Diet and Weight Loss

Better heart health in eight weeks? Double down on fruits and veggies

Want to improve heart health? New research based on blood samples from the original DASH diet shows the DASH diet and another diet high in fruits and veggies can lower measures of heart strain and heart muscle damage within eight weeks.

When dieting doesn’t work

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most diets can help you lose weight, but that weight is frequently regained within a few months — a fact supported by an analysis of more than 100 research trials on diets. But losing weight is easier, and more likely to be permanent, if you choose a diet with foods you actually like.

Are sugar substitutes too sweet to be true?

Many people wonder if sugar substitutes are worth choosing, or are even safe. There may have a slight benefit for some, but there is also the potential for increased risk of diabetes.

Weight loss can help head off lasting damage caused by fatty liver

Irun Bhan, MD

Contributor

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. The key to preventing complications is to detect and treat it early, but getting a diagnosis can be tricky.

Weight-loss surgery may lower risk of heart disease in people with diabetes

Angela Fitch, MD

Contributor

Most people with type 2 diabetes also have obesity. Weight-loss surgery has a positive impact on risk factors for heart disease, and a recent study found that this surgery significantly reduced the risk of death in people with obesity and diabetes.

Weight-loss drug Belviq recalled

Findings from a follow-up on people taking the weight-loss medication Belviq showed a slight increase in the occurrence of cancers, resulting in the drug being withdrawn from the market at the request of the FDA.

Eating during COVID-19: Improve your mood and lower stress

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost your mood and immunity.

Go figure: A healthy eating approach helps people be healthy

A study comparing the outcomes of three eating plans (Mediterranean diet, paleo diet, or intermittent fasting) that were followed for a year found that all participants lost weight, and also had added benefits such as lower blood pressure.

The scoop on protein powder

The amount of protein you need depends on your age, health, and the intensity of your fitness routine. For most people it’s relatively easy to get the recommended amount from food, but there are situations when someone might want to consider a protein powder supplement.

Weight loss surgery for children and teens struggling with obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If a child is obese by age 12, it’s nearly a certainty that child will be obese as an adult, with all the complications that brings. While some may be uncomfortable with a child or adolescent having bariatric surgery to facilitate weight loss, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it in certain situations.