Macronutrients, Weight Control, and Cardiovascular Health: A Systematic Review
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For some years, there has been interest in exploring the effects of high-fat and high-protein diets on the control of body weight. More recently, less extreme dieting paradigms have been studied, with a focus on the use of increased plant food components. This article reviews these diets from the standpoint of potential therapeutic use in cardiovascular risk reduction. We conducted a search of the literature published in 2008 and 2009 for studies assessing the effect of diet on body weight control, especially where there was an emphasis on differences in macronutrient profiles and food sources used (e.g., plant vs. animal). No clear picture emerged on the ideal macronutrient profile for weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk factor reduction. However, in general, the use of more plant food-based approaches had the greatest effect in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors, including blood lipids and blood pressure. Alterations in the proportion of protein and fat intakes gave inconsistent effects on body weight reduction.