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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,788
11/30/13 12:49 P

'When a range number goes extremely high, that forces another range to drop extremely low....and nutrient deficiencies can more easily occur.'

DieticianBecky, This is brilliant! Thank you so much for saying it.

EELPIE Posts: 2,669
11/30/13 9:46 A

I just feel that everyone is so different, what works for me, might not work for someone else.

I've a girlfriend who is naturally thin - (no exercise, weight never changes in the 20 years I have known her, size 4...that's it). I tried mimicking her eating patterns for a week and gained 5 pounds.

JOY73YL Posts: 1,395
11/30/13 8:46 A

I agree about a well balanced diet. that is why I find keeping track of what I eat on Sparkpeople so important!

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 1,892
11/30/13 8:12 A

No one diet is good for all....a good diet is comprised of all the basic nutrients that the body needs and also meets the calorie requirements and suitable portions, keeping his/her age, sex, activity level, etc. If you track on spark it easy to meet the requirements you personally need. Tracking and keeping a log will best give you an idea of what works for you.

The calorie requirements differ from person to person, depending upon the above mentioned factors as well as concerns of diabetes, heart related concerns such as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, stroke, cancer, etc.....nutritional requirements differ from person to person so it is best to see a health professional to determine what would be best for you... Always discuss with your doctor what medical treatments and changes in your lifestyle will better your condition or potential risks to your health.

I find that my diabetic diet has assisted me in no meds and normal blood sugar levels, as well as, it is also a good diet for heart health. If diabetes and heart related problems are already a family trait...see your doctor for the best advice or he can even refer you to a registered dietician who can assist you in healthy eating.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 11/30/2013 (08:16)
QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,485
11/30/13 7:22 A

Well said, Russell!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/30/13 12:25 A

Lol. Both sides say you'll kill yourself if you do the other diet.

Personally I eat 60 % fat, and 10 % carbs or less, and I do well on it. I started on it because I have CHF, and diabetes, and used it to get off my diabetes and cholesterol meds.

Meanwhile EYDIE is thriving on a vegan diet. So this thread isn't going to help you pick a diet. People do well on many diets, as long as they stick with them. I wouldn't do well on EYDIE's diet, only because I like meat, and she obviously is not a meat eater, so wouldn't enjoy venison chili..lol.

Look at what you like to eat, and then formulate the healthiest version of the diet that you think you can stick to. There is not one diet that works for all. We are all different.

I also laugh about how a diet is hard to do right. It is the #1 thing that determines your health. It SHOULD be a little complicated. It should be one of the most important things in your day. Over time, you will find shortcuts, and get in a groove, with whatever diet you pick. A little work with your menu, can prevent a heart attack, or diabetes. I think that is worth the effort.

Another thing to consider. While I am on a high fat diet, not a high protein diet.... Gary Taubes supports moderate protein, high fat ( extra protein can spike blood sugars )... I eat more vegetables than the average person. Most days 8-10 servings. While vegan and low carb may be totally different, low carbers strive to eat more vegetables, and vegans have to get their protein too. Their are parts of every diet that are similar. We have some differences, but most of us follow certain ways of eating to get healthy, and even two diets that are so different, share some of these similarities.

You can try low carb, or vegan, or something in between. Just stick to what you are doing, and make sure you get results. Hopefully this helps you avoid any family problems with health. Good idea to start while you are still healthy. Much easier that way.

QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,485
11/29/13 7:18 P

I've followed a vegan diet for 2 1/2 years and am absolutely thriving on it. emoticon It always makes me chuckle when people say "You look healthy. It takes a lot of effort to do a plant-based diet right". I always respond that it takes effort to do any diet "right", there are plenty of omnivores that are unhealthy. It's all about balance-- and don't forget the importance of daily exercise!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (3,902)
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11/27/13 10:30 P

"I lost 40 pounds by just eating few carbohydrates in my diet."

And I lost 45 eating rather a lot, including plenty of rice, potatoes, and wheat. There's no one size fits all.

