The American Heart Association’s recommended diet is one of the most effective food plans out there. It’s also one of the most complicated. It requires, according to a recent study, “consuming vegetables and fruits; eating whole grains and high-fiber foods; eating fish twice weekly; consuming lean animal and vegetable proteins; reducing intake of sugary beverages; minimizing sugar and sodium intake; and maintaining moderate to no alcohol intake.” On top of that, adherents should derive half of their calories from carbs, a fifth from protein, and the rest from fat—except just 7 percent should be saturated fat.
Researchers found 240 participants and divided them into two groups. One group was instructed to eat the American Heart Association, or AHA, diet, including shaving 500 to 1,000 calories off of their normal food intake. The other was simply told to eat more fibrous foods. High-fiber foods include fruit, legumes, whole grains, and some vegetables. (It’s recommended that adults eat about 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, but very few people do this.)
After a year, the more-fiber group had lost 2.1 kilograms, or about 4.6 pounds, according to results published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The AHA group, which had been following a much more complicated eating regimen, lost just half a kilogram more, or six pounds.
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