Almost every single person has tried one diet or another. There are even chronic dieters or “yo-yo” dieters who find themselves going on a diet, losing weight, then coming off of the diet and gaining it back. In other words, their weights “yo-yo” up and down.
But diets aren’t only for weight loss. Diets claims to do so many things nowadays:
Cleanse Your Body/Liver Reset Your Metabolism Burn Fat and Build Muscle
Eliminate GI Symptoms
and so on..
Yet, at the same while they are all different, all diets claim to be the healthiest or the best? Because the authors behind Diet A have to convince you to choose them over Diet B.
Well, here’s the thing. Most of these diets have you eliminate some food or food group and or make you take supplements and meal replacements. So there are a lot of “nos” involved.
Interestingly enough, but no surprise at all, is that an overall eating pattern is the most important factor in our health. When you value your nutrition, you have to look at the big picture.
Having a healthy diet is about having enough of some things and minimal amounts of others. I found an article in Tufts Nutrition Newsletter, one of the more trusted sources of nutrition on the internet, that showed 10 dietary habits that are linked to mortality.
But what struck me as most interesting was that a diet linked to mortality is not just a diet that’s
HIGH in sodium,
or HIGH in sugar sweetened beverages like soda,
or HIGH in processed meats…
…but a diet that is also
Low in fruits
Low in whole grains
Low in nuts/ seeds
Low in seafood
are linked to higher mortality.
So, the diets that promote eating low amounts of whole grains, and fruits (or none at all) are actually unhealthy because diets that are low in these food groups are linked to higher mortality.
Look at the bigger picture here. Do we need to avoid these foods that one guy or woman said were bad for all of us?
Do we need to only eat sweet potatoes and never white potatoes?
Or how about not eating fruit past 2 pm?
All diets, at some point cross a line to a point where they become unhealthy by giving bad nutrition advice. Even I have fallen victim to a few: body building diet, clean eating diet, paleo, and just extremely low carb (like no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates a day).
I have learned so much in the last 6 years of becoming an RD and I just want to help people avoid the mistakes I made and I want people to feel empowered by their nutrition choices.
What true health professionals ought to promote is for people to trust themselves into making the right choices without dieting, without restricting, without categorizing foods are good or bad or clean or dirty.
This is why I see major red flags with any diet that recommends we stay away from entire food groups. We don’t want people to eliminate foods that are linked to better health or lead them to thinking that there are foods they should fear.
At least, those are my 2 goals when I work with clients for individual nutrition counseling.
If you’re interested in working one on one with me, I provide Medical Nutrition Therapy and general nutrition counseling. I can work in person in the Denver area or on-line with anyone.