Heart Beat: Your choice for dieting

If you need to lose weight, what type of pound-melting diet is best for your heart? In 2000, the stock answer would have been a low-fat diet. But the wild popularity of the low-carbohydrate Atkins and South Beach diets in the early 2000s prompted researchers to do some careful comparisons of weight-loss diets. The latest of these, from Israel, supports the idea that almost any type of diet that provides healthful nutrition can be as good for your heart as it is for your waistline.

In the Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT), 322 overweight men and women followed one of three diets for two years: a low-fat diet, a low-carb diet, or a Mediterranean-type diet. Those on the low-fat diet lost the least amount of weight, an average of 6 pounds, compared with those on the low-carb and Mediterranean diets, who lost about 10 pounds.

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