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While we feature the Medifast diet, we are also blog on the latest diet, nutrition, and health news. So, you can stay up to date on the latest nutritional science and learn healthy approaches to fighting obesity throughout the weight loss process.

Enter DietScienceNews.com

by TMP Editor on June 17, 2014

Greetings dear readers. In an effort to better reflect our overall mission and upcoming strategic transition, we will soon be switching the name of our website. We will no longer be themedifastplan.com and will move to the new URL of DietScienceNews.com. We are hoping to have this transition completed in the upcoming days.

What does this mean to you? Nothing much to start with. We still love Medifast and will continue to promote what we view to be the most effective commercial diet on the market. However, you have probably noticed that we cover a lot of general diet and nutrition news in our blog posts. We are going to continue in this direction and develop a more agnostic approach to our views of the dieting industry.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you as we refine our quest for real, science based diet and nutrition news.

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Americans are exercising more, but they aren’t getting much slimmer. Exercise is an essential part of a weight loss strategy, but portion control could be more important. The challenge is to maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrition necessary to remain healthy while eating less.

Medifast Twice as Effective

When it comes to portion control, a recent trial found that the prepackaged food regimen featured with Medifast helped people lose twice as much weight compared with dieters who tried to match the same nutrition and calorie count on their own.

Exercise can’t overcome poor diet

A new study from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics found that in the last decade, the percentage of Americans who got sufficient weekly exercise increased from 46.7 to 51.3. In a report on the study published in the journal Population Health Metrics, the researchers concluded that this increased physical activity has done little to reduce the U.S. obesity rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans are obese. A separate report by the institute published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified poor diet as the primary reason why Americans are so unhealthy compared to other developed countries.

The portion control solution

Another study, published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity shows that a prepackaged portion control diet plan can be a viable solution to this intractable problem.

Researches at Tufts Medical Center in Boston conducted a rigorously controlled year-long study comparing the results of dieters on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan with dieters given advice on how to achieve the same nutrition and calorie intake independently.

A total of 120 men and women from 19-65 years old with body mass indexes ranging from 35 to 50 were randomly assigned to two equally sized groups. The study included a 6-month weight loss phase and a 6-month weight maintenance phase.

Medifast results

At the end of the weight loss phase, people in the Medifast group lost an average of 16.5 pounds (6.7 percent of their starting weight). Those buying and preparing their own diets lost an average of 8.4 pounds (3.4 percent of their starting weight. The Medifast dieters shrank their waists an average of 2.24 inches compared to 1.46 inches for independent dieters. Total cholesterol dropped an average of 8.4 mg for the Medifast group compared to 1.1 mg for the independent group.

Often after a significant caloric restriction a few pounds return as the body seeks equilibrium and the Medifast plan was no exception. However, overall weight loss for the Medifast dieters was an average of 10 pounds, more than twice that of the independent group at 4.4 pounds.

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan consists of five pre-packaged meals each day designed to supplement one meal of vegetables and protein prepared at home. The portion control program offers 70 prepackaged foods arranged in multiple combinations totaling 1,000 calories a day. Medifast dieters also receive access to dieticians and recipes for the home-cooked aspect of the plan, which costs about $300 a month.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, HealthWatch MD, Los Angeles Times

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paleo

The Paleo diet craze is based on emulating the eating habits of ancient humans who thrived on a diet of animals and plants. A study published by a team of anthropologists suggests today’s Paleo diet is a romantic vision life of before agriculture, when noble hunter-gatherers fueled an idyllic lifestyle with healthy, all-natural foods.

According to these experts, Paleolithic peoples would struggle to find anything edible in pursuit of enough calories to survive, and if Twinkies had grown on trees, they would have been a staple.

State of nature

Writing in Leviathan, his classic book on human politics, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) described a world without government as a prehistoric “state of nature,” where people live in constant fear of violent death and the life of man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Researchers at researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University painted a similar picture of Paleolithic times, when the life span of early humans was so short that it would be difficult to argue that their diet was healthier than ours is now. The focus was on surviving long enough to reproduce, not about practicing a balanced diet.

Caveman diet

The Paleo diet, also known as “eating like a caveman,” has become one of today’s most popular diet fads. Paleo eaters are seeking the health benefits of eating grass-fed meats, organic fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish and raw nuts. Foods to be avoided include agricultural products such as grains, legumes, dairy, processed oils, salt, and added sugars.

The researchers set out to examine available anatomical, environmental and chemical evidence, as well as the feeding behavior of living animals in the Paleolithic era spanning from 2.6 million to about 10,000 years ago. Writing in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology, co-author Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University, pointed out that early humans suffered from many competitive disadvantages. Small and slow, they weren’t adept hunters. The teeth in their heads were ill suited for chewing a wide variety of plants.

The Paleo environment

To reconstruct the diet of our human ancestors, the researchers considered a number of factors, including their habitats, the foods available and their energy content, as well as their digestion, locomotion, and cognitive ability.

According to the researchers, the popular Paleo diet is based on assumptions of what more modern hunter-gatherers had eaten. The diet of true Paleolithic humans wasn’t so specific. A wide variety of environments in different places at different times affected the type of food available. Cavemen in northern climates may have subsisted on animals, while those in warmer climes may have relied heavily on plants.

Today’s Paleo foods

Plus, the types of food available cannot be compared to those featured in the Paleo diet of today. For example, the researchers wrote that the wild strawberries growing high in Nepal were so bitter not even the monkeys would eat them, as was evident in their fossilized turds.

As for life expectancy, cavemen didn’t live long, despite the fact that the processed foods attributed to so many of today’s most common diseases did not exist. The researchers also raised the question, does a longer life simply give diseases more time to take hold and show their effects?

“Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies,” said co-author Dr. Ken Sayers, a postdoctoral researcher at the Language Research Center of Georgia State, in a press release, “but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees.”

Sources

Georgia State University

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Diabetes Insider

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New hypertension research points finger at sugar, not salt

December 17, 2014

Eating added sugars has been linked to numerous health problems including obesity and diabetes. A new study suggests another reason for scanning food labels to avoid added sugars: high blood pressure. The researchers also claim that added sugars may be an even greater factor in hypertension than too much salt, and that a significant reduction […]

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FDA: new calorie labels may cost billions in “lost pleasure”

December 15, 2014

With great fanfare last month, the Food and Drug Administration published new regulations requiring supermarket chains selling prepared food, vending machine operators, movie theaters and theme parks to display calorie counts on their products. Hidden in the fine print was a cost that will be incurred by implementing the new rule, cooked up by FDA […]

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Can Mediterranean diet beat Viagra for erectile dysfunction?

December 12, 2014

For men with erectile dysfunction, more than their sex lives are at risk. Research has established a strong correlation between difficulty getting an erection and heart disease. It seems only logical then, that a new study has connected the Mediterranean diet, which lowers heart disease risk, to a lower incidence of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction […]

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Survey: nearly all vegans and vegetarians relapse to meat

December 10, 2014

In our Western culture, with our meat-based diet, becoming a true vegetarian or vegan requires constant dedication. It’s not surprising that only a small number of people are willing to quit eating meat. An even smaller number have the ironclad resolve to maintain their commitment. A new study has found that the instinct to eat […]

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Computer model shows how your weight affects your lifespan

December 8, 2014

Americans are living longer than ever, but our ever-increasing longevity comes with a catch. For too many people, those extra years are marked by chronic disease and ebbing quality of life. Research also reveals that should you happen to be overweight or obese, your era of chronic illness will start earlier and your life span […]

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Scorch your colon with peppers to reduce your cancer risk?

December 5, 2014

That burning sensation you feel down below the morning after a hot, spicy meal may actually be good for your colon. New research suggests that subjecting your intestinal cells to the heat from spicy chemicals may help condition them to resist tumor development. Research has also linked capsaicin, the volatile active ingredient in chili peppers, […]

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Trans fats may damage your memory, as well as your heart

December 3, 2014

Mounting evidence linking consumption of trans fats to cardiovascular disease has been a factor in the 75 percent reduction of trans fats in the American diet over the past ten years. Earlier this year the FDA announced a “preliminary determination” that trans fats in food are no longer “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). There’s still […]

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Can GMO low-acrylamide potato reduce French fry cancer risk?

December 1, 2014

In America, we love our French fries. Among the many reasons we shouldn’t eat them as much as we do, cooking potatoes at high temperature, as in deep fat frying, forms a carcinogen called acrylamide when the spuds turn a pleasing golden brown. The potato industry giant Simplot has genetically engineered a potato for French […]

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If you have a family history of diabetes, eat more yogurt

November 28, 2014

Nutrition research in recent years has found that yogurt promotes health in numerous ways related to its beneficial bacteria content. One of the latest studies has found that yogurt has a protective effect against the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s not known exactly why that could be true, but it is true that […]

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