Renata Trister DO
In the recent years many diets including low carb, low fat, Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, low glycemic, Paleolithic etc. have become very trendy. While most of these plans are sound, they may be confusing and contradictory. There is also tendency to cling to a favored regimen as the only true gateway to health. Many of these plans have been studied and compared in their relation to obesity and chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Comparatively, no one diet results in significantly better health. However, the diets associated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disease had three essential components:
1.They limited processed foods.
2.They were rich in plant-based foods.
3.Animal products in the diet were themselves the product of plants (meaning they came from animals that ate a plant-based diet).
These findings can be summed up in a quote by author Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Just because people who follow one diet are incredibly healthy doesn’t mean people who subscribe to a different way of eating can’t be. Seventh Day Adventists on a vegan diet do great, but so do Okinawans eating a traditional Asian diet. And people on a Mediterranean diet can be just as healthy. Although these diets are very different from each other, all have their unique directives and their merits but it’s not the differences in these plans that makes them healthy, but the principles that they share that are most important.
In conclusion, one does not need to chase the latest and greatest diet fads. As long as you limit processed foods and fill your plate with foods actually found in nature, it’s hard to get too far off the healthful track. The way to eat for optimal human health is well established, and it’s eating real food. The best variation isn’t clear, but the beauty of that is that you can choose what you like best. It puts you in the position of being able to love the food that loves you back.