Best Diets for 2018

This year the DASH and Mediterranean diets tied for first place as best overall diet.

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It highlights eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and minimizing on salt. This diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help individuals lower their high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet also outlines fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with moderate alcohol intake. Both have lean proteins such as fish or chicken.

Best Diets

The Mediterranean and DASH diets were voted best diets for 2018. Photo by U.S. News

Both diets were also ranked as easiest to follow, with the Mediterranean diet winning first place and the DASH diet fourth. They also tied for first place as best diet for people with diabetes and claimed top spots in some other categories.

Experts based their choices by how easy the diet was to follow, the likelihood of short-term and long-term weight loss, and how effective it was against diabetes and heart disease. One of the experts mentioned that there is no single diet that fits everyone. You have to find a diet that you can adapt to, manage and maintain over time.

Other best overall diets include Weight Watchers, the Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics, TLC diet and MIND diet.

The Flexitarian diet is mainly a meatless plan that focuses on plant-based foods. Weight Watchers focuses on healthy eating, with point values assigned to foods and a daily point limit. TLC is short for therapeutic changes for high cholesterol; followers exercise more and reduce saturated fat. The MIND diet joins parts of the Mediterranean and DASH diets and pushes to improve brain health.

Best commercial diets: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were winners for first and second place. Jenny Craig has low-calorie packaged foods and support from consultants. The Flat Belly diet and Nutritarian tied for third. The Flat Belly plan emphasizes eating healthy, with monounsaturated fats such as from olive oil and nuts and setting a 1,600-calorie daily limit. The Nutritarian diet focuses on a plant-based plan with ”anti-cancer super foods.”

Best weight loss diets: Winners included Weight Watchers, Volumetrics, Jenny Craig, Vegan, and Flexitarian. Volumetrics emphasizes eating foods that fill you up, such as broth-based soups, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms.

Best fast weight loss diets: Winners were the HMR diet, Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser, Medifast, SlimFast and Volumetrics. The HMR diet is a low-calorie plan with meal replacement shakes that emphasize fruits and vegetables. The Biggest Loser involves eating regular meals with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables and keeping a food journal. Medifast starts with five meal replacements a day and one meal, with more meals introduced as weight is lost. SlimFast is a program of meal replacement shakes.

Best diets for healthy eating: Winners: DASH, Mediterranean, Flexitarian, TLC, Mayo Clinic, MIND, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers. The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes healthy lifelong eating.

Easiest to follow: Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Weight Watchers, DASH, and MIND.

Best for diabetes: After the two first-place winners, DASH and Mediterranean, followed the Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, Vegan, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers diets.

Best for heart disease: DASH declared the top spot, followed by Mediterranean and Ornish (tie for second) and TLC. Flexitarian, MIND, and Vegan tied for the fifth spot. The Ornish diet ranks foods from healthiest to most satisfying, inspiring followers to focus on the foods from the healthiest group.

Best plant-based diets: The top five are the Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Ornish, Vegetarian, and Traditional Asian diets. The Traditional Asian plan includes low-fat eating with minimal red meat and plenty of fresh fruits, fish, and vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, there is no one diet that works for all. Just because the diet is popular does not mean that it is right for you. The best option for weight loss is to try different diets and find one that is easy for you to stick to long-term.

 

Source: U.S. News & World Report: “Best Diets 2018 rankings.”

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Start Weight Loss Today

As the new year approaches many of us have goals of losing weight and becoming a healthier person. The holidays are here and if we are not careful, we can easily gain too much weight and make our goals of weight loss even tougher. Today I will share a few tips you can use to start your goal of becoming a healthier you before the new year begins.

Start Weight Loss Today

You can start weight loss today by taking small but steady steps to become a healthier you. Photo by The Dia Method

Slow but Steady

I know that you may be excited to lose weight and cannot wait to get that beach body that you dream of but be realistic. This means that your goals should be realistic and you should start off slow but be consistent. For instance, you can begin by losing 2 or 3 pounds per week and slowly increase your goal overtime. A great way to start exercising is by taking walks or jogging around the park and your local track. Take a friend with you if you feel yourself not motivated enough and this way you can inspire each other.

Make Small Changes to Your Diet

If you think you can ditch your current diet and start eating totally healthy overnight think again. You have to take your time and make small changes to your diet and over time it will become easier for you to eat healthy. You can start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet or replace sugary drinks with water. When I get tired of eating the same thing I switch it occasionally because it can get boring fast.

Do Not Give Up

When it seems like you have been working hard towards weight loss and you do not see immediate results you sometimes lose confidence. Sometimes it does take time to see noticeable results so if you don’t see a change at first, just keep going. Studies show that if you are making small progress but are consistent, you tend to keep the weight off longer overtime. If you do achieve your goals but reach a plateau, switch up your diet and exercise routine. Once your body gets use to a certain routine it becomes more difficult to lose weight because your metabolism has probably come to a standstill.

