A Short Overview of popular Diets

A Short Overview of popular Diets

I believe that the Allans' Diet and other low-carbohydrate diets need the addition of supplements or, in some circumstances, medications to deal with obesity-related problems or Syndrome X. Such problems include high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammatory states, irregular menstruation, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the development of osteoporosis, gallstone development, etc. (See my book. Combat Syndrome X, Y and Z...)

The Zone Diet, as described by Barry Scars. PhD, focuses upon a balanced diet with approximately 40 percent protein in the diet, 30 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent fats. Dr. Sears asserts that this ratio is ideal for keeping body hormones and chemistry in balance, but the evidence for this has not been published. However, I find Dr. Sears' recommendations for the use of monounsaturated fats and exercise to be particularly attractive.

Arthur Agatslon, MD, author of The South Keach Diet, describes his diet as neither low-carb nor high-fat. That said, I believe that South Beach is a modified low-carb diet. Dr. Agatston describes certain foods as "dangerous" for inclusion in the diet. Examples of such foods include refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, hydrogenared oils and trans fatty acids.

The early phases of the South Beach Diet seem to be a modification of the recommendations made by Dr. Atkins. There are apparently three phases to the South Beach Diet, which also bear some similarities to the recommendations of Dr. Sears' Zone Diet. Dr. Agatston's book is 100 pages of dietary advice together with approximately 100 pages of recipes. which do not necessarily match the dietary advice given in the first part of the book. The recommendations in the South Beach Diet to avoid simple sugars, which are reintroduced as fruit in later phases of the diet, is unlikely to be beneficial in the control of insulin resistance. Syndrome X. or long-term weight gain.

Other Dietary Approaches
Dean Omish, MD, has clinic to the idea that less than 10 percent of the daily calories in a diet should come from fat. I question this aspect of Dr. Omish's diet because there are healthy fats that can be taken in liberal amounts. And these healthy fats may even assist in weight management. Examples of such fats include monounsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the correct ratio. Omega-3 fatty acids are best found in fish oil. Components of fish oil have been shown to overcome insulin resistance and act on special receptors that sensitize the actions of insulin (PPAR receptors). While Dr. Oruish's diet does limit simple sugars and alcohol, his advice to avoid oils is in question. Processed foods low in sugar and non-fat dairy products are recommended in this diet, but their nutritional value may be in doubt.

The Weight Watchers approach to weight control emerged in the early 1960s. The whole philosophy of the diet is to restrict calories. In this diet, foods are assigned points. These points are based on the fat, calorie and fiber content of various foods. The eating of correct portion sixes is essential in this diet, and the whole approach is reinforced by group meetings, which help dieters support each other in their quests to lose weight. The Weight Watchers' Approach mast be commended in its structure and implementation.

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