5:2 diet one of the most effective ways to cut risk of heart disease, study finds

The 5:2 diet, which has enabled millions of people to lose weight, now reportedly has extra benefits for our body.

A new study has claimed that as well as losing weight on the popular diet, people who choose to follow the regime can also reduce their risk of heart disease.

The diet, where participants eat 500 calories for 2 days a week, and normally (but healthily) for the rest of the week,  was devised by Dr Michael Mosley, who has also written the The Blood Sugar diet book.

Researchers at Surrey University, where the study was conducted, saw those who took part had lower blood pressure and fat levels after being on the 5:2 diet for 2 months.

The research, which was published in British Journal of Nutrition Reports, saw half of the 27 participants follow the 5:2 diet, while the others ate 600 calories less each day.

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After two months the team of researchers found that those who were on the 5:2 diet had lower blood pressure reading – reduced by 9%, while those who were eating less calories daily their blood pressure had only reduced by 2%.

Weight loss was measured too – with those who did the 5:2 diet achieving 5% weight loss in 59 days. It took the others 73 days to achieve the same.

Dr Rona Antoni, from the University of Surrey, however warned that while the results proved promising, the diet is not necessarily for everyone.

MORE: How the 5:2 diet can help you lose weight

He said, “As seen in this study, some of our participants struggled to tolerate the 5:2 diet, which suggests that this approach is not suited to everybody –  ultimately the key to dieting success is finding an approach you can sustain long term.

“But for those who do well and are able stick to the 5:2 diet, it could potentially have a beneficial impact on some important risk markers for cardiovascular disease, in some cases more so than daily dieting.”

Celebrity 5:2 fans reportedly include Phillip Schofield, Jennifer Lopez and James Corden.

Words: Sarah Finley

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