The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has advised the general public to seek the advice of a registered dietician or nutritionist who has the knowledge and expertise to create a well-balanced healthy diet should they desire to lose weight.
The HPCSA has conveyed its concern to the current spate of individuals promoting the following of a high-protein, high fat and low carbohydrate diet – cautioning that these particular weight loss programs come with serious health repercussions for individuals who adhere to over the long term.
The council revealed that as the focus falls on National Nutrition Week, numerous South Africans are making the effort to get rid of the winter kilos and cautioned individuals not to be influenced by mass media reports recommending pricey high protein and saturated fat diets in addition to long term unhealthy and harmful consequences.
Chairperson of the Professional Board for Dietetics and Nutrition, Professor Edelweiss Wentzel-Viljoen pointed out that the board has indicated its worry over the controversial unhealthy and potentially harmful diets which have been encouraged in the media by individuals, who are not qualified in the fields of dietetics and nutrition.
“Although low carbohydrate diets containing less energy may have short term beneficial effects on weight control and insulin resistance in some individuals, a healthy diet remains a balanced diet,” said Professor Wentzel-Viljoen. He furthermore pointed out that physical activity performed an essential function in achieving and maintaining a healthy and balanced weight.
“A healthy diet remains one that is balanced in terms of carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as vitamins and minerals. The best way to reach a healthy balanced way of eating, is to follow the South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines,” she explains.
Research conducted recently and published in the British Medical Journal discovered that low carbohydrate-high protein diets which are followed on a regular basis over a long period are linked to elevated risks of cardiovascular disease.
The research and numerous studies have shown that a 20g reduction in daily carbohydrate intake and a 5g rise in daily protein intake would correspond to a 5% increase in the overall likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
A research study which was published in Circulation found that there existed a positive correlation between consumption of red meat and risk of heart disease among women was documented according to the large Nurses’ Health Study.