One Diet to Rule them All

'Tis the time of year when the good-intentioned diets started on January first start to lose their appeal. The school year takes over the time for meal-prepping and it's been so long since you've had a cookie...

 Pair  roasted asparagus  with... steak? chicken? fish? What's the ideal protein (and how much do you need?)

Pair roasted asparagus with... steak? chicken? fish? What's the ideal protein (and how much do you need?)

It's no secret that diets are hard to follow. If you've ever felt the effects of "yo-yo dieting" and the cycle of weight loss/weight regain I don't have to tell you that. And it's no secret there isn't wide agreement on what the best "diet" is; it takes one quick Google search for "best diet" to return over 53 million hits. The only clear thing is nutrition research is really confusing (read previous post about why that is).

But that's not helpful for you, the person who is trying, failing, mustering up courage, and trying again to lose weight.

In my nutrition classes in college I learned about the major diets on which we've based the majority of health recommendations: the DASH diet, the 7th Day Adventist study, and the Mediterranean diet to name a few.

However, when I started counseling patients and answering their questions, I quickly realized the mountain of diet plans my patients were trying to sift through. I found it nearly impossible to keep up with the science behind the latest diet fad - and I have the luxury of having studied nutrition for six years! How could the layperson have time to sort fact from fiction?

 What about a vegetarian diet that includes fruits and vegetables? Is the sugar in fruit okay?  Strawberry Mango Spinach Salad

What about a vegetarian diet that includes fruits and vegetables? Is the sugar in fruit okay?
Strawberry Mango Spinach Salad

For decades, the low-fat diet was held as the best diet to lose weight and improve cardiovascular outcomes. But then Dr. Atkins revolutionized the dieting industry by advocating ultra-low-carb and unlimited high-fat foods. So whole grains and fruit are now bad for you? What about all of those meal replacement shakes and dietary supplements?

It's easy to feel overwhelmed.

 Should whole grains be included in a healthy diet? Is low-carb best?  Artisan Sourdough Bread

Should whole grains be included in a healthy diet? Is low-carb best?
Artisan Sourdough Bread

One by one I'll go through some of the most popular diets and answer the following five questions:

  • What the diet is
  • Where the fad came from (what the history is)
  • Why it works
  • Why it often eventually fails
  • Overall Grade
 Dairy-free? Gluten-free? Grain-free? Which buzzword is right for you?  Dairy-Free Piña Colada Fruit Dip

Dairy-free? Gluten-free? Grain-free? Which buzzword is right for you?
Dairy-Free Piña Colada Fruit Dip

Is there a diet that you've tried and loved? Or is there one that left you feeling discouraged? What has worked for you?

If you have comments or questions about a specific diet, please leave me a message in the comment below or send me an email by clicking on "contact" at the bottom of the page.

I look forward to learning and exploring these diets with you!

With love from Peas and Hoppiness