Once the rats returned to a normal diet, their cycling, body weight, blood pressure and heart rate were restored quickly. However, the analysts noticed the rats had a higher accumulation of belly fat and less muscle three months after the diet ended.
"Even more troubling was the finding that angiotensin II, a hormone in the body, was more potent at increasing blood pressure in the rats that were on the reduced-calorie diet," lead author Aline de Souza said in a statement.
The increase could lead to a higher risk of a hypertension diagnosis, which could also point to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
“Together with the increase in belly fat, these changes in body composition may cause long-term health risks for people who have previously crash dieted,” the team explained.
In another study presented earlier this year, Oxford University researchers revealed crash diets might derail your heart health as well, especially for those with already existing cardiovascular issues. While the 21 obese people they evaluated dropped total body fat, their heart fat went up by 44 percent after just one week on the diet.
Want to learn more about the latest findings? Take a look here.