5 Diets Proven By Modern Science

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Video: 5 Diets Proven By Modern Science

Video: 5 Diets Proven By Modern Science
Video: What is the best diet for humans? | Eran Segal | TEDxRuppin 2023, March
5 Diets Proven By Modern Science
5 Diets Proven By Modern Science

5 diets proven by modern science

This article will describe diets that actually work. They help both women and men lose weight. This is not an unfounded statement, but a scientifically proven fact. Therefore, everyone who wants to get in shape just needs to choose a suitable food system and follow the proposed rules.


  1. Atkins Diet
  2. Hunter-Picker Diet (Paleo Diet)
  3. Vegan diet
  4. Calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet
  5. Ornish diet
  6. Outcome

Atkins Diet

The power system was created by the famous cardiologist Robert C. Atkins back in 1960. It consists of several phases. The diet is aimed at ridding a person of bad food habits and teaching him to eat right.

The essence of the diet

Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet

A losing weight person does not have to calculate calories and control the amount of food eaten. You will need to count your grams of net carbs minus fiber.

The power supply system consists of 4 phases:

  1. The first phase is strict. It should last 14 days. During this period, it will take about 4 kg. The amount of carbohydrates is cut to 20 g per day. You need to get about 15 g from vegetables. A person should eat chicken, fish, seafood, cheese, eggs. At the same time, they refuse fruits, sweets, pasta, cereals and nuts. Alcoholic beverages are banned. A prerequisite is compliance with the drinking regime. You need to drink at least 2 liters of water per day.

  2. The second phase involves consuming 15 grams of carbohydrates per day. Vegetables should be their source. Sugar is banned. During this period, nuts, berries, seeds are introduced into the menu. The weight will continue to go away. The transition to the next phase is possible after losing 4.5 kg.

  3. The third phase involves a return to previously forbidden foods. A person can eat fruits, vegetables containing starch, whole grains. Up to 25 g of carbohydrates are allowed per day. However, if weight gain occurs, then it is necessary to cut their number to 20 g. The third period should continue until the person gains his ideal weight.

  4. The fourth phase lasts throughout life. Any food can be eaten, but without violating the basic provisions developed by Atkins. If the arrow on the scales goes up again, then you need to repeat the 3rd phase.

The scientific basis for the diet

The scientific basis for the diet
The scientific basis for the diet

At Stanford University, four diets were studied: Atkins, Ornish, The Zone, and the LEARN Low Fat Diet. An experiment was conducted in 2007. People who followed the Atkins diet for a year lost 4.7 kg. [1]

The results of other diets for the specified period:

  • Minus 2.6 kg on the LEARN diet.
  • Minus 2.2 kg on the Ornish diet.
  • Minus 1.6 kg on the Zone diet.

Low carbohydrate food systems are powerful. This has been confirmed by numerous experiments. More recently, 6 studies were reviewed and found that low glycemic diets burned 1 kg more than other diets (average). Such food systems are good for health, as they make it possible to get rid of fat deposits and normalize lipid metabolism in the body.

Another study suggests that a low-glycemic, high-protein diet helps maintain a stable body weight over time.

Potential harm

In the article Atkins Diet: What's behind the claims? the Mayo Clinic website warns that a diet that drastically reduces carbohydrates can have the following side effects: [6]

  • The appearance of headaches and dizziness.
  • Increased weakness.
  • Stool retention.

You can not practice this food system for people with diseases of the urinary system, pregnant and lactating women. It is forbidden to persons engaged in heavy physical labor.

Read more: Atkins Diet: Menu, Pros and Cons

Hunter-Gatherer Diet (Paleo Diet)

The Stone Age diet, or Paleolithic diet, became the world's most popular nutritional system in 2013. However, until now, scientists have not come to the conclusion whether it can be called beneficial to health.

What is the essence of the diet

What is the essence of the diet
What is the essence of the diet

The Paleolithic diet involves eating the food that our ancestors ate. Its followers argue that the human body best absorbs foods that hunters and gatherers get. And it doesn't matter that more than 1000 years have passed since then.

The paleo diet involves eating eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts (the exception is peanuts), seeds. It is good if there is an opportunity to enrich the diet with meat from animals that grew up in their natural habitat and did not receive artificial feed. You can cook game.