These are just general weight loss tips but they provide a great way to get started today on your journey. Losing weight is not easy so it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to see real results. Whatever you do, do not give up and stay focused on your weight loss goals to become healthier.

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Cinnamon May Fight Obesity

Cinnamon is a sweet spice that most of us enjoy and the fact that it may help fight obesity just makes it even better.

Cinnamon

An essential oil in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used as a treatment to fight obesity, according to new study. Photo by Medical News Today

According to a new study published in the journal Metabolism, an essential oil found in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used to fight obesity.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that the oil cinnamaldehyde boosts metabolic health by causing fat cells to start burning energy — a process called thermogenesis.

“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” said Jun Wu, a research assistant professor at UM’s Life Sciences Institute. “So if it can help protect against obesity, too, it may offer an approach to metabolic health that is easier for patients to adhere to.”

I believe that too much of anything is not good for you especially when we are talking about sugar and spices. I do agree that if a spice like cinnamon has the potential to help you lose weight, it will not hurt to add it to your diet in moderation if you really enjoy it.

Cinnamaldehyde is what gives cinnamon its flavor.

The research reflects off cinnamaldehyde studies in mice, where the oil fought against obesity.

The new study, published in the December issue of the journal Metabolism, tested whether the same effect would happen in humans.

Using fat cells from volunteers, researchers treated the cells — called adipocytes — with cinnamaldehyde. The results found an “increased expression” of genes and enzymes that boost metabolism while increasing proteins beneficial to thermogenesis.

Wu suggests cinnamaldehyde could be used to fight obesity by way of activating thermogenesis. But she held off on endorsing cinnamon as a weight-loss treatment until further study is done.

More research is needed to discover cinnamaldehyde’s benefits and side effects.

Source: Jiang, Juan et al “Cinnamaldehyde induces fat cell-autonomous thermogenesis and metabolic reprogramming” Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental, Volume 77, 58 – 64

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Intermittent Fasting is an Effective Way to Lose Weight

Fasting is eliminating or reducing your caloric intake for a set period of time. It has frequently been quoted as a great method for weight loss and keeping the pounds off. Whether you fast in a once-a-week pause or month-long daytime fast, no one method has really stood above the rest. However, researchers are beginning to focus on this one approach, intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been found to be better for burning fat and improving metabolism, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Photo by Generation Builders Ministries

Intermittent fasting has been found to be better for burning fat and improving metabolism, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Scientist put mice on an intermittent fasting program for 16 weeks. The mice ate normal for two days then went one full day without eating. In the meantime, a fixed group of mice ate an equal amount of calories overall, but spread evenly over three days.

After four months, the mice that fasted had lower bodyweights compared to the fixed-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for body heat and energy, and their glucose and insulin levels were more constant.

It may be possible that intermittent fasting stimulates an anti-inflammatory cell, that triggers an increase of a blood vessel growth factor, which causes the body to burn more fat cells, according to researchers.

“Intermittent fasting without a reduction in calorie intake can be a preventative and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorders,” said study co-author Kyoung-Han Kim, an assistant professor in the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa. “Strikingly, these fasting-stimulated changes in the growth of vascular cells and subsequent immune alterations occur even after a single cycle of 24-hour fasting, and are completely reversed when mice start eating again.”

Although this study was not tested with humans, I believe this type of fasting is effective for people as well. Of course, going an entire day without food is difficult, but it may be well worth the temptation if it is promising for weight loss.

Source: Kyoung-Han, K. et al. “Intermittent fasting promotes adipose thermogenesis and metabolic homeostasis via VEGF-mediated alternative activation of macrophage” Cell Research 17 October 2017

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Black Tea May Help You Lose Weight

You should know by now that green tea has its benefits to weight loss from previous studies, but now researchers from the University of California Los Angeles found that black tea can help you lose weight as well.

Black Tea

Black tea may help you lose weight, according to new study by UCLA. Photo by Organic Facts

The study that was published in the European Journal of Nutrition fed four groups of mice different diets for 30 days. The groups were as follows: low-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar with green tea, and high-fat and high sugar with black tea.

After analyzing the mice’s fat, liver tissue and gut bacteria, they discovered that both of the tea groups on a high-fat diet lost an equal amount of weight compared to the mice consuming less fat, or lesser calories overall.

That is because black tea and green tea are sufficient in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been found to increase your heart health and play a role in weight loss. However, the way these antioxidants travel through your body differs in black tea, compared to green tea says researchers.

Polyphenols in green tea absorb in your blood easily. On the other hand, polyphenols in black tea work through your intestines because they are too big to be absorbed into your bloodstream. This is where they boost good bacteria in your gut to help keep your metabolism running smoothly.

