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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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nut

Just in time for holiday nut bowls, new research has been making the rounds suggesting that people who eat nuts reduce their risk of cancer and heart disease. Indeed the study did find a correlation between eating a handful of nuts and reduced risk. But it wasn’t a controlled experiment and it could be that people who enjoy nuts on a regular basis simply have healthier habits overall.

A fistful of nuts

To reach their conclusions on the protective effect of eating nuts, published in the journal BMC Medicine, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology reviewed findings from 29 published studies conducted around the world that involved up to 819,000 people.

Among the participants, there were 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths. But those who ate an average of at least 20 grams of nuts a day were 30 percent less likely to get heart disease and 15 percent less likely to get cancer than people ate fewer, or no nuts.

A fistful of nuts was also linked to a 50 percent reduction in risk of dying from a respiratory disease, and 40 percent less risk of developing diabetes. The reduction in risk was essentially the same regardless of the type of nuts consumed.

Nut nutrients

Why would nuts reduce risk of chronic disease? The researchers noted that nuts are rich in fiber, magnesium and polyunsaturated fats, nutrients that are associated with lower cholesterol levels and better cardiovascular health. Nuts are also a high quality, non-animal source of protein. Certain nuts you are most likely to see in nut bowls this time of year, such as walnuts and pecans, are rich in antioxidant compounds that could possibly account for the reduced cancer risk coaxed out of the study.

Nut calories

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while nuts are nutrient dense, they are also calorie-dense. A palmful of those cancer fighting walnuts or pecans delivers about 150 calories. A cup of mixed nuts from the party bowl contains more than 800 calories. A lot of nuts you will be exposed to in the holiday season are also heavily salted and/or coated in sugar.

Beyond nuts

It’s widely accepted that nuts should be part of a healthy diet. Like all good things, moderation is the key. Also, nutritional studies focusing on a single food or nutrient tend to obscure the fact that reducing risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease requires a comprehensive range of healthy behaviors. Simply eating nuts without making a broad range of healthy lifestyle choices isn’t likely to produce the same results.

Sources

Eureka Alert

Health News Review

WebMD

USDA

BuiltLean

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Paleo Certified: another food industry marketing gimmick

December 5, 2016

“Going paleo” has become one of the most popular fad diets in recent years. In fact, the idea of eating the same foods as our hunter-gatherer ancestors has become lucrative enough for the food industry to create a “paleo certified” label for certain processed foods. Considered logically, equating a food that comes in a package […]

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How a tiny bit of holiday weight gain can still make you fat

November 30, 2016

It’s commonly accepted that the average American can expect to gain about five pounds during the holidays. Yet, research suggests that for most of those who do gain weight in the coming weeks, the actual amount could be rather insignificant. However, holiday weight gain becomes a problem when it doesn’t go away. As the years […]

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Yo-yo dieting and your risk of dying of from heart disease

November 22, 2016

Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back. They try again and the cycle repeats itself. Sure, it’s frustrating. But weight cycling, otherwise known as yo-yo dieting, could also be hazardous to one’s health. A new study has linked yo-yo dieting with an increased risk of death from heart disease in post-menopausal women, […]

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Love cheese? Eating it could help lower your blood pressure

November 18, 2016

High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” that steadily erodes your good health without obvious symptoms. Perhaps the most notorious contributor to high blood pressure, or hypertension, is eating too much sodium. To prevent high blood pressure, nutrition experts often recommend taking it easy on cheese, one of the top ten sodium sources […]

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Time restricted feeding: burn fat by eating dinner at 2 pm?

November 15, 2016

A few years ago, research with mice suggested that restricting your food intake within a narrow window of time during the day could induce bodily changes that help burn fat and lose weight. The first human study to test what is known as “time restricted feeding” has produced evidence of some metabolic changes that support […]

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Can you really burn off your belly fat by eating canola oil?

November 11, 2016

Belly fat is associated with dangerous health risks. Unfortunately, when you lose weight, you can’t choose from where on your body to melt the fat away. Or can you? New research suggests that using monounsaturated canola oil to meet your dietary fat needs could help you lose belly fat in greater proportions relative to your total […]

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Avoid poor sleep, weight gain as Daylight Savings Time ends

November 9, 2016

When Daylight Savings Time ends, we turn our clocks “back” to normal. In theory, by losing an hour on the clock we gain an hour of sleep. But in reality, manipulating the clock, either forward or back, can cause long-term disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle that are hard to overcome. Recent research suggests that poor […]

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Why do most people ignore calorie counts on fast food menus?

October 31, 2016

The FDA has ordered all fast food chains with more than 20 locations to post calorie counts on menus starting December 1, 2016. Yet new research shows that calorie counts on fast food menus already implemented in cities like New York and Seattle have done virtually nothing to encourage healthier food choices. This failure may […]

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Fat study shows you how to easily reduce heart disease risk

October 26, 2016

Eating too much saturated fat has been shown to raise levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing internal inflammation, and in turn, your risk for heart disease. Improving the fat quality of your diet by replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat has been shown to reduce all of the above. New research shows that replacing […]

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