Okay, let's be honest. If there's one thing that's growing as fast as technology in today's world, it has to be the idea of fad diets. No matter where you look, you're bound to hear about at least one fad diet that has been gaining popularity increasingly. Three of such popular fad diets are the Mediterranean diet, the Intermittent fasting diet and the Paleo diet. The reason behind their popularity is that people have tried and tested these and they seem to work the best when it comes to shedding kilos and in the quickest time possible.
Researchers conducted a study on 250 participants over a year's time. Of these participants, just over half chose to follow the intermittent fasting diet, 27% opted for the Mediterranean diet and about 18% of them followed the Paleo diet. The researchers found that the participants who opted for intermittent fasting on two of the selected days of their choice from the week lost more weight as compared to the other participants. The participants on the Mediterranean diet showed improved blood sugar levels.
Study co-lead author Dr Melyssa Roy said that the weight loss was consistent in the participants and most of them lost between 2-4 kgs but what really did work better for the participants who followed the Mediterranean and intermittent diets was that their blood sugar levels also improved. The researchers conducted this survey to figure out how these diets would work in the real world. They wanted people to choose any of the three diets of their own accord and without any suggestions from a dietitian.
The doctor also said that for some people following all of these diets could be, "healthful, beneficial ways to eat". "This work supports the idea that there isn't a single 'right' diet – there are a range of options that may suit different people and be effective," she said. "In this study, people were given dietary guidelines at the start and then continued with their diets in the real world while living normally. About half of the participants were still following their diets after a year and had experienced improvements in markers of health."
"Like the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting and paleo diets can also be valid healthy eating approaches – the best diet is the one that includes healthy foods and suits the individual." Co-author of the study, Dr Michelle Jospe said that the participants found the Mediterranean diet to be the easiest to follow. "Our participants could follow the diet's guidelines more closely than the fasting and paleo diets and were more likely to stay with it after the year, as our retention rates showed."
After a year it was found that the Mediterranean diet had the best retention with 57% people still following through. 54% of the participants were on the fasting diet and about 35% of them were still on the paleo diet. The weight loss for people following the Mediterranean diet was about 2.8 kg, for those on the intermittent diet it was 4 kg and for those on the paleo diet it was 1.8 kg.
The researchers concluded that it was best for people to opt for a diet that was sustainable and could be followed on a long-term basis. This would help give them more realistic outcomes.