I doubt there's a one size fits all in health, either. And for sure the scientists don't know it if there is, never mind the self-appointed experts who write books. I do give some credence to the general population studies, more of which say that populations who eat relatively little meat and dairy (but more fish) and relatively large amounts of vegetables and grains do pretty well health wise. All that jazz about the Mediterranean diet, the diets of some east Asians, and so on. But who knows, really. The populations who eat the way that high-fat/low-carb advocates would have people eat hardly exist at this point to even be studied. What you could do, OP, is pick whatever way of eating sounds nicest to you and try it for a while. See how your blood work is coming back, how your weight is doing, and so on. If anything's not working for you, tweak it and see if the results are better or worse. Nobody can really do any better than that.

RUNUXTOO Posts: 136
11/27/13 6:49 P

Nina,
Look into Dr Dean Ornish lifestyle. This plan is the ONLY reversal plan for heart health.
He makes three points - no more than 15mg cholesterol per day, exercise, and relaxation.
WHen you go to the low 15mg daily cholesterol then you will see that many foods are eliminated. Food like FAT FREE skinnless boneless chicken breast are off the list because it contains too much cholesterol.



MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,734
11/27/13 6:46 P

I think the Spark Approach is the best. And most easy to maintain for life.

Personally I am leaning toward a more plant based diet. Not an extreme but more middle of the road plant based diet.

You have to do what is sustainable for life.



JOY73YL Posts: 1,395
11/27/13 6:35 P

think of how many different diets there are around the world!

NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/19/13 4:45 A

thanks GDBear65, I am most sedentary during the day as I have dance classes/rehearsals in the evenings. The processed foods thing is definitely an issue with me. I'm a sucker for grabbing stuff in a coffee shop on a break. :(

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (2,095)
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6/18/13 1:44 P

I think what's lost in the equation, for most diets, are lifestyle and activity factors. People who are very active need more calories than those who are sedentary and often those calories come in the form of carbohydrates which are the body's main source of fuel so it makes sense for very active people to consume a diet that is rich in carbs. Less active people won't require the same amount of carbs so consuming a diet that's higher in protein and fat than carbs could be more appropriate. During the times of day when you're less active, which is usually in the evening for most people, you don't need to eat a lot of calories so evening meals need to be more focussed on delivering high quality nutrition and not just filling up. Eating lots of carbs then sitting around is a sure way to pack on the pounds. A little bit of strategic eating can be a big help when it's done properly.

The key for most people is to consume a wide variety of unprocessed foods that you prepare. Where many people run into problems is with processed foods which IMO should be limited to a maximum of 10 - 15% of your diet.

Edited by: GDBEAR65 at: 6/18/2013 (13:45)
DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/18/13 12:06 P

Calcium recommendation is 1000 milligrams
Track your food intake.
Are you meeting need through those greens and other calcium-fortified foods...such as: calcium-set tofu, calcium-fortified soy milk, almond milk, rice milk; calcium-fortified cereals, etc.

Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/18/2013 (12:07)
NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/18/13 9:02 A

Yes, that makes sense. All the research I've done into veganism advises making up each meal of a wholegrain, fruits/vegetables (but mainly vegetables) and a protein, such as tofu, lentils, beans etc. But what would a milk alternative be, and why would I need this? I.e., what nutrients would I be getting (assuming I'm getting my calcium from leafy greens).
I suppose I could always have some non-dairy ice cream :)

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/18/13 7:15 A

I don't know any research evidence that supports the use of excessively large amount of animal meats and fat.

I do know that research supports a balanced, moderation approach.
I really like:
www.choosemyplate.gov
cover 1/2 your plate with fruits and veggies
cover 1/4 your plate with a whole grain
cover 1/4 your plate with a meat or protein food
add on lowfat milk, or milk alternative

It works well for people who still want to include meat in their diet, for those who aim for vegetarian or vegan. Any of these eating styles can be healthy; yet they can all be unhealthy too---depends on your food choices.