Sugar, vegetables containing starch, dairy products, cereals, oil are removed from the menu (you can include olive oil, avocado oil and cold-pressed walnut oil in the diet). The ban includes legumes, coffee, carbonated and alcoholic drinks, juices.

The scientific basis for the diet

In 2007, scientists decided to evaluate the effectiveness of the Paleolithic and Mediterranean diet. In 3 months, people who followed the paleo diet lost 5 kg, and on the Mediterranean diet - 3.8 kg. At the waist, they took 5.6 cm and 2.9 cm, respectively. However, per day, the followers of the paleo diet received 450 kcal less than the control group. Another advantage of this nutritional system is the normalization of cholesterol levels [2].

In 2009, another study was conducted. One group of people ate the paleo diet, and the other group ate the classic diabetic menu. As a result, the "prehistoric" diet allowed you to lose 3 kg more. [7]

The 2014 study is of interest. One group ate foods permitted in the Paleo diet. People in the control group ate a high-carb, low-fat diet on the menu. The paleo diet helped the subjects lose weight the best. Moreover, they lost mainly abdominal fat, which is problematic to get rid of. Weight control was carried out after six months, a year and 18 months. [eight]

Potential harm

Despite the effectiveness of the paleo diet, scientists point out that it can be dangerous to health.

Its main disadvantages are:

  • Lack of calcium in the body. The menu assumes a complete rejection of dairy products.
  • The risk of developing kidney disease. It is associated with the fact that a person will consume a lot of protein and saturated fat.
  • The risk of developing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is caused by overeating meat dishes.

Although nutritionists have voiced these risks, they do not provide scientific evidence of harm from the paleo diet.

Vegan diet

Vegan diet
Vegan diet

The world learned such a concept as "vegan" in 1944. During this time, several adherents of vegetarianism banded together and formed the Vegan Society. People who have entered it completely exclude any meat and dairy products from the diet.

What is the essence of the diet

A vegan diet involves giving up meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Do not eat whey, casein and gelatin.

Plant foods can be eaten in unlimited quantities. The menu is based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts. You can eat tofu, coconut milk, and almond milk.

The scientific basis for the diet

The vegan diet has repeatedly been the focus of scientific attention. In 2013, it was found that it actually helps you lose weight. This has been proven in a randomized scientific experiment. In 4.5 months, the vegans taking part in it lost 4.3 kg. In addition, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels dropped. The plumb line of the control group was 0.1 kg. [ten]

Similar results were obtained by scientists in 2005. The study lasted 2 weeks. During this time, people who gave up eating animal products lost 5.8 kg. The control group followed the NCEP diet. It involves replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates. For 14 days, their average plumb line was 3.8 kg. In addition to weight loss, vegans have significantly decreased waist measurements. [nine]

In 2007, another study was conducted. It confirmed that a vegan diet actually helps you lose weight. The experiment lasted for 2 years. In the first year, vegans lost 4.9 kg, and women on the NCEP diet lost 1.8 kg. According to the results of 2 years, the weight in the vegan group was 3.1 kg, and in the NCEP group - 0.8 kg. [3]

In 2015, scientists compared 5 diets:

  • Vegan.
  • Vegetarian.
  • Pescetarian (you can eat fish and seafood).
  • Seven-vegetarian (only red meat is banned).
  • Non-vegetarian.

In six months, vegans lost about 7.5% of their original body weight. This plumb line exceeded the performance of other diets. [eleven]

Potential harm

A vegan diet can be detrimental to health, as the person who adheres to it does not get enough vitamin B12. It is found in animal products, and its shortage threatens the development of anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome and diseases of the nervous system.

A 2015 study made it possible to establish that a lack of vitamin B12 significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, all vegans need to take this substance in the form of dietary supplements. [12]

Don't worry about protein deficiency. If the menu is composed correctly, then plant food will provide the body with protein.

Calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet

A person who decides to follow a Mediterranean diet should not expect a quick result. However, such a nutritional system is effective and has long-term results. It helps to lose weight and improve overall health.

What is the essence of the diet

Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean food system is based on the following principles:

  • The menu is dominated by vegetables and fruits, legumes, cereals, cheeses, nuts and yogurt. They can be eaten daily.
  • Banned butter. It is replaced with olive or rapeseed oil.
  • If possible, they refuse confectionery, red meat and eggs altogether.
  • Fish and poultry are eaten 2 times a week.

