Category Archives: Dietary Theories

The Real Skinny on Dietary Fats

If a low-fat lifestyle is good for our health and for weight-control, then why are we a nation of chronically ill people who are overweight or obese?

Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet involves the restriction of carbohydrates in order to switch the body’s metabolism from burning glucose (a simple sugar) to burning stored body fat. The process: when the body has no excess carbohydrates (its preferred fuel) to burn, it will burn protein for a few days instead. Since burning protein for very long is counter-productive to survival as it provides strength to our muscles, the body will switch to burning fat and weight loss happens.

Sally Fallon Diet

Nutrition researcher, community activist, journalist, chef, and homemaker, Sally Fallon is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.

Ayurveda Diet

Ayurveda, which translates as “the science of life”, is an ancient healing system from India that emphasizes eating in accordance with your individual body type and the seasons. There are three mind/body types (or doshas) called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each mind/body type has certain qualities and it is recommended that each eat certain foods and restrict others to come into balance and health. The Ayurvedic system is more complex than just knowing which mind/body type you are and so consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner can be helpful in understanding this system.

Five Element Theory Diet

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes we are surrounded by five energy fields. These five environmental elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood – each correspond with certain body organs, such as the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, urinary bladder and gall bladder. The five different elements are associated with different times of the year also: fire with summer, Earth with late summer, metal with autumn, water with winter and wood with spring.

High-Carbohydrate Diets

Modern high-carbohydrate diets are a lot like the traditional diet of our ancestors which relied on whole grains, beans and vegetables. The breakdown is typically 80% carbohydrates, 10-15% protein and 5-10% fat. Foods encouraged include whole, unprocessed grains including brown rice, millet, barley and oats; a variety of vegetables and fruits, and beans, such as black, chickpea, lentils, lima and pinto. Generally these diets tell you to avoid meats, oils, high-fat dairy products, sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet is a diet plan that emphasizes the consumption of “good carbohydrates” and “good fats”. A Miami, Florida area cardiologist, Arthur Agatston, developed this diet for his cardiac patients based on his study of scientific dieting research. The diet first appeared in a book of the same name published by Rodale Press.

The 90-10 Philosophy

In his book Integrative Nutrition, Joshua Rosenthal expresses his philosophy about the diet he created for himself – the 90-10 Diet. Rosenthal is an expert on nutrition and says that when people try to eat totally clean and pure diets, they can only do it for a limited period of time. No matter how much willpower we have, at some point cravings for the foods we’re avoiding become overwhelming and we cheat. Then we feel guilty, and feelings of guilt and fear about food are not healthy. Trying to stick to a diet 100% of the time is also stressful.

Nutrigenomics: The DNA Diet Approach

The DNA diet is a customized approach to health and diet, which offers specific recommendations for food based on the results of genetic testing. Foods encouraged or restricted are based on your unique biochemical makeup.

Calorie Restriction Diet

The goal of the calorie restriction diet is to slow aging and extend lifespan rather than just to lose weight. This restriction sets your body at an ideal weight to achieve maximum metabolic efficiency, slow the aging process and reach a maximum life span. Weight loss is a side benefit of the calorie restriction diet.