The Mediterranean diet is, from the point of view of mainstream nutrition, based on a paradox: although the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to consume relatively high amounts of fat, they have far lower rates of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the United States, where similar levels of fat consumption are found. A parallel phenomenon is known as the French Paradox.[44]
You’ll find that in their meals, they emphasize a plant-based eating approach, loaded with vegetables and healthy fats, including olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish. It’s a diet known for being heart-healthy. (1) "This diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil," says Nancy L. Cohen, PhD, RD, professor of nutrition at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. On this plan, you’ll limit or avoid red meat, sugary foods, and dairy (though small amounts like yogurt and cheese are eaten).

This stew, full of healthy veggies and flavorful ingredients like green olives, raisins, and red potatoes, packs heart-healthy fats and a whopping 14 grams of fiber! That's about half the recommended daily intake of fiber for adults all in one low-calorie meal. We served this stew up with healthy couscous, but you can also use quinoa, a gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fiber. For extra protein and omega-3s, add in a lean fish like salmon or tuna.
Life Without Bread: How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life by Christian B. Allan, Wolfgang Lutz. It is based on Dr. Lutz's work with thousands of patients in Austria. It deals with the health issues connected to high carb consumption. It is basically an English version and update of Dr. Lutz's 1967 book with the same title: Leben ohne Brot. He recommends eating only 72 grams of carbohydrates, and an unlimited amount of fat. And provides evidence as to why this is the healthiest diet. Read the review at Amazon by Todd Moody (it will be first!). See excerpts from his earlier edition: Dismantling a Myth: The Role of Fat and Carbohydrates in our Diet
While most beverages don't satisfy hunger very well, drinks blended full of air are an exception: They cause people to feel satiated and eat less at their next meal, according to a Penn State University study. Just be sure you're not whipping your smoothie full of sugary, caloric ingredients like fruit juices or flavored syrups, which will negate the health benefits.
The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The definitive book on the non-dangers of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat was The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, 2000. This book is six years newer. Its forward is by Uffe Ravnskov. To get a wonderful description of the book read the leading review at Amazon. The many reviews there average to 5 stars.
Dr. Hall published a meta-analysis of feeding studies last year that suggested that energy expenditure was actually slightly greater on low-fat diets. But Dr. Ludwig pointed out that those studies were very short, with none lasting longer than a month and most lasting a week or less. He said the process of adapting to a low-carb diet can take a month or longer.
On 7 September 2010, two cohort studies on L-C diets were published together in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Harvard). The participating subjects were 85,168 women (aged 34 to 59 years at baseline) and 44,548 men (aged 40 to 75 years at baseline) without heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. The women were tracked from 1980 to 2006; the men from 1986 to 2006. The results: Animal-based L-C diets were associated with higher all-cause mortality, while vegetable-based L-C diets were associated with reduced all-cause mortality in general, and cardiovascular mortality in particular.[33] This is an important distinction because ol' Doc Atkins claimed that eating a lot of meat was good for your heart.[34] It should be noted that the fats consumed in an animal-based diet tend to contain a higher percentage of saturated fats than the fats in a vegetable-based diet, which would go a long way toward explaining the differences in cardiovascular mortality risk between such diets.
She’s right. Before South Beach, my go-to afternoon snack was a pear or a banana. A medium pear contains around 100 calories, according to the USDA, and a medium banana has about the same. Since those were off-limits, my new snack became a low-fat cheese stick, which contains about 50 calories, and fourteen almonds, which come to about 85, per the USDA.
What the researchers found was striking. The roughly 250 extra calories that the subjects in the low-carb group burned each day could potentially produce a 20-pound weight loss after three years on the diet, Dr. Ludwig said. People who tended to secrete higher levels of insulin did the best on the low-carb diet, burning about 400 extra calories a day.