Becky

NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/18/13 4:37 A

DieticianBecky, I wasn't looking for a middle of the road approach. It just seems that in the research I'm doing about nutrition, I'm finding that scientists, doctors,etc, seem to either think animal protein and fat is the way to go, and others say that a plant/grain-based diet is the right way. I want to do the very best for my health, and in that sense, I'm not that interested in middle of the road.
To elaborate, I am very active. I lift heavy weights (squat 100lbs) and dance every day (hip hop) at professional level. The last time I tried to take a middle of the road approach, I ended up not fueling myself properly. I want to make those calories count!
What confuses me so much, is that these two groups of people often take the same piece of research and use it to make their point! For example, plant-based advocates cite the China Study as proof that meat causes cancer, and Dr Briffa and co pull this study apart and say it's faulty science. Confusing!
Still I think I'm going to cut out meat and dairy and see how I feel. :)

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (137,507)
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6/18/13 1:16 A

I think what it boils down to is eat all things in moderation - not excessive one thing or another, BUT we each have individual choices based on OUR beliefs, tastes, affordability and health issues.

Kris

ARLENEGOBERT SparkPoints: (3,800)
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Posts: 88
6/17/13 2:31 P

I recently read on the internet that eating grains are bad for you, things like bread, pasta, and rice. I lost 40 pounds by just eating few carbohydrates in my diet.

We need to eat more fiber foods like fruit and vegetables. I eat lean meats like chicken and fish. I eat red mead only once a week.

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/17/13 12:17 P

Dear NINA_MAE
From your "original post", I assumed you were in need of (and desired) a more middle-of-the-road approach to a healthy eating plan. I thought you were turely concerned about the restrictions of the plans you mentioned. But from your more resent posts, I sense that you have already decided what is the appropriate, healthy eating plan for you. I am glad you have found what works for you.

As has been already stated---a diet should not only meet one's nutrition, health, and medical needs---it should also meet one's food preferences, cultural needs, seasonal needs, budget needs, etc. Therefore since everyone is different, the "exact, specific" way of meeting needs will vary. This is why ranges for nutrients can work for a large population--yet still allow for flexibility.

Becky

NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/17/13 10:26 A

Dietician Becky, what about research that high calcium intake can actually be harmful? We can easily meet our recommended calcium intake via foods that offer many more benefits, such as dark green vegetables and nuts. The same goes for protein. If sparkpeople gave me milk as an 'option' or a 'suggestion' to get calcium, fine, but you specifically said further down that I 'would want to include...lowfat dairy'.

By the way, re: Choosemyplate. The National Dairy Council is one of their strategic partners.

I found this article interesing (from my home country :) )
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2
003/dec/13/foodanddrink.weekend

"The pattern of diet and fractures in other parts of the world is equally revealing. Most Chinese people eat and drink no dairy products, and get all their calcium from vegetables. Yet while they consume only half the calcium of Americans, osteoporosis is uncommon in China, despite an average life expectancy of 70."


DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/17/13 8:21 A

After reading the last several posts in this thread, I find that there needs to be some explanation regarding Sparkpeople's suggestions with milk intake.

Sparkpeople wants to ensure that our 12 million members meet there overall nutritional needs. These needs can be met with a variety of eating styles and patterns. Major nutrients found in milk and milk products are calcium and protein. So it is important that one include a variety of foods in the diet to assure these nutrients are received in adequate amounts. Dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt) are one example. However "properly planned" vegan diets can also meet nutritional needs. Using the USDA plate method www.choosemyplate.gov one can see that the dairy group suggest 3 servings daily of milk or calcium-fortified, vitamin-D fortified milk alternatives such as soy milk, soy yogurt, etc.

Studies have shown that children, teens, and adults who include traditional milk products in their diet have a higher calcium intake, lower blood pressure, healthier body weights, etc. These foods make it "easier" to meet nutritional need. However, as already stated, "with proper meal planning"...other eating styles can meet needs as well.

As you use the SP nutrition tracker, add the nutrients of calcium and vitamin D to be tracked daily. Are you meeting need???

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/17/2013 (08:25)
ITSABSURD SparkPoints: (18,393)
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6/17/13 8:21 A

I personally follow a plant-based diet and love it! I've been vegan since October, and it's been great. Right away, I felt so much more healthy, and less groggy. You know that feeling when you eat a bunch of junk food and your insides just feel clogged, especially in your upper chest area? Until I cut out all animal-products altogether, I never realized that I felt that way at all times.