Although both types of teas can positively affect gut bacteria, only black tea lead to an increase in a type of bacteria known as Pseudobutyrivibrio and short-chain fatty acids in the mice, which basically explains how it could affect your metabolism differently than green tea.

Although the study was done in mice, the researchers believe the results could apply to humans, too.

“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans,” Susanne Henning, Ph.D., R.D., lead study author and adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition stated in a press release. “The results suggest that both green and black teas are prebiotics, substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms that contribute to a person’s well-being.”

Keep in mind that just drinking tea will not make you lose weight alone. You must add some kind of physical activity and watch what you eat on a daily basis. Still, choosing to sip on black tea instead of a sugary beverage will help you lose those extra calories.

Source: Monster, R. “Black tea may help with weight loss, too” www.newsroom.ucla.edu 2 October 2017

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Cheat Days May Help People Lose Weight

When you think about weight loss, it usually involves engaging in a long term diet and exercise plan. We know that when you are trying to lose weight, you have to be consistent and work hard.

Weight Loss - Strict Diets

According to a new study by Australian researchers, taking breaks or cheat days, while dieting may actually help aid weight loss. Photo by Verywell

According to a new study by Australian researchers, taking breaks or cheat days, while dieting may actually help aid weight loss.

In the study, two groups of obese men were involved in four-month diet that required them to restrict their calories by one-third.

The first group stuck to the diet for two weeks, then left the diet for two weeks, and continued to go on and off the diet in two-week cycles. While in the two week cycle off the strict diet, the dieters consumed calories equal to the number of calories they were burning, which created an energy balance.

On the other hand, the second group continued their diet during the four-month period.

Researchers found that the dieters who alternated between their strict diet and having cheat weeks lost more weight during the study, that was published in the International Journal of Obesity. Those who took days off their diet gained back less weight as well when the study was over.

“While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss,” Nuala Byrne, the head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, and leader of the study said in a statement announcing the findings.

I believe that taking a break from dieting gives your body and mind a chance to rest but the key to weight loss is consistency.  You can really do some damage to your body during those off days and end up worse than you were when you started. However, I do believe in enjoying the foods you love but in portions. I do not see anything wrong with that chocolate or ice cream every now and then.

To get the best out of weight loss, I try to eat lean meats, fruits and vegetables, avoid sugary drinks and get some physical activity in on a daily basis.

Source: Byrne; N.M et al. “Intermittent energy restriction improves weight loss efficiency in obese men: the MATADOR study” International Journal of Obesity 19 September 2017

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Losing Weight Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes can be reversed by losing a certain amount of weight, according to new study published in The BMJ.

Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes can be reversed by losing a certain amount of weight, according to new study published in The BMJ. Photo by Medical News Today

There is popular belief that type-2 diabetes is permanent, but this study found that people can reverse their condition by losing 30 pounds. If more individuals worked toward this goal, and if more doctors were reporting occurrences of diabetes remission, health care costs and complication rates could both be reduced drastically, according to authors.

Evidence from recent clinical trials was what the analysis was based on. In one of them, individuals who had type-2 diabetes got their sugar levels back to normal when they lost weight on a diet. A follow up study done in 2016 showed that people who had diabetes for up to ten years were able to reverse their condition by losing approximately 30 pounds.

According to Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, a person’s chances of suspension from diabetes is greatest in the first 5 years after being diagnosed.

He wrote in an email that type-2 diabetes is “best avoided by the weight gain that drives it.” I believe that weight loss is a better option to prevent diabetes versus taking pills or injections. Many people don’t try to lose weight and keep it off, Lean says-and that may be because that person does not believe they can become non-diabetic again. Doctors should give their patients the proper guidelines and more encouragement.

If many of the healthcare service offer the structured weight-loss programs like those that have showed promise in the clinical trials, patients would have a better chance. Hopefully a program as such will be available soon as there is a large study going on for effectiveness set for next year.

Until further notice, patients should do what is necessary to lose weight and keep it off. It will not be easy but support for sustained weight loss is the best option for people’s remission of diabetes.

Source: McCombie Louise, Leslie Wilma, Taylor Roy, Kennon Brian, Sattar Naveed, Lean Mike E J et al. Beating type 2 diabetes into remission BMJ 2017;358 :j4030

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Slow But Steady Wins the Weight-Loss Race

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, take your time and be consistent, a new study says.

Steady Weight-Loss

Slow and steady weight loss wins the race, a new study suggest. Photo by NutritionFacts.org

Researchers discovered that when dieter’s weight went up and down or swung irregularly, they were less likely to maintain weight loss over time.

“It seems that developing stable, repeatable behaviors related to food intake and weight loss early on in a weight-control program is really important for maintaining changes over the long term,” said study lead author Emily Feig. She is a former graduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

I think when you try to lose too much weight at one time or set unrealistic goals, it puts too much pressure on you then that causes you to give up. Being patient will take that extra stress away and give you the freedom to be consistent which will help you maintain weight loss.

