul Murphy said the zucchini noodle is an important step toward the brand’s objective of resonating from a health perspective.

Chipotle launched its Lifestyle Bowls in the beginning of the year. During the company’s latest earnings call, CEO Brian Niccol also said they have resonated with consumers in “a big way.”

“In fact, during the first few days, it generated over a billion earned media impressions,” he said.

The company is now testing several other menu items highlighting “the ideas of lifestyle goals,” Niccol said. This comes on the heels of the chain’s vegan and vegetarian bowls launch in 2018, which made up 12% of Chipotle’s total meals sold last year.

Even the most famous doughnut concept is getting involved. During Dunkin’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Dave Hoffman specifically called out the success of the brand’s Power Breakfast Sandwich.

“It’s a terrific first step for us into the better-for-you category and proves customers are open to more menu options at Dunkin’,” he said. The company is building off that success with a new egg white power bowl.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes just jumped into the specialty diet space with its new line of Lifestyle Burgers, including The Paleo, The Keto, The Low Cal, The Vegetarian and The Gluten-Free. For the former three burgers, the bun is replaced by iceberg lettuce.

Natalie Anderson Liu, Mooyah’s vice president of Brand, said restaurant chains should be quick to respond to consumer dietary preferences and lifestyle trends, no matter how quickly they come or go.

“This is simply a matter of being a good listener to guests. Beyond want, we have found that consumers expect us to have menu items that help them achieve their goals,” she said.

So far, the Lifestyle Burgers launch has been “huge.” Thirty-one percent of guests who ordered one of these options were first-time visitors, Liu said.

“This is incredibly exciting and confirms the relevance of featuring our menu this way,” she said.

Liu believes more chains will toe this line of healthier (“lifestyle”) menu offerings.

Two years ago, Scott Davis was named president of CoreLife Eatery after serving as an executive at Panera for nearly two decades. He has a deep perspective of the industry and confirms there is a growing connection between consumers’ dietary demands and restaurants’ responses.

“Over the last couple of decades, as healthy eating has become more popular, restaurants have mostly played role of a ‘marketplace’–essentially providing healthy options or special menus,” he said. “The key is not getting stuck on one style of eating or dieting. Promoting general wellness, clean sourcing and ‘what works for you’ can help. ‘Healthy’ is different for everyone.”

Davis concurs with Liu that we’re now in an era of “expectation” versus “want” when it comes to restaurants providing healthier options.

“On the flip side, consumers do not want to be told what they should or should not be eating. They do not want to feel judged about eating,” he said.

That being said, it’s important for restaurant brands to stick to their core competencies.

“Chasing trends and expanding menus beyond logical extensions of the concept almost always fails. You must be able to gain credibility with your customer,” Davis said.

Great Harvest Bread Co. CEO Mike Ferretti agrees, noting that restaurant companies should be conscious of consumer diet trends, but only adapt to the ones that make business sense for the brand.

“You can’t do them all, and they impact different parts of the country at different times,” he said. “It is easier to steer customers to the things we believe in that fit our brand.”

If a brand swings and misses on a specialty diet offering, Ferretti said it can have an “extreme” impact on the business. Conversely, if it’s a hit, it can have the same effect for the positive.

“Think of all the low-carb businesses that popped up and were gone in a year,” he said. “Alternatively, things like Atkins and Keto hurt us at first, but eventually people come back to whole grains, so it swings.”

Because of this unpredictability, expanding menus to appeal to a broader group of consumers who are chasing a broader variety of diets can be both risky and rewarding.

“Fads are fads. People and businesses will do what they do,” Ferretti said. “What has staying power—the broad ones really driving the industry—is healthy, simple, clean.”

Davis adds that vegan and vegetarian diets have had such staying power since the 1970s and will continue on that path while contributing to a growing cohort of consumers who identify as flexitarians. About one third of consumers now consider themselves to be flexitarians, meaning they simply want another choice than traditional protein every now and then even if they’re not technically vegan or vegetarian.

Don’t expect this pace to slow anytime soon. And don’t expect restaurants to stop trying to reach this growing number of consumers.

“Lifestyle demands are not going away and restaurants will endear themselves and earn loyalty by keeping their menus relevant,” Liu said. “This has resulted in a competitive advantage for us and, more importantly, an increase in sales.”

I have covered the restaurant industry since 2010 when I was named editor of QSRweb.

Source: Fad Diets Come And Go, But Restaurants Are Finding Plenty Of Success Catering To Health-Conscious Consumers

The Science Behind Ketogenic Diets, Or Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It

The internet is abuzz with anecdotes telling of the amazing benefits of a ketogenic (or “keto”) diet. Nothing new there, then, as every year is marked by the rise and fall of a new diet fad – most amplified by the social media echo-chamber but with little to commend them. This time, though, it caught my attention.  Not just because I am a modestly overweight 52 year old whose love for food and drink is slightly stronger than my desire to be skinny

Source: The Science Behind Ketogenic Diets, Or Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It

The Illegal Ingredients in Your Dietary Supplements – Sumathi Reddy

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Consumers are taking dietary supplements with illegal—and potentially harmful ingredients, a growing body of evidence shows. A new study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine this week found experimental stimulants in dietary supplements both before and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued public warnings about the stimulants. The stimulants aren’t approved for human use and are believed to increase blood pressure and heart rates potentially, says Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance…………..

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-illegal-ingredients-in-your-dietary-supplements-1540220500

 

 

 

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