There are no science based diet plans available anywhere.
None, not even the USDA. Those guys developed the world's second food pyramid and every five years come out with new general nutrition standards and recommendations for Americans. It's actually a big deal as those standards are what are used to determine things like school lunches and WIC guidelines. But ever since the process of developing the pyramid and guides, it has been all a political mess with less to do with science and more to do with keeping the agrigiant corporate food industry happy. I wrote all about that here, (PYRAMID) It's more than a little confusing, and frightening as well. I mean really, what should you eat.
First, nearly every professional will tell us that dieting doesn't work. What you need to choose and then follow is a life style plan for eating. One thing that every professional will agree with is that the Standard American Diet (or SAD) is not in any way healthy. The big food giants disagree, but it is their business to feed you SAD foods. At huge profits for themselves. And not unlike a giant house of cards, the entire foundation of the SAD system is based on billions of dollars in farm subsidies generously paid out to those agrigiants in order to keep their food prices low, and therefore desirable to the SAD people. For those that one day see the light of their SAD existence and desire to break free from the dominance that their agrigiant masters have over them, there is a need to learn what sort of lifestyle and dietary plan is available to them, and why they need to choose one over the multitude of plans out there. Let's look at some of the basic lifeplans available, and at the end, the precautions to be aware of.
These are the major varieties of life style food plans
- High Carb
- Low Carb
- High Fat
- Standard American Diet, SAD
Vegetarian. There are several varieties of vegetarian, vegan being the most strict and described above; however there are allowances for personal preferences with ways to increase basic nutritional needs. Lacto is the most popular, meaning with the addition of milk products in order to get higher protein and some Omega 3 and B12. Next is Ovo, meaning adding in eggs for greater amounts of those nutrients, and then there is Pisceverous, meaning eating fish and ocean products as well. That's me, Lacto-Ovo-Pisciverous Vegetarian. And for me, because of my age and a touch of arthritis, I eat a bit of beef broth made from grass fed organic beef bones. It really does help. I don't eat this way because I care about animals or any of that bleeding heart crap, I eat this way because of the crap they feed animals and just how disgusting and contaminated our meat industry is here in America. I write about it all the time, here on my blog search "modern meat" or "CAFO" in the upper right hand corner and be prepared to learn the disgusting truth. Anyway, being a vegetarian that is not so strict all the time gives me the best of both worlds, I have the biggest variety of foods available to me, I eat well, maybe too well at times, I am overweight, and I get the life enhancing benefits of reduced toxins in my diet that are added in by farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers. By only eating animals eggs and dairy that are organic and produced in sustainable methods of farming as well as only eating sustainably caught wild seafood instead of the horribly toxic farmed seafood versions; I am a WILD-vegetarian, or maybe Natural. I don't know, I just don't eat process foods and I feel better for it. Last Sunday was a good friend's birthday and I ate some store bought cake, you know the kind with whipped Crisco sugar frosting. I felt like crap Monday. Processed food. SAD.
Balanced Diet. Probably the only diet plan that makes sense. Basically it's all about eating a variety of foods, and adhering to the food pyramid for the most part that was described above. However, as a life plan it is only good if you totally eliminate processed foods from your diet. That means sugars, artificial anything and especially modern meats, with you replacing the toxic BSE laden beef with healthy organic stuff. Read this to learn just how truly sad the America modern meat business has become (MEAT) Anyway the key to sticking to any diet lifestyle is to pick one that will make you happy, give you variety and if you want to cheat once in a while and have a donut, well, it's your lifestyle and your life. It's okay every once in a while.The thing to remember about any diet plan is moderation is the key. With the only exception being lots and lots of fresh vegetables. Raw, steamed lightly, fermented or maybe lightly cooked. You can always eat lots of them, but then add in grains, meats, beans, and fruits. Okay, some sweets every once in a while. However, here again, good healthy food is only available in its most basic forms. Boxed, canned, frozen or from fast food is generally high with bad fat, high in sugar and salt and loaded with additives that manufacturers believe to be safe, or at least believe that only a little won't hurt you. They don't actually know for sure, but one thing is for certain, processing strips nutrients that you need. Even a Micky D's salad is coated with anti-yellowing agents to make the greens that might be weeks old appear fresher, and their dressings have transfats MSG and sugar added.