During the study, scientists analyzed why some individuals have more issues maintaining weight loss. The study authors inducted 183 individuals in a 12-month weight-loss program and monitored them for two years.

The people relied on meals replacement and set goals, for both their total calories and physical activity. Also, they reported on food behaviors such as binges, cravings and emotional eating. They did weekly weigh-ins during group meetings. The participants weighed in for a final time one year after the weight-loss program had ended.

The study, published Aug. 28 in the journal Obesity, discovered that the people who had erratic swings in their weight did not fare as well as those who reliably lost a consistent amount of weight over the course of the program.

“Settle on a weight-loss plan that you can maintain week in and week out, even if that means consistently losing three-quarters of a pound each week,” principal investigator Michael Lowe, a psychology professor at Drexel, said in a university news release.

Source: Drexel University, news release, Aug. 28, 2017

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Walnuts May Aid Weight Loss

Eating a good amount of walnuts may reduce your hunger and help you lose weight, a new study says.

Walnuts

Walnuts can reduce your hunger, says study. Photo by Alibaba

Consuming them activates a part of the brain linked to the regulation of hunger and cravings, according to the research published in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal.

A study that included 10 obese people were given diets over two sets of five-day sessions while living at a research center. Over the course of the two day sessions, they were given two types of smoothies on a daily basis. One of the smoothies had 48 grams of walnuts and the other one did not contain walnuts but were designed to taste the same and have equivalent nutritional value.

The participants that had the walnut smoothie reported having a reduced appetite. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan was used at the end of each session to look at the brain as the participants were shown images, some of the foods included hamburgers and desserts as well as neutral items such as flowers and rocks and finally pictures of vegetables and other undesirable foods.

The results found that a part of the brain known as the right insula was active when people who had ate the walnuts were shown the foods considered to be highly-desirable.

Walnuts are found to have many benefits such as lowering your cholesterol, controlling diabetes and improving your metabolism. These types of nuts may not be the best tasting to some but I eat them once in a while when I feel hungry and they are available.

Although this is a small study, it is a step closer to figuring out why walnuts have such an effect on the brain but more research still needs to be done. This is not a weight loss study but it is a demonstration on how walnuts can affect your hunger and increase your chances of losing weight.

Sources:

Farr OM , Tuccinardi D , Upadhyay J , Oussaada SM , Mantzoros CS . Walnut consumption increases activation of the insula to highly desirable food cues: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over fMRI study. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2017;1–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.13060

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-walnuts.html

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Having A Soda With That Burger is Dangerous

Drinking a soda with your fried chicken or burger can really spark your body to add on more pounds, a new study in the journal BMC Nutrition suggests.

Soda & Hamburger

Sweetened drinks combined with high protein meals decreases the fat burning process, according to study. Photo by Pinterest

Adults who had a sweetened drink with a high-protein meal stored more unused fat, compared to others who had a sugar-free drink, laboratory tests discovered.

For the study, 27 healthy weight adults were put in a sealed laboratory that tracked how much oxygen was inhaled and carbon dioxide was exhaled. Samples of urine was collected as well.

Participants spent two days in the lab. One day they consumed two meals containing 15 percent protein, and on the other day they ate two meals with 30 percent protein.

“If we are adding extra carbohydrates on top of what’s already in a meal, that will definitely have an effect on the body being able to use fat as an energy source, and it will more than likely go into energy storage,” said lead researcher Shanon Casperson. She’s a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This makes perfect sense because if you consume too much carbs, your body automatically use it as storage instead of burning it off right away.

Food contains three major types of nutrients — carbohydrates, fats and protein. Casperson and her team wanted to see how extra carbs in the form of a sugary drink would affect metabolism of fats and proteins.

The study found that sugar-sweetened drinks decreased fat oxidation by 8 percent. Fat oxidation is the process that jumpstarts the breakdown of fat molecules.

Also, the sweetened drink consumed with a 15 percent protein meal reduced fat oxidation by an average 7.2 grams, while the same sugary drink with a 30 percent protein meal reduced fat oxidation by 12.6 grams.

I believe that the extra carbs from soda may reduce the body’s need to process dietary fat for energy. The fat that is not burned is then distributed to other areas of the body such as the belly and hips.

Although this is a small study, it just sheds light on how dangerous it is to combine sugary drinks with high protein meals. This will definitely encourage weight gain and slow down the fat burning process. More research still needs to be done to find out why adding extra protein to a meal affects the fat burning process. Until then, I would definitely stay away from sweetened drinks combined with high protein meals to aid weight loss.

Source: Shanon Casperson, Ph.D., research biologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Erika Renick, R.D., bariatric dietitian, Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; BMC Nutrition, July 20, 2017

Leeeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer