LivingYo-yo diets can increase the risk of heart disease

Yo-yo diets can increase the risk of heart disease

Many people struggle to maintain their ideal weight, but repeatedly losing and regain the pounds, known as a yo-yo diet, probably doesn’t do your heart any favors.

A new study has found that women who lost approximately 10 pounds, but gained that weight back within the same year, were more likely to have risk factors for heart disease. The more times a person goes on a yo-yo diet, the worse their heart health is.

Yo-yo diets also didn’t help women keep their weight in a healthy range. The study found that yo-yo dieters were 82% less likely to be at optimal weight.

“Weight cycling is extremely common, the range was zero to 20 cycles, and a history of one or more weight cycling episodes was associated with a poorer health score,” said Brooke Aggarwal of Columbia University Medical Center (EE. USA) and leader of the work.

The study included nearly 500 women in the New York City area. Their average age was 37. Almost two-thirds were from racial or ethnic minorities.

The average body mass index (BMI) of the women in the study was 26 , slightly overweight. BMI is a rough estimate of a person’s body fat based on height and weight measurements. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the National Heart Institute. Being overweight is between 25 and 29.9, and more than 30 is considered obese.

Almost three-quarters of the women commented that they had ‘gone’ on a yo-yo diet at least once.

The researchers checked the women’s heart health using the American Heart Association’s “Life Simple 7” recommendations. These seven factors are believed to be a measure of how well people control their risk factors for heart disease. The seven steps include eating healthy, exercising regularly, losing weight, quitting smoking, and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

The results

The numbers were clear. The more times a woman had dieted and subsequently regained the lost weight, the worse the Life’s Simple 7 score. Women who had never been pregnant seemed to be more affected by the effects of yo-yo diets than those who had had children.

“These women were probably younger, and the younger you start yo-yo dieting, the worse they can be. If they get on the yo-yo roller coaster early, cardiovascular risk increases,” Aggarwal clarifies.

And its impact on the health of your heart?

Aggarwal said this study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship , but according to Aggarwal, when you lose weight, you tend to lose lean muscle, and when you regain it, it’s often fat. And, that fat tends to settle in the abdomen, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Montserrat Folch Munuera, Nutritionist and dietician at Teknon Medical Center in Barcelona and a member of TopDoctors, did not participate in the study, but comments with Very Interesting the findings:

When we are going to lose weight we have to learn how we are going to maintain that weight. If we do not do it from the first day, yo-yo diets are established. Many people do very strict diets or fasts to lose weight for aesthetics, but after achieving their goal they go back to eating unhealthy foods (which are not good for their health with refined sugars, saturated fats and salt), and they take on this weight all at once. “

“Subjecting the body to yo-yo diets can be dangerous, but it also depends on the health of each person: the body can support yo-yo diets but they are not healthy. In the end, our cells have memory. If we are used to it Despite weighing 60 kilos, sudden changes lead to an easy tendency to return to the weight that was had. To change the memory of our cells that weight must be maintained for a few years, then the cells change memory “, clarifies Folch.

“The patient must have guidelines or tools during the weight loss to maintain their health: the fundamental thing in an effective and healthy diet is to lower fat, sweets and salt. Do physical exercise (even if it is just going for a walk) and sleep and rest enough “, concludes the doctor.

Reference: American Heart Association

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