I took a small "break" about 2 months ago because I missed cheese and a bunch of other junk food. I felt gross the entire time. Now I'm considering eliminating all processed foods from my diet!

NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/17/13 7:51 A

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyma
n/dairy-free-dairy-6-reason_b_558876.html

He links to / references studies to back up the claims he's making.

If you're happy eating meat from animals that have been treated well, I'm happy for you. I don't have access to that. I believe in dairy and I never will. Humans do not need it. For sparkpeople to be promoting it as something we need concerns me.

JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,429
6/17/13 7:22 A

I get my dairy from a farm that I visit weekly. They pasture their cows in summer and feed them grass in winter. They are not fed hormones or antibiotics. They are happy cows that live a good life!

I would love to see a reputable study concluding grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free dairy is harmful to humans.

I was a vegan for a time because I was unhappy with how the animals we eat were treated. The problem was and I don't know any other way to describe it, I need meat! Beans and tempeh just don't cut it for me. I was left hungry all the time. So I took the time to source out meat and dairy that are raised on smaller farms. They are fed what they are supposed to eating and treated well. I'm doing the best I can and I've come to peace with that.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/18/2013 (06:37)
NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/17/13 7:10 A

I will never, ever buy that milk is healthy for you. I've seen countless studies showing the opposite, and not one single study to show me that I need it. At least, not one single study not paid for by the National Dairy Council, or other organization with a vested interest in telling me dairy is good for me.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (137,507)
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6/17/13 6:32 A

NINA_MAE - as someone who was brought up in a farming area, including on a farm myself, I have witnessed many adult animals feeding off another lactating animal (cow feeding off cow - dog feeding off cow, etc.)

A lot of places don't add hormones or chemicals to the cattle feed. That is more in countries where a lot of their stock are kept indoors. Many places like NZ have pasture fed cows, and when they do need to supplement, it is usually with the hay or silage that they have made in the summer.

Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/17/2013 (06:33)
NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/17/13 6:18 A

Hmm. Interesting thoughts everyone.

I'm definitely leaning towards a plant based diet. Of course, making sure I get plenty of fat - just not from animals. I have major issues with eating animals (but that's a whole other topic).

Something I am VERY wary of is believing nutritional claims, just because we're conditioned to believe them. I'll use lowfat dairy as an example. Dairy does not prevent osteoperosis. This is a myth. (I'll link to the science when I'm in less of a hurry :) ) Also, such horrendous things end up in our milk, we're basically drinking hormones and chemicals. We are also the only species to drink another animal's milk past infancy.

I'm not sure how Spark People can promote this as healthy and say I SHOULD be drinking it.

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,044
6/14/13 11:36 A

I think there is more to overall health than simply weight loss. I'm trying to do it in a healthy way - heaven knows I've been unhealthy enough for far too long.

While I could focus on keeping calories, fat, protein and carbs within a specific range - whether it's the range here at SP or one promoted by specific diets, that does nothing to focus on what my body needs beyond the broad categories.

If my carbs all come from eating bananas, I'm going to have great potassium levels, but might be lacking in vitamin C or the B vitamins for example.

I struggle with the distinction between plant based and meat based diets. If you want to be a vegetarian, go ahead, really. But understand that it comes with some specific nutritional needs that may be harder to address than if you were to eat red meat once or twice a week. You'll have to be aware of sources of iron, for example (spinach).

If you decide to cut out all grains, you need to figure out how to meet the nutrient requirements that come with grains - fibre, B vitamins.

Does any diet recommend cutting out all vegetables and fruits? I sure hope not :) As a runner, bananas are a great source of carbs and potassium. They're great for refueling after long runs. So while low carb diets may suggest cutting them out completely, they're staying in my kitchen simply because I know that they're a great source of nutrients and energy.

So I suppose this means that the SP way really works well for me since it is more about moderation and variety than it is about cutting out foods or food groups in the name of weight loss.

I find it interesting that Becky suggests that nutrition is a relatively new science. I never thought of it that way, but I suppose it is. I think that's what leaves room for some of the diets that have existed along the way (cabbage soup anyone?), along with our desire to have fast, easy results (really? Cabbage soup?).

In the end, when you're choosing between the diets, maybe you need to try both and see which works for you with your own body, activity levels, goals and preferences.

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/14/13 11:11 A

Perhaps I should explain...
The ranges I shared are not based on experiments of 1, nor are they my opinion. They are not "my ranges", not Sparkpeople ranges....these ranges are based on hundreds of research studies. When studies show the same results it becomes what is referred to as evidence and from evidence "nutrition recommendations" for the public can be made. These ranges come from The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, for The National Academies. These ranges help assure that one is also meeting need for all vitamins-minerals. When a range number goes extremely high, that forces another range to drop extremely low....and nutrient deficiencies can more easily occur. Thus the words balance, moderation, variety return to the table so that ALL nutritional needs are met.

It is also important to remember that nutrition is a very "new" science. The guidelines mentioned above are re-evaluated every few years. There is a search and evaluation of all new studies. If there is enough support then this new evidence can alter nutrition recommendations. Sparkpeople continues to evalutate new published research and new nutrition guidelines---and the site content is updated as needed.

Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/14/2013 (11:16)
BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (27,813)
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6/14/13 11:00 A

Everyone really is different. Our eye colors are different. Our personalities are different. Why wouldn't what we need to eat to be healthy be different? For me, the more carbs I eat, the more food I eat. I am a big guy....I need food to fuel my day, but I sure don't need to overeat....and carbs really drive me to do that. And, I am talking the 'normal' levels of carbs. I need to keep carbs below 20% or I gain weight. Period! It isn't lack of willpower or personal moral weakness....it is how my body works. Some other person may feel the same way about fats. Experiment and find out what works for you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with testing out various methods to see what works best for you DURING MAINTENANCE. I've been in maintenance for about two years now, and any time I have deviated from what I know works, I have gained weight. What I mean by that is losing weight is the easy part, low-carb, low-fat, moderation, whatever. Being happy with eating a way that maintains your weight and health for the long term is the hard part.

FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
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6/14/13 10:40 A

Becky, combining what others have said in this thread, with 'experts' clearly showing what works for some people, I would modify your percentages as follows (and, no, they add up to more than 100% deliberately):

Protein: 10-35%
Fat: 10-75%
Carbs: 5-75%

My point is that those 'extremists' are on to something important...for some people....maybe just not all people. There ARE people who thrive on 75% fat and are extremely healthy long term that way. There ARE people who thrive on 75% carbs and are extremely healthy long term that way. The low-carb people have to be careful about getting enough fiber by eating lots of veggies....the low-fat people have to be careful about getting enough fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids by doing whatever they do for that. Some of these people wither when using the 'moderation' approach and end up fat and unhealthy if they consume the middle-ground methods. SparkPeople looks like it is a good diet for the common man, but some of us are uncommon! My guess is that Gary Taubes is nowhere near a heart attack despite the fat he eats and Dr. Ornish is nowhere near a cancer diagnosis despite all the carbs he piles on. Find what works for you!

PATTISWIMMER Posts: 4,763
6/14/13 10:35 A

Good fats are important... avocados, almonds, cashews, flax seeds, omega 3, fish oils, olive oil and coconut oil.

NIRERIN Posts: 12,022
6/14/13 8:29 A

the fact of the matter is that there isn't a verdict in yet. there have been plenty of small scope studies that prove a single thing, but there hasn't been anything that comprehensively looks at everything [or at least in an accurate and replicable manner].

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,687
6/14/13 8:28 A

Both sides that you mention in your post are what I kindly call "extremists." But a healthy eating plan does not have to be extreme, overly restrictive, an all-or-nothing type approach.

Recommendations for a healthy diet include flexibility, variety to allow for differences in food preferences, cultural preferences, seasonal preferences, family preferences, etc, etc.

Research evidence supports a "wide range" for carbs, fat and protein intake---yet anywhere within these wide ranges can easily meet needs, prevent disease, and nourish the body. These ranges are:
Protein---10-35%
Fat--20-35%
Carbs--45-65%

These are basically the ranges we use at Sparkpeople. We have tweaked the range slightly for protein---since research does show that a slightly higher protein intake is beneficial to weigh loss (and the majority of our 12 million members are wanting to lose weight).

