There is a never ending debate about which diet is “best.” Years ago it would have been the Atkins Diet versus the South Beach Diet. Today the most popular diets that are being debated are Paleo versus Mediterranean.
First of all, it is important to differentiate a diet versus a way of eating. To me, when someone says they are on a diet, it means that they are restricting certain food groups, counting calories ad nauseam and feeling deprived. Needless to say, I don’t buy into the diet hype. You need to find an approach to eating that will work best for you.
Yale University’s Dr. David Katz, who is a practicing physician and researcher at the campus’s Prevention Research Center, has become one of the leading spokesperson for debunking diets and raising public awareness of the truth about dieting. He is not interested in diets either.
Katz and Yale colleague Stephanie Meller compared the major diets of the day: Low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, vegan, and elements of other diets. Despite the pervasiveness of these diets in culture and media, Katz and Meller write, “There have been no rigorous, long-term studies comparing contenders for best diet laurels using methodology that precludes bias and confounding. For many reasons, such studies are unlikely.” They conclude that no diet is clearly best, but there are common elements across eating patterns that are proven to be beneficial to health. “A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”
Since there is no “best” diet for everyone, sticking with eating more real foods than processed foods is still a better choice.
Attaining a healthier waistline isn’t just about what to eat; it encompasses much more. Are you content in your job and in your relationships? Do you feel supported? Are you engaging in daily physical activity? Are you managing your stress? All of these factors play a role in your weight and overall health and wellness.
Media messages about food and diets can be confusing, but increasingly, research seems to be pointing in one direction: real, fresh, natural food. Eating a whole foods diet is what has helped me lose weight and transform my health. It’s nothing like the punishment that “dieting” used to be!
If you would like to learn more about a better approach to weight loss, please visit my website www.Coach4HealthyLiving.com to get your free eBook, “The Diet AlteRNative.”
Janine Gilarde has over 15 years of experience in integrative and conventional medical practices. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse, Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a Certified Reiki Master Teacher trained in Buddho- Enersense, a complete system of healing. She is committed to helping others using an integrative approach to weight loss and well-being.