Why are there so many diets?

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There are hundreds of different diets, each somewhat different from one another. That can be confusing; at least it was for me.

Why are there so many diets? image 1

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself."

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher. By Simran Khurana (Updated March 18, 2017)

Is maintaining good health binding in so many categories of diets? (The answer is "No.")

Recommended link: What is the healthiest diet? (NutritionFacts.org)

Except for ethical or religious considerations such as a ban on consuming animal products, the main reasons for this disturbing phenomenon of diverse diets are:

  1. Enormous economic interests of all involved.
  2. A structured weakness of regulatory bodies cannot give the public a clear and easy-to-understand picture of what is right for their health.
    1. Today's labels worldwide with the substances' chemical names are a forced solution that seems to be a duty but not useful information.
  3. The modern way of life and the lack of leisure push people to eat prepared and industrialized food.
  4. The absence of a unified philosophy of Medical & Nutrition science.

 

Why did I start searching for the "best" diet?

For many years I tried almost every possible category of diet.

  • As a patient with severe chronic liver disease, it was clear that I needed a food regimen that was different than the one that I had been on for many years.
  • Medical doctors usually do not discuss diet as part of the service that they render. I believe that their knowledge of the subject is very shallow.
  • Over the years, I tried almost all known diets, including intermittent fasting. I changed diets from time to time, trying to understand the basics of how food influences bodily function.
  • As I could not get the right answers, I tried a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet, a low-protein diet, a low-gluten diet for extended periods.
  • Searching the internet for the appropriate diet will only confuse people as it contains hundreds of diets. The list of diets on Wikipedia is divided into categories, emphasizing the vast number of diets. There are even many more diets than those that have been given names by their developers.

  

A partial list of typical diets (from Wikipedia)

  • Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets.
  • Weight control diets.
  • Low-calorie diets.
  • Extremely low-calorie diets.
  • Low-carbohydrate diets.
  • Low-fat diets.
  • Crash diets.
  • Detox Diets.
  • Belief-based diets.
  • Medical reasons determine diets.
  • Other Diets.

  

All diets can be described by positioning on the appropriate axis. (All diets can be described using triangles in 3D.)

  1. Those that forbid eating one or more of the primary macronutrients or ingredients. (Including vegetarians and vegans.)
  2. Diets that prohibit the consumption of industrialized and processed foods. Recommend non-genetically modified organic foods.
  3. Food composition and eating schedule. 

Note: Each category also has subcategories.

 

A brief examination of the three main variables.

Missing macronutrients or significant ingredients. (Such as carbohydrates)

  • Many diets take this approach of partial or complete abstinence from one of the significant nutrients. I think this approach is wrong. (A brief review below)
  • The reference to vegan nutrition is unique.

Diets that prohibit the consumption of industrialized and processed foods. Recommend non-genetically modified organic foods.

  • There are now many diets that recommend the consumption of unprocessed and unprocessed foods. (I am a follower of this approach)
  • There are also advocates of foods without cooking. I appreciate that cooking does destroy some of the nutrients but which diets are hard to implement. I prefer to make up for cooking using freshly squeezed juices.

Food composition and eating schedule. 

  • Food compositions and eating schedules have a very high significance. Nutrition habits get a strong emphasis lately, and rightly so!

 

Turning into a vegan or a vegetarian? (From a health point of view)

  • Vegans have a better quality of life. They suffer much less from chronic disease.
  • Surprisingly, the life expectancy of vegans and vegetarians is about the same as the rest of the population. (Animal products eaters). (Suggested that due to lack of vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids found mainly in animal products.)
  • The animal products we consume are usually from animals raised with chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones. With many side-effects.
    • The big question is: if we improve the quality of the animal products we eat, combined with a much smaller consumption, will it change the answer?
    • Can good quality & organic pasture animal products improve our health even more than vegans? We do not know for sure.

 

Veganism provides people with a better quality of life. (As opposed to meat-eaters.)

  • For those who have chosen to continue to consume animal products, I recommend simply reducing their consumption and trying to consume as much as possible organic and high-quality products without antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals.

 

Why Some Vegans Have Same Cancer, Heart Attack & Death Rates As Meat Eaters- Dr. Michael Greger

A few everyday diets that ban eating one or more of the major food groups:

  • The ketogenic diet.
  • The Atkins diet.
  • The paleolithic diet. (Caveman diet) 
  • McDougall diet. (High in starchy foods) 

These diets often have the effect of short-term weight loss but have long-term side-effects. 