High Carb Diet. A new one on the market and actually sort of sensible. It more closely resembles the diets of early Paleolithic hominids than any other diet. The big new one out on the internet right now is the 80-10-10 diet with a person eating 80% of their caloric intake being carbohydrates and 10% each of fats and protein. Early proto humans were gatherers, and ate primarily plants. Yeah and a lot of nuts, seeds, rotting meat from other animal's kills, greens, seeds (AKA Grains) and anything they could find. Very little of it ran around on four legs or flew. That came later, and when is a big discussion for paleantologists. I don't care, I just know that if you believe in evolution, early man rarely ate meat. It's that simple. Fire of course changed all that, but it didn't change the fact that men eating meat still ate lots and lots of greens grains and garbage that they could find. Eating meat didn't stop the consumption of everything else and in fact all that other stuff is the reason why civilizations began, to grow all that stuff themselves instead of wasting time looking for it out in the wild. Anyway, for Americans it is hard to accept that we as humans need to eat lots of carbs in the form of grains, legumes and plants plants plants. I mean, modern society is adapted to a burger palace of one form or another on every street corner and it is generally accepted that that food is in actuality, FOOD. It isn't, real food is what your body needs, and the weird reality of it all is that 80% of the world lives on and does quite well with a high carb grain based diet. Western Civilizations are the only ones confusing lots of meat with a good diet, and we call that SAD. Next up, them...
Low Carb Diet. Meat. Meat in all its many forms. Meat. I know a lot of people, some are Paleo people, others just like to eat meat, they believe that it's the penultimate expression of wealth and vitality. Most of them are sick all the time. But hey, I'm sick all the time as well. I wasn't up until I lived in an apartment with black mold in it and the effects haunt me to this day, but yeah, I'm sick a lot as well. But anyway, there are a few studies out about how dangerous a high meat intake diet can be. Especially if all you are eating is modern meat. I'm sorry, it isn't in any way healthy. Not just the concept of high meat diet, but the selection of modern CAFO raised animals fed horrific things and processed in equally horrific conditions. Well, I don't think anyone actually eats this way for any period of time, it would be very expensive, your health would decline, your teeth would fall out and a multitude of maladies would afflict your health. But supplements are for sale on each and every website that proposes that you eat this way.
High Fat Diet. 85% or more of your calories should be in the form of fats. Dr. Mercola is a big proponent of this diet. Gimmee a break. Sheesh. He sells millions of dollars worth of supplements on his site, if you tried this without supplements, you would die. Honestly, I cannot understand how a medical doctor would ever promote this. It is not in anyway based on any science, archeology or common sense. But there are those out there that swear by it. Or so it would appear. 'Nuff said.
the SAD. The Standard American Diet pretty much is universally considered unhealthy by virtually every single professional in the fields of medicine, nutrition and pharmacology. And they all, along with the entire agrigiant food industry love love love this diet. It means money money money for all of them. It makes you sick, the chemicals addict you to the diet and you buy more and more and get sicker and sicker and all your wealth go to those that make money on your desires to live the American Dream by eating the SAD.
What we see here is a pattern. At least I see a pattern. Any diet plan that you can buy at the store or at the fast food places is going to affect your health in a very non-positive way. What you prepare yourself will affect you in a beneficial way. It isn't rocket science. Those that claim science has research that verifies their claims for whatever, usually are selling you stuff, and their interpretations of science are pretty loose and wild in that interpretation. Yeah, Paleo proto-humankind did not subsist on lots and lots of meat, IT NEVER HAPPENED that way. No matter what they claim. What I'm trying to say here is that you might try Atkins or some other fad diet for a bit, but the thing you will find is that they don't work, you will feel terrible get sick and if you lost any weight you will regain it rapidly if you go back to eating your standard diet. I am a big proponent of going vegetarian. Even a nice balanced diet with good high quality organic foods and an occasional meal with organic meat is way way way better for you in the long run. And eliminating processed foods is going to make you feel better and allow you to do some exercise which will help you in your overall battle to reduce your size and make you a healthy long living human.
You are what you eat, so don't eat crap.