It's like the Atkins Diet with an eco-twist and it's all the rage among health advocates because a new study has found that a low-carbohydrate vegan diet could help to significantly reduce weight and minimize the risk of heart disease.

The study, published in British Medical Journal Open, was conducted by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The diet, essentially a vegan version of the Atkins diet, has been dubbed the "Eco-Atkins."

When compared to a high-carb, low-fat diet, a low-carb vegan diet helped participants lose an average of four more pounds in the same time frame, researchers at St. Michael's Clinical Nutrition and Risk Modification Centre found. Researchers think the Eco-Atkins diet may also reduce the risk of heart disease by 10 percent over 10 years.

“We killed two birds with one stone — or, rather, with one diet,” said Dr. David Jenkins in a news release. “We designed a diet that combined both vegan and low-carb elements to get the weight loss and cholesterol-lowering benefits of both."

The study followed 39 obese men and women over a six-month period. Participants were told the types of food they were allowed to eat and the amounts and were then allowed to adapt the diet to their own tastes and preferences. Researchers attempted to balance the diet such that 26 percent of participant's daily calories came from carbs, 31 percent from proteins and 43 percent from fat in the food.

So, what do you think? Is a low-carb vegan diet the key to healthy eating or just the latest craze in a long string of over-hyped health fads?

Is a low-carbohydrate vegan diet the key to weight loss and a healthy heart?
New study finds the 'Eco-Atkins' diet reduced heart disease risk and helped participants lose more weight than other diets.