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Monday, October 13, 2014

What is the Optimal Diet?

According to what this article says, almost half of Americans are on a diet. And...how many diets are there? For starters, you've got diets that are based on religious background such as a Hindu or Kosher diets. Then, you've got diets that are low-carb, vegetarian, low-fat, crash diets, detox, and diets that are needed for a particular medical reason. So many! But, what if you are one of the "fortunate" people out there that just happen to be born thin -- does that mean you can eat what you want just because you are thin? 

Dean Ornish, MD points out in this article that "an optimal diet is low in unhealthful carbs (both sugar and other refined carbohydrates) and low in fat (especially saturated fats and trans fats) as well as in red meat and processed foods." So what happens to all those people that stick to a diet like the Atkins diet? This diet teaches that by restricting carbohydrates and having more protein and fat is the way to go. But, then what happens if the Atkins dieter decides to eat steak, bacon, cheeseburgers, and then have butter on everything? A promotion of heart disease occurs. In fact, "it has been found that an article from the New England Journal of Medicine examined data from a study showing that high-protein, low-car diets promote coronary artery disease even if they don't increase traditional cardiac risk factors like blood pressure or cholesterol levels. A diet low in fat and ugh in unrefined carbohydrates caused the least amount of coronary artery blockages, whereas an Atkins-type diet caused the most. "

As Dr. Ornish points out in this article, eat for health, not for weight. 

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