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Do You Like Fiction?

If you are a fan of fiction then you will enjoy this article.
Take a gander at the 2018 US News & World Report’s Best Diets article, ranked by “Leading Nutrition Experts”. It is the same work of fiction as last year, the year before and several years before that.
Click on link to take you to the website…
Read here for a brief synopsis…
 

Mediterranean Diet

There are certainly benefits to following a Mediterranean Diet, particularly if combined with a lifestyle as they lived in the Mediterranean. There are many benefits from the lower glycemic load, higher consumption of olive oil and eating more plants (vegetables & fruits) and some red wine (maybe). Now, a Mediterranean Diet does not mean eating like modern day Italian-Americans, with large quantities of refined flour pasta and pizza.
Here is a brief listing from the article…
A Flexitarian Diet, which is like being a vegetarian that eats occasional fish or meat (like chicken breast), could also be very healthy and would be a far stretch from a Standard American Diet.  While it does not restrict food items like grains or legumes, there are individuals that can tolerate these and those that cannot.  A Nutritarian Diet is similar but has a more specific focus on the amount of specific nutrients within the food choices, 90% plant-based with limited animal proteins.  I would certainly contend that these may be the healthiest version for a vegetarian to follow.  They provide all the benefits of a vegetarian dietary approach but also offer the nutrients that can only be sufficiently obtained from animal sources (e.g. Vitamin B12, DHA/EPA and Retinol).  If you are following a vegetarian diet for health reasons, not because you are a staunch proponent for animal welfare and cannot bare the thought of snuffing out the life spirit of even the tiniest bug, then these would be dietary approaches to consider.
 
The farce of the list comes into play when reviewing many of the other highly ranked “healthy” diets – including Slim Fast, for example. The fact that a Paleo Diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and eggs while emphasizing quality animal proteins and fats like wild salmon, sardines and pasture-centered meats (e.g. beef, chicken, pork) should rank near the very bottom of the ranking list should seriously raise questions about the legitimacy of the rankings and whether there are conflicts of interest at play with the Expert Panel. How does a diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods rank lower than chemical concoctions and diets that promote refined grains & artificial ingredients?
The Whole30 program, a wildly popular form of a Paleo Diet with a huge emphasis on the quality of food sources, ranks down near the bottom of the listing.  The Whole30 goes so far as to rank food sources, from Best to Good, in everything from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, cooking oils, animal & fish quality – Local vs Organic vs Conventional.  Clearly, if you choose to eat real food, from local sources, pasture-centered animal proteins and avoid processed rancid vegetable oils and grains then you must be doing something unhealthy and clearly have a death wish to follow such a program.  From our standpoint, it is probably one of the best dietary programs out there and we recommend it from our office regularly.  It is a near ideal elimination diet, a reset, that enables you to identify food sensitivities for yourself without expensive testing, helps “heal the gut” and removes the most inflammatory foods from your diet.  It is, as the name suggests, a 30 Day Elimination Diet.  When you are done with the 30 days you can either follow the guidelines for reintroduction (thoroughly reviewed in their book) or you can proceed with a Whole60, a Whole90 or just continue with a WholeLife if you feel so good that you don’t ever want to go back to feeling the way you did before.
 
A ketogenic diet, which can have much variety in terms of quality, ranked dead last. Ketogenic diets have not only been studied fairly extensively over the past decade, it is also one of the most validated diets in our history. In the first half of the 20th century, keto diets were used for treating type 2 diabetes and epilepsy, successfully. It was the most common dietary recommendation given by physicians for weight loss dating back to the 1800’s, made commonplace by William Banting, who published his experience with following such a diet.  Keto is also a way that many of our human ancestors would have lived, throughout all of human history, ranging from brief periods of time through the year (harsh winters, droughts, food scarcity) or for the majority of their lives (ice age, residence in far northern climates).  Keto is not a new concept, it was a genetic adaptation for our survival.  
Additionally, the amount of easily digestible sugars now present in common natural foods like fruits did not exist in nature before they were hybridized into these larger, sweeter varieties we now love to eat.  Don’t be fooled into believing that the blueberries or apples you now buy at the supermarket or farmer’s market are anything like what was available to our ancestors of just a few centuries ago.  Another thing to keep in mind is that these “sweeter” foods were not available year-round.  There were no green houses, there were no cargo ships or FedEx planes to transport them.  You ate what was grown locally.  The Cherokee of the Carolinas never saw a pineapple or banana in their entire lives.  Germanic tribes could not conceptualize a grapefruit or watermelon.  Even sweet potatoes are sweeter and less fibrous than their native counterparts.  It has been postulated that our ancient ancestors consumed upwards of 100 grams of fiber per day (that’s a lot of Kashi) – that was not from eating modern day sweet potatoes and fruits.  
 
There is definitely a question of legitimacy and the rankings appear to be more influenced by money than science.   I am highly skeptical of these recommendations and question their value and would caution you to do the same.
Wishing you Optimal Health! 

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