The Current State of Diet Thinking

Reliable information on what represents a healthy and sustainable diet is remarkably elusive. Ordinary Americans can be forgiven their confusion given the constant stream of fad diet advice from celebrities, savvy marketers and the flip-flopping of scientific evidence. Of course, the best diet depends upon an individual’s health and diet objectives.

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    The Current State of Diet Thinking

    The Current State of Diet Thinking

    Reliable information on what represents a healthy and sustainable diet is remarkably elusive. Ordinary Americans can be forgiven their confusion given the constant stream of advice from celebrities, savvy marketers and the flip-flopping of scientific evidence. (Remember when fats and eggs were dangerous? They now seem to be part of a healthy meal plan, in moderation, of course.)

    Perhaps it’s understandable that the science is so murky. According to a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, research is hampered by low funding, difficulties in running double blind tests and even being certain that test subjects are adhering to the test requirement. These issues and more make findings less certain than, say, drug trials.1

    And the Best Diet Is…

    As you might expect, it includes a healthy balance of food from all the major food groups, with a sparing consumption of red meat, refined grains (e.g., white rice, bread, pasta), potatoes, sugary drinks, sweets and salt. Eating more fruits and vegetables remains great advice.

    Of course, it will depend upon an individual’s health objectives. For instance, some programs may be better suited for individuals with health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease or those seeking long-term weight loss.

    A recent survey of nationally recognized experts conducted by U.S. News & World Report identified the best overall plans for 2020.2 At the top of the ranking was a mix of well-known and lesser-known diets, including:

    1. The Mediterranean Diet
    2. DASH Diet
    3. The Flexitarian Diet
    4. Weight Watchers
    5. Tied: Mayo Clinic Diet; MIND Diet; Volumetrics Diet

    What to Avoid

    WebMD suggests that you run the other way from any fad that focuses on a few foods or food groups, all “detox” plans (it seems that the human body is quite capable of ridding itself of poisons without resorting to extreme regimens), plans with “miracle” foods or ingredients, fasting and very low-calorie consumption diets, and those that have a “secret” that makes them sound too good to be true. Sound advice.  Bon Appétit!

    Sources:

    1. https://elemental.medium.com/diet-research-is-deeply-flawed-heres-what-you-should-know-to-eat-healthy-6e27ff47efb0
    2. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/how-us-news-ranks-best-diets

    Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/

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