CHICAGO – The October 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of some of this month’s articles. For more information or to receive a copy of a Journal article, e-mail email@example.com.
A Dietary Quality Comparison of Popular Weight Loss Diets
The Alternate Healthy Eating Index measures and compares factors in a person’s diet that are strongly linked to reducing risk for cardiovascular disease. According to researchers at the University of Massachusetts who compared the dietary quality of several popular weight-loss plans, none of the plans achieved a perfect AHEI score, “but the Ornish, Weight Watchers high-carbohydrate and New Glucose Revolution plans were among the best performers using the AHEI and traditional dietary quality assessments.”
The researchers calculated the AHEI from meal plans taken from books or Web sites for the New Glucose Revolution, WeightWatchers, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Ornish and 2005 U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPyramid plans. Of a maximum possible score of 70, the AHEI scores for each weight-loss plan were:
The researchers conclude that the AHEI “is a valuable tool in selecting a weight-loss plan that maximizes both weight loss and (cardiovascular disease) prevention.” Since the study was based on meal plans as described by their creators, the researchers recommend further study “to observe what patients actually consume when following a popular weight-loss plan.”
Canola Oil Increases Compliance with Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acids
People’s intake of fatty acids – which have been linked to cardiovascular disease and other conditions – can be substantially affected by changing the type of vegetable oil they use, according to researchers at the University of Illinois and Pennsylvania State University.
Substituting canola oil and canola-based margarine for vegetable oils and spreads, such as corn, cottonseed and soybean, “increases compliance with dietary recommendations for saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid,” the researchers write in their study of data from nearly 9,000 U.S. adults.
According to the researchers, switching to canola-based products 100 percent of the time would decrease adults’ saturated fatty acid intake by up to 9.4 percent; increase their intake of monounsaturated fatty acid by 27.6 percent; and increase their alpha-linolenic acid intakes by73 percent. Total consumption of calories, total fat and cholesterol would not change.
Government and health organizations have issued guidelines and recommendations for fatty acid and cholesterol consumption to lower people’s risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, and other health problems. According to the researchers: “Increasing substitution of canola oil for selected vegetable oils and of canola oil-based margarine for other margarines and butter in the diet of U.S. adults would increase the percentage of Americans in compliance with all current fatty acid-based dietary recommendations,” except the Institute of Medicine’s recommended Adequate Intake of linoleic acid, which is necessary for cell structure and making hormones.
“The results of this study show that fatty acid intake can be influenced substantially through a simple recommendation to change the type of vegetable oil used at the table and in cooking,” the researchers conclude.
The study was supported by the U.S. Canola Association.
Additional research articles in the October Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the official research publication of the American Dietetic Association and is the premier peer-reviewed journal in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
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