Staying in shape is no mean job as people often find that they quickly regain the weight that they had shed after a rigorous regime of dieting or exercise. Eating a diet low on carbohydrates may, however, help them maintain weight loss, new research has found.
This is because eating fewer carbohydrates increases the number of calories burned, said the study published in the journal BMJ.
For the study, the researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital in the US enrolled 234 overweight adults aged between 18 and 65 to an initial weight-loss diet for about 10 weeks.
Of these, 164 achieved the goal of losing 10 to 14 per cent of body weight.
The participants were then randomised to follow high, moderate or low-carbohydrate diets for an additional 20 weeks with carbs comprising 60, 40 and 20 per cent of total calories, respectively.
The results showed that over the 20 weeks, calories burned was significantly greater on the low-carbohydrate diet versus the high-carbohydrate diet.
At the same average body weight, participants who consumed the low-carb diet burned about 250 kilocalories a day more than those on the high-carb diet.
“If this difference persists – and we saw no drop-off during the 20 weeks of our study – the effect would translate into about a 20-pound weight loss after three years, with no change in calorie intake,” said Cara Ebbeling from Boston Children’s Hospital. (IANS)
Heart patients, please take note, here’s a new health news. Researchers have found that heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack.
“Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said study author Hanieh Mohammadi from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Prior studies have shown that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for having a first heart attack. But until now, the association between abdominal obesity and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke was unknown.
The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, followed more than 22,000 patients after their first heart attack and investigated the relation between abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) and the risk for recurrent cardiovascular disease events. The researchers specifically looked at events caused by clogged arteries, such as fatal and non-fatal heart attack and stroke.
Patients were recruited from the nationwide SWEDEHEART registry and followed for a median of 3.8 years. Most patients — 78 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women — had abdominal obesity (waist circumference 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women).
Increasing abdominal obesity was independently associated with fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors (such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, blood lipids and body mass index [BMI]) and secondary prevention treatments. According to the researchers, waist circumference was a more important marker of recurrent events than overall obesity.
The reason abdominal obesity is very common in patients with a first heart attack is that it is closely linked with conditions that accelerate the clogging of arteries through atherosclerosi, the researchers said. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance (diabetes) as well as raised blood lipid levels.
“Our results, however, suggest that there may be other negative mechanisms associated with abdominal obesity that are independent of these risk factors and remain unrecognised,” Mohammadi said.
“In our study, patients with increasing levels of abdominal obesity still had a raised risk for recurrent events despite being on therapies that lower traditional risk factors connected with abdominal obesity such as anti-hypertensives, diabetes medication and lipid lowering drugs,” she added.
According to the study, the relationship between waist circumference and recurrent events was stronger and more linear in men.
“There were three times as many men in the study compared to women, contributing to less statistical power in the female group. Therefore, more studies are needed before definite conclusions can be drawn according to gender,” Mohammadi noted. (IANS)