A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California has found that the fasting-mimicking diet, a 5-day vegan diet that mimics the effects of water-only fasting, has unique heart-healthy effects compared to the Mediterranean diet. The study compared the effectiveness of the fasting-mimicking diet against the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease among adults with obesity and hypertension.
The fasting-mimicking diet focuses on low-calorie, low-protein, and high-fat plant-based foods, and unlike intermittent fasting, individuals continue to eat during the “fasting” period. The participants in the fasting-mimicking diet group experienced a reduction in reactive hyperemia, which is consistent with rejuvenation of the heart. Additionally, they showed a decrease in trunk fat mass without a decline in lean muscle mass.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet group experienced a loss of lean muscle mass. The study also revealed that the fasting-mimicking diet group had reduced biological age, heart age, and risk of stroke compared to the Mediterranean diet group. These findings suggest that the fasting-mimicking diet may have a more significant impact on cardiovascular health compared to the Mediterranean diet.
The findings were encouraging, indicating that both diets led to weight loss and improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. However, further long-term studies are needed to understand the fasting-mimicking diet’s effects on cardiovascular health and its ability to delay the onset of cardiovascular disease.
The study emphasizes the importance of individualized dietary patterns and lifestyle choices, with guidance from registered dietitian nutritionists, to achieve optimal health outcomes. This highlights the need for personalized approaches to nutrition and the potential benefits of incorporating fasting-mimicking diets into cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.
While the study provides valuable insights into the effects of the fasting-mimicking diet on heart health, it is important to note that this research is still in its early stages. The study had a relatively small sample size, and the participants were only followed for a short period of time. Therefore, more extensive research is needed to validate these findings and determine the long-term effects of the fasting-mimicking diet on cardiovascular health.
In conclusion, the recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California suggests that the fasting-mimicking diet may have unique heart-healthy effects compared to the Mediterranean diet. The fasting-mimicking diet group experienced improvements in heart health markers, such as reactive hyperemia and trunk fat mass, without a decline in lean muscle mass. However, further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of this diet on cardiovascular health.