It’s official: Scientific research has confirmed that high-protein meals — as promoted by the Atkins and South Beach Diets — help heavy individuals shed pounds.
The findings, contained in a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, indicate a relatively high proportion of women who reported using the practice of “eating more protein” to prevent weight gain actually lost weight.
The study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, surveyed 1,824 women — 40-60 years old — about their dietary habits and body weight.
The results showed most women were able to correctly identify good protein sources. They also indicated 43 percent of the women — and more than half of those who were obese — reported the practice of “eating more protein” to prevent weight gain had led to weight loss in the previous two years.
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“Education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of this practice,” noted lead researcher Noel Aldrich, who said the participants who had reported weight loss on high-protein diets followed dietary guidelines recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
“Women may need more information regarding protein energy content and effective selection of protein sources to enhance protein intake as a weight management strategy,” Aldrich added. “Given that the majority of Americans are overweight, identifying the most effective practices and related factors surrounding successful weight loss and prevention of weight gain are important.”
According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, surveys show 50 percent of American consumers are interested in including more protein in their diets and 37 percent believe protein helps with weight loss.
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