Is My Fad Diet Good For My Heart?


You recently heard about a new fad diet and you can’t wait to start. It will lower your cholesterol, clear your skin, enhance your sex life, get rid of your excess holiday weight…or so it claims. Here, Maribet Rivera-Brute, MPH, a dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, dissects a few popular diets to see which ones (if any) are good for your heart health.

Paleo Diet and Your Heart

The Paleo diet (a.k.a. “the caveman diet”) includes unprocessed foods and is restrictive on ingesting carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.

“While it is good to eat whole foods, this diet can promote outrageously rapid weight loss, which is not always good for your body and not recommended for your heart,” Rivera-Brute says.

Atkins Diet and Your Heart

The Atkins diet is a low-carb meal plan that includes large amounts of protein. While this can also help you lose weight quickly, Rivera-Brute worries that it doesn’t promote sustainable lifelong eating habits. .

“Too much protein can cause toxicity in the body,” she says. “Also, your body needs carbs to produce energy. So, a purely Atkins diet may not be healthy or sustainable long-term.”

Cabbage Soup Diet and Your Heart

The cabbage soup diet includes nothing but cabbage soup and a few veggies for seven days straight. Rivera-Brute guards against going on this diet because rapid weight loss is often not sustainable and the diet includes excess sodium, which isn’t good for your heart.

The Bottom Line: Don’t Fad Diet

Instead of jumping onto the latest fad diet craze, try eating balanced meals of whole grains and high fiber, fruits, veggies and healthy fats such olive oil and corn oil as well as unsalted nuts, says Rivera-Brute. In fact, the right diet is a No-Fad Diet. Learn more about these American Heart Association tips to maintain a healthy weight while eating well for your heart every day.

A healthy weight-loss diet should not only provide a meal plan but also place emphasis on how to sustain the weight you’ve lost in a sensible way and underscore the important role that physical activity plays in maintaining a healthy body weight.