Also...you would want to select foods giving you protein, fat, and carbs that are not overly processed and refined. You would want to select most often lean meats/protein, whole grains, whole fruits and veggies, lowfat dairy, etc...not sugary cereals, white bread, candy, cookies, pie, juice drinks, etc. The wide ranges can also easily meet the needs of a vegetarian, vegan, or someone who includes meat in their diet daily.

So I would suggest that you not get overly concerned or hang-out in either camp. When it comes to nutrition..."balance, moderation and variety" may not be a "hot seller" for books and marketing oneself. However, they really do provide the best overall nutrition guide. Refer to your Sparkpeople program.

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

CGM230 SparkPoints: (178)
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6/14/13 8:27 A

I thrive on a high-fat diet. When I was slimming down for my wedding I tracked my food and learned that I was getting at LEAST 45% of my calories from fat every day (plenty of days were up near 60%). The weight came off, and I also had blood work done--my cholesterol was awesome (which it had not always been).

I firmly believe that there is a major difference between the naturally-occurred saturated fats in meat or dairy and the man-made ones that come from hydrogenated oils. I think that if you eat tampered-with, chemistry-project food, your health will suffer no matter what your macros are. If you stick to real foods, you'll find a balance that feels right for you, and it will BE right for you.

My favorite "go-to" meal is a bunch of salad, a big dollop of whole-milk ricotta, and a couple of eggs on top. You absolutely need lots of fruits and vegetables. The fat just makes them so much better! emoticon

TWININGS12 SparkPoints: (17,330)
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6/14/13 8:13 A

I love my plant based diet emoticon

JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,429
6/14/13 7:49 A

One thing to keep in mind is that the high fat/protein people still advocate eating lots and lots of vegetables and some low GI fruit. I eat a diet high in fat and protein and 66-75% of my plate is filled with vegetables at each meal. It's just covered in butter emoticon and 25-33% of my plate is animal protein. So while I get the majority of my calories from fat it is certainly not to the exclusion of vegetables.

Saturated fat has been unfairly demonized. Check out ths meta-analysis study. It looked at the results of 21 previous studies and found.

CONCLUSION: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20071648

KKKAREN SparkPoints: (216,721)
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6/14/13 5:59 A

It is very confusing isn't it? I have been doing a lot of research, just picked up 4 more books from the library yesterday including Esselstein. I've been working toward a plant based diet but still eat meat, usually chicken, at least once a week. Two things I try to eliminate from my diet are sugar and wheat. Have you read the Wheat Belly Diet?

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (137,507)
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6/14/13 5:53 A

You forgot about the THIRD group - those who take the 'middle-of-the-road' approach. That is food from all groups without being excessive in any of them. It is about balance. SP takes this approach - a healthy balance!

Kris

NINA_MAE SparkPoints: (85)
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6/14/13 4:11 A

Hi!

I've been doing a lot of research into the best ways of eating, more for general health (especially heart health) than weight loss (since I believe the only way to really lose weight is to cut calories, no matter what kind of 'diet' you eat).

It seems there are two groups of scientists out there. The ones who believe in a plant-based, very low fat diet, such as Caldwell Esselstein, and then those who believe fat is good for you, keeps you satiated, such as John Briffa and GaryTaubes.

Both groups are adamant their science is solid. For example, Caldwell Esselstein says you should consume NO oil, that it contains hardly any nutrients and damages the lining of your such-and-such. John Briffa, on the other hand, says this is a myth, and says no studies have ever proven saturated fat to damage your arteries, and goes into a detailed explanation in his book 'Escape the Diet Trap' - and many people seem to be saying the same thing.

So who's right? Heart health is a concern for me. Heart attacks, diabetes and strokes run in my family. My dad died at 49 from a blood clot on his heart (he was underweight, had diabetes, type 1). Lucikly, I'm not SO overweight that it could kill me (right now) - I'm in the middle of the overweight category. And I exercise every single day, and lift weights.

But I'm concerned about what kind of diet to eat. Because according to each side, eating the other diet would be killing myself.

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