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Dr. Oz debunks diet myths: Vegetarian diets are not best for weight loss

Dr. Oz debunks diet and weight loss myths, discusses heart disease prevention tips
Dr. Oz debunks diet and weight loss myths, discusses heart disease prevention tips
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Dr. Mehmet Oz debunked common diet myths and discussed heart disease prevention on the May 29 episode of the Dr. Oz Show. (This episode originally aired Feb. 12.)

Starvation Doesn't Work, Eating Late Fuels Weight Gain

Many people think drastically cutting calories will help them slim down, but this is false. Reducing calories initially causes weight loss, but if you eat too little your metabolism slows down.

When you eat less than you need for basic biological function (about 1,200 calories for most women), your body slows down your metabolism as a defense mechanism. It also begins to break down calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy, so never resort to starvation diets, because they will backfire.

Another diet myth is that a vegetarian diet will help you lose weight. This is also false. Dr. Oz said a plant-based diet has many health benefits, but isn't effective strictly as a weight-loss tool. Oftentimes, people wind up substituting animal protein for huge portions of high-calorie carbs and end up eating a lot more.

Dr. Oz recently said a high-fat diet is more effective for weight loss. Dr. Oz used to advocate a low-fat diet, but changed his mind after talking to high-fat diet proponents Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, and Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly (both of whom recently appeared on the Dr. Oz Show).

Dr. Oz said MUFAs flush away stored fats from your body and reduce inflammation (the No. 1 cause of chronic diseases). In addition to aiding weight loss, MUFAs prevent heart disease, diabetes and dementia, and help your skin look younger.

One diet myth that is true is that eating at night makes you gain weight. Studies show that late-night eating causes weight gain, and shift workers are especially at risk. Shift workers can this by making their first meal the largest and eating their smallest meal before bedtime.

Dr. Oz Reveals Heart Disease Prevention Tips

On a separate segment, Dr. Oz revealed inexpensive, drug-free ways to prevent heart disease:

  • Hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea reduces blood pressure, which lowers your heart-disease risk.
  • Cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, coffee or yogurt to prevent blood-sugar spikes (surges in blood sugar lead to weight gain and heart disease).
  • Metamucil fiber supplement. Dr. Oz said most of us don't get enough fiber. Consuming more soluble fiber reduces cholesterol, which lowers heart-disease risk. It also aids weight loss and digestion.

Dr. Oz shared other weight-loss and diet secrets in his book, YOU: Losing Weight.