  • You need to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. The diet allows for the consumption of red wine.
  • To speed up the process of losing weight, you need to play sports.

The scientific basis for the diet

All the studies that have looked at the Mediterranean diet support heart health benefits. For example, Dr. Ramon Estruch has been analyzing it for 5 years. More than 7447 people took part in his experiments. The study found that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have a 30% lower risk of developing heart disease. In the control group, the menu was based on low-fat foods. [4]

Doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of heart and vascular diseases. It is useful for obese people, as it helps to lose weight correctly and without harm to health.

A meta-analysis of randomized trials found that the Mediterranean diet does indeed help you lose weight. The effect will be noticeable if the calorie content of the diet is reduced. [13]

Read more: Mediterranean diet: pros and cons

Ornish diet

Ornish diet
Ornish diet

The diet is named after its creator, Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California. The menu is based on eating low-fat foods. Such a diet is beneficial for the cardiovascular system, as it helps to normalize blood cholesterol levels, reduce weight and blood pressure.

What is the essence of the diet

The main rule of the diet, which must be impeccably observed, is to limit the fat component of the daily diet to 10%. It is recommended to avoid fish, meat, butter, margarine, olives, avocados, seeds, nuts, confectionery and fatty dairy products. Alcoholic beverages are banned.

You can eat low-fat dairy drinks, egg whites, crackers, legumes, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Ornish points out that in addition to diet, a person should go in for sports: 3 times a week for an hour, or 5 times a week for half an hour. You can relieve stress through yoga and meditation.

The scientific basis for the diet

Ornish's research was reported in the Journal of American Medical Association in 1998. It made it possible to establish that people who followed his nutritional system lost 10 kg in a year. After 5 years, the maximum weight gain was 5 kg.

Another study was conducted at Stanford University. According to its results, the average annual plummet in people who followed the Ornish diet was 2.2 kg. However, in 2005, Dr. Michael Dansinger provided other data. He found that the Ornish diet helps to get rid of 3.3-7.3 kg in a year. While the Atkins diet only helps you lose weight by 2.1-4.8 kg. [fourteen]

The main effect of this diet is to strengthen the cardiovascular system [5].

Potential harm

People who follow the Ornish diet may be deficient in vitamin B12 and protein. Therefore, it is necessary to take vitamins in supplements and enrich the diet with legumes.


All analyzed diets differ from each other. The Atkins diet involves avoiding carbohydrates, the Ornish diet - from fats. Adherents of the paleo diet consume mostly meat dishes, vegans exclude them. However, scientific research suggests that all of these nutritional systems are effective. You can choose the one that will meet the requirements of a particular person. If you don't have enough strength to give up meat, then you can follow the Atkins diet or the paleo diet. The Mediterranean diet allows you to eat any food, but in moderation. The choice is vast, so choosing the optimal diet for yourself is not difficult.

Links to sources

  1. Gardner CD et all. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. 2007 Mar 7; 297 (9): 969-77.
  2. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet
  3. A two-year randomized weight loss trial comparing a vegan diet to a more moderate low-fat diet
  4. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet
  5. Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease
  6. Atkins Diet: What's behind the claims?
  7. Jonsson T et all. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. 2009 Jul 16; 8:35. doi: 10.1186 / 1475-2840-8-35.
  8. Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial
  9. Barnard ND et all. The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. 2005 Sep; 118 (9): 991-7.
  10. Mishra S et all. A multicenter randomized controlled trial of a plant-based nutrition program to reduce body weight and cardiovascular risk in the corporate setting: the GEICO study. 2013 Jul; 67 (7): 718-24. doi: 10.1038 / ejcn.2013.92. Epub 2013 May 22.
  11. Turner-McGrievy GM et all. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: a randomized controlled trial of five different diets. 2015 Feb; 31 (2): 350-8. doi: 10.1016 / j.nut.2014.09.002. Epub 2014 Oct 18.
  12. Pawlak R. Is vitamin B12 deficiency a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in vegetarians? 2015 Jun; 48 (6): e11-26. doi: 10.1016 / j.amepre.2015.02.009.
  13. Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction. January 5, 2005
  14. Esposito Ket all. Mediterranean diet and weight loss: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. 2011 Feb; 9 (1): 1-12. doi: 10.1089 / met.2010.0031. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist

Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).

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