Another New Year is approaching and resolutions are being made for a fresh start after the holidays. For many, the resolutions will include a plan to go on some sort of diet. Making the resolution is the easy part, but choosing the right diet can be extremely difficult. Nutrition science is confusing at best. Its credibility as a true science is challenged on a seemingly daily basis as one expert disagrees with another on what is good for people to consume. Although everyone agrees that diet is inextricably linked to health and longevity, no one seems to agree on what diet is the right one.
One thing that history has shown, however, is that empty promises of fad diets, easy fixes and fast weight-loss are more than misleading — they are potentially dangerous. Your personal injury lawyer wants you to stay safe as you embark upon your next diet.
The More Popular Diets
There have been several well-publicized diets in recent years that have attracted famous followers. But despite their apparent pedigree, these diets are often not based on any scientific evidence. Below are a few of the most popular diets and a scientific analysis of them.
The Blood-Type Diet: This diet became popular after publication of the book, “Eat Right for Your Type” written by naturopath Peter D’Adamo. The book was a New York Times best seller and translated into 52 languages. The theory is that people with different blood types process food differently and therefore should adhere to different diets based on their blood type. A rigorous study with 1,455 participants was conducted to determine if there was any scientific evidence to back up this hypothesis and the conclusion was that there was none. Success on the diet was determined by a person’s ability to adhere to a sensible vegetarian or low-carb diet.
The Paleo Diet: Much has been made about this diet since the idea is to mimic the way that our ancient ancestors ate 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era, better known as the Stone Age. The diet eliminates dairy and processed grains of any kind. Lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are off limits, along with all processed sugars. Meat is consumed in large quantities, and fruits and vegetables are encouraged. Nuts are allowed. Once again, the theory behind the diet is flawed. Even if the diet of our Stone Age ancestors could presume to be known, it could not be replicated. Food, like humans, has evolved over time. Furthermore, the assumption that our Paleolithic ancestors were healthier than we are is not borne out.
Strict Vegan Diets: Vegans believe that eating mainly raw foods and non-animal foods, will promote health and weight loss. Most vegan diets exclude all dairy, meat and fish. Because of such limitations, many people have been found deficient in Vitamin B12, and some people–especially women–in calcium, putting them in danger of osteoporosis.
Go With Your Gut
With all the confusion–and potential harm–surrounding these fad diets, Dr. David Katz of Yale and his colleague Stephanie Meller were asked to compare the medical evidence of every mainstream diet to come up with the best one. As seen above, many of the mainstream diets lack any scientific foundation. However, Katz and Meller were able to pull common threads from the various diets into one basic conclusion: a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.
Contact an Attorney
If you have followed a diet that has harmed your health in some way, consult Jordan Levine at the Levine Law Firm to discuss your legal options.