Researchers compared three low-calorie diets and concluded that the Mediterranean option was the healthiest. The study at hand today is way too small to be considered anything but a pilot study. So results may not be replicable on a larger scale. I’d like to know how compliant study subjects were with the protocol, because 700 calories a day for six weeks is quite a challenge.
Link to article article
Comparison of short-term hypocaloric high-protein diets with a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet: Effect on body composition and health-related blood markers in overweight and sedentary young participants
A hypocaloric Mediterranean diet provides all the necessary nutrients.
The hypocaloric Mediterranean diet reduces body mass and fat mass and maintains fat-free mass.
The hypocaloric Mediterranean diet is beneficial on metabolic and inflammation/muscle- damage indices.
Hypocaloric high-protein diets with and without whey supplementation reduce body mass and fat-free mass but not fat mass.
Hypocaloric high-protein diets with and without whey supplementation are adverse on metabolic and inflammation/muscle-damage indices
The aim of the present study was to compare the short-term effects of a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet and two high protein diets, with and without whey protein supplementation, on body composition, lipidemic profile, and inflammation and muscle-damage blood indices in overweight, sedentary, young participants.
Thirty-three young, overweight, male and female participants (mean ± SD age: 22.8 ± 4.8 y; body mass: 85.5 ± 10.2 kg; body fat percentage: 34.3% ± 8.1%) were randomly allocated to three different hypocaloric (−700 kcal/d) diets: a Mediterranean diet (MD; n = 10), a high-protein diet (HP; n = 10) diet, and a high-protein diet with whey supplementation (n = 10). The intervention lasted 6 wk. Body composition and biochemical indices were evaluated 1 wk before and after the nutritional interventions.
Body and fat mass were decreased in the MD and HP groups (−3.5% ± 1.1% and −5.9% ± 4.2% for body and fat mass respectively in MD, and −1.7% ± 1.2% and −2.0% ± 1.8% for body and fat mass respectively in HP;P < 0.05), with no significant decline of fat-free mass observed in the MD group. The MD group’s diet beneficially altered the lipid profile (P < 0.05), but the HP and HPW groups’ diets did not induce significant changes. Subclinical inflammation and muscle-damage indices significantly increased in the HP and HPW groups (7.4% ± 3.5% and 66.6% ± 40.1% for neutrophils and CRP respectively in HP, and 14.3% ± 6.4% and 266.6% ± 55.1% for neutrophils and CRP respectively in HPW; P < 0.05) but decreased in the MD group (1.8% ± 1.2% and −33.3% ± 10.1% for neutrophils and CRP respectivelyc; P < 0.05). Energy intake of carbohydrates and proteins were significantly related to the changes in body composition and biochemical blood markers (r = −0.389 and −0.889; P < 0.05).
Among the three hypocaloric diets, only the Mediterranean diet induced positive changes in body composition and metabolic profile in overweight, sedentary individuals.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: I haven’t read the full report and don’t plan to any time soon.