 

What is shared by most diets:

Not recommended or restricted food:

  • Processed products. (Huge category)
  • Smoked or salted food.
  • Hydrogenated Trans fats (Such as margarine.)
  • Plain Sugar.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Starches with a high glycemic index.
  • Dairy products. (Not in a consensus)

 

Weight loss diets that do not support good health over time.

Abstaining from eating carbohydrates and natural sugars.

  • Many diets are based on complete abstinence from carbohydrates and natural sugars. These diets affect weight loss in the short term but at the cost of many side effects.
  • The production of vital energy for a body of fats and proteins is possible, but at the cost of a heavy load on the kidneys and liver forced to remove the decomposition products such as ammonia, uric acids, urea, ketones.

Low natural fats/oils diets. (Low-fat diets do not help to slim.)

  • Natural fats and oils are essential to many physiological processes in the human body, and the observation of calories is misleading many people. The main problem with fats in industrialized processes is the use of unnatural fats, most of which are highly toxic to the body, cause rapid weight gain and various side effects.

Drugs containing the satiety hormone Leptin. (It is not recommended to take any weight loss medication.)

Link: Leptin. (Wikipedia) 

  • Two hormones carry out control of the hunger and satiety mechanism. Leptin gives a feeling of satiety, while Ghrelin gives a feeling of hunger.
  • Hormonal mechanisms that control hunger and satiety are triggered by the brain's hypophysis gland, with the thyroid gland re-feeding. (Part of the Endocrine System) Taking weight loss drugs (most often contain leptin) is not recommended because they disrupt our hormonal balance.

 

Industrialized and processed food has many side effects not fully known to the public.

  • Highly toxic to the body, causing severe inflammations throughout the body.
  • Processed foods are making us gain weight much faster than the same equal calories of natural foods.
  • It causes a heavy load on the liver & kidneys.
  • Processed food is not suitable for tissue-regeneration, affecting health and even older than usual appearance.
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

What is the definition of processed food?

Unsurprisingly, there is no uniform and precise definition of what processed foods are. The ambiguity mainly serves the food industry.

  • Most processed and industrialized foods try to distinguish between whole and natural foods, lightly processed foods, and highly processed foods. Yet, the average consumer will often find it challenging to understand the category of the food they are consuming.

Link: Processed and industrialized foods - How do we know to identify it and the level of potential health damage in it?

Is it possible to improve the health quality of existing processed food products?

The answer is "yes," - but their price will probably rise, and their shelf life will be lower.

  • There are manufacturers (usually small ones) that produce quality food only from mainly natural products.  The problem is that these products are much more expensive than industrial ones, and their shelf life is shorter.
  • As long as regulators do not enforce reader-friendly labeling of the food products, the food industry has no incentive to move to healthier products. (which will be much more expensive and with a shorter shelf life.)
  • The food industry does not see the public good before it; corporate profitability is more important.
  • The main culprits are the various regulators and the politicians who submit to the dictates' food & beverage industries, knowing clearly that the public good is being harmed.

 

How do we know a diet is right for us?

For a prolonged period, proper nutrition should provide support for the following processes:

  1. An energetic body with a good mood.
  2. No pain or discomfort.
  3. A radiant look of the skin, nails, hair, and gums.
  4. Lab tests result from that is in the normal range for the patient's age.
    1. An improvement in blood pressure, pulse rate, etc.

 

Are personalized diets more successful than other diets? (The answer is "YES")

Personalized diets do not contradict "the balanced and varied diet."

  • Custom diets consider personal preferences, lifestyle, eating habits, availability of foods, budget, etc. They are supposed to produce optimization under constraints.

 

"The balanced, varied diet" is the best diet that suits everyone in the long run. (With slight changes)

  • "The balanced, varied diet" provides the body with all the nutrients required for maintaining a healthy body, supporting the regeneration & rejuvenation process, including the brain neurogenesis.

Recommended link: "The balanced diet" is the best diet for maintaining good health and optimal weight.

"The balanced, varied diet" in one sentence.

  • Many unprocessed natural foods (preferably organic and not genetically modified) with all macronutrients and ingredients. Reduced quantities of animal protein, preferably grass-fed or organic range-free products. Lots of dietary fiber is mixed with natural oils & fats that enable an effective emulsification process. Fermented products with natural live bacteria are essential for good health.
  • Vegetables, fruits, seeds, sprouts, roots, legumes, mushrooms, berries, and nuts should be a very high-volume component of the diet.

    

Despite advances in understanding nutrition science, there are still differences of opinion among the experts in the field on many essential issues.

The proliferation of diets is not essential and does not stem from health needs. Ambiguity about the best diet serves many bodies with interests that are contrary to those of consumers.

 

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