It goes without saying that everyone wants a slim, sexy body. Some people are even willing to go on crash diets like The Master Cleanse, The XTreme Fat Loss Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet and The Grapefruit Diet to achieve it.
It's no secret that insane diets like these leave you feeling starving, sick and dizzy. What you probably didn't know is that they can also wreak havoc on your heart. According to new research, the fat you lose on crash diets can clog your heart and reduce its function! Read on for more.
Crash diets generally improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance…
The study was led by Dr Jennifer Rayner, a clinical research fellow at the University of Oxford in England. To reach their findings, Dr Rayner and her team asked 21 obese people to consume meal replacements, such as special soups or shakes, designed to provide 800 or fewer calories daily for eight weeks. The participants also had MRIs at the start of the study and again after one week and eight weeks on the diet.
The participants had an average age of 52 and an average body mass index (BMI) of 37. BMI is an estimate of a person’s body fat
based on their height and weight. A healthy BMI is between 19.9 and 24.9, overweight
is 25 to 29.9 and obese is 30 and over, according to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the average South
African has a heart age eight years older than the real age
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The team found that after one week, the participants’ total body fat
, abdominal fat and liver fat dropped by an average of 6%, 11% and 42% respectively. Their total cholesterol
and triglycerides also fell, while their blood pressure
, blood sugar
levels and insulin resistance improved. Despite these improvements in their health, participants’ heart health didn’t improve – it actually got worse.
However, clog diets also appear to clog the heart and reduce its function!
The team found that after just one week on the diet, participants’ heart fat shot up 44%. They also noted a decrease in their heart function. Dr Rayner suggested on theory behind this: The sudden drop in calories causes fat to be released from different parts of the body into the blood, which is then taken up by the heart muscle
Thankfully, these negative changes didn’t last. By the eight week, heart fat and heart function were actually better than normal, while all of the other metabolic measures also continued to improve. The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Barcelona, Spain.