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Study Rates Heart Health of Popular Diet Plans
Date:10/5/2007

e said.

Pagoto advises patients to keep a food log over several weeks to get a better idea of their food preferences and calorie intake before starting a diet.

Lack of variety courts diet disaster due to boredom, Pagoto said. People will eventually get tired of the limitations of a tightly controlled or hard-to-implement diet, she said.

Despite not making the top three, the USDA's MyPyramid allows for the most variety, she said.

Sandon said: "What I find in working with clients is that most people tend to eat the same foods on a daily or weekly basis and have little variety. They do not want to have to seek out special foods or learn to prepare new foods they are not familiar with. In general, I find that many people in the initial phase of starting a weight-loss plan are more comfortable sticking to a plan of the same foods most of the time but want permission to have something different here and there."

A second study in the same issue of the journal suggests that using canola-based products instead of other oils all the time could meet national standards for healthy fats. Canola oil can help decrease adults' saturated fatty acid intake by up to 9.4 percent and increase their intake of monounsaturated fatty acids by 27.6 percent. Alpha-linolenic acid intake would increase 73 percent. The switch would not affect total calories, fat and cholesterol, according to the researchers, from the University of Illinois and Pennsylvania State University, who studied the diets of more than 9,000 people.

More information

For more about the USDA's dietary guidelines, visit MyPyramid.



SOURCES: Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, assistant professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and staff, University of Massachusetts Medical School Weight Center; Lona Sandon, ME.d.
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