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Thursday, 8 November, 2007

For vascular health, South Beach trumps Atkins

Not all fad diets are created equal, according to researchers at the University of Maryland. The Atkins, South Beach and Ornish diets all lead to weight loss but what happens when the weight plateaus, as it inevitably will? That's what explored, presented this month at the American Heart Association's annual scientific meeting in Orlando, Florida -- with disappointing results for Atkins fans.

"It really is the Atkins diet that is the worst," cardiologist and lead author . "The Atkins diet caused the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels to go up by about 7 percent, whereas in the Ornish and South Beach diets ... they went down 7 to 10 percent."

The high-fat Atkins diet caused damage to blood vessels, increased bad cholesterol levels and showed higher inflammation markers than the low-fat South Beach or Cornish diets -- and that's after the diet was stopped.

Dr Miller asked, "Why not start out with a diet that will be healthier for you in the long run after weight loss?"

The University of Maryland has made available an MP3 recording of Dr Miller speaking about his research comparing the three diets:

(Alternatively, you can download the audio file .)

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