Hi, great reviews & information. I’m trying to decide between Southbeach or OPTAVIA. 10years ago when I was 32yr I did the SB diet (following the original book version) I was very happy with results. Now in my 40’s (3 kids later) I’m having a hard time keeping weight off. I saw another mom in her 40s at the gym she lost over 20lb with OPTAVIA. I looked up the program & it looks similar to SB new diet plan but a lot more expensive. Do you have any advice.
The food tracker includes helpful eating guides that show you what you should be eating each day (e.g., four cups of vegetables, one serving of legumes and so forth). To make things even easier, the online program offers a weekly meal planner with recipes and ideas. The website provides you with personalized recommendations based on your weight and fitness level, and it allows you to specify both foods you prefer and foods you'd rather avoid.
The website also has a decent community, with message boards, member challenges and, most importantly, weekly chats with nutritionists. This gives you an opportunity to speak with an expert about your diet plan to get answers to your most pressing health and diet questions. There are also numerous educational articles to read from the service, or you can subscribe to several different newsletters tailored to your interests and goals.
On the diet, you can get frozen and ready-to-eat South Beach Diet meals, along with some meals you make on your own. They also encourage you to buy South Beach Diet–branded snacks. The upside is that they’ll tell you what to eat all day and there’s little cooking involved (great if you hate your kitchen); the downside is that you have to buy your food through them, and the choices can become limiting. Plus, when you’re buying packaged foods, you’re not getting the full nutritional benefit you would from eating whole foods.
Jump up ^ Hou JK, Lee D, Lewis J (October 2014). "Diet and inflammatory bowel disease: review of patient-targeted recommendations". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. (Review). 12 (10): 1592–600. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.09.063. PMC 4021001. PMID 24107394. Even less evidence exists for the efficacy of the SCD, FODMAP, or Paleo diets. Furthermore, the practicality of maintaining these interventions over long periods of time is doubtful.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain in the 1940s and 1950s.[2] The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of non-fish meat products.[3]
“This feeding study, as the longest and largest to date, provides support for the carbohydrate-insulin model and makes a credible case that all calories are not metabolically alike,” said one of the study authors, Harvard’s Ludwig. “These findings raise the possibility that a focus on carbohydrate restriction may work better for long-term weight loss maintenance than calorie restriction.”
This movie-night fave is a low-energy-density food -- for 90 calories, you could eat 3 cups of air-popped corn but just a quarter cup of potato chips. "Popcorn takes up more room in your stomach, and seeing a big bowl of it in front of you tricks you into thinking that you're eating more calories and that you'll feel full when you're finished," Rolls says.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by Mark Sisson is a journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family. The author offers a solution in 10 empowering Blueprint Lifestyle Laws: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight and how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain. The author presents a comprehensive, well thought out paleo style eating plan in a humorous and organized manner. He backs up all his work with research, natural wisdom, and historical timelines. He disputes the role of dietary saturated fat in causation of arteriosclerosis, the role of cholesterol in promotion of heart disease, and the costly over-promotion of expensive, potentially toxic statin drugs. He criticizes our massive overeating of refined carbohydrates and urges avoidance of grains, cereals, bread and sugar. There is specific recommendation for "primal" food including more natural healthy fats and meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Some reviewers consider this to be the best of the various paleo books. The many Amazon reviews average to 5 stars. The author's popular and worthwhile web site: Mark's Daily Apple. The 2nd Edition was published January 14, 2012.

If you’re confused now, you’re right to be. Debates about diet have gotten fierce and nitpicky. We all come to them with our biases, there are many vested interests at play, and it’s hard to know what to believe. Nutrition studies — which are virtually impossible to do in ways that lead to bulletproof conclusions — also make easy targets: They’re easy to critique and interpret in different ways.

Dr. Agatston says, "The South Beach Diet became an overnight sensation, but it was a program I had been working on in my practice for many years. We were the first diet to propose that it is not about eliminating fats and carbs, but rather the quality of the fats and carbs you’re eating. That principal still holds true. ... The over-consumption of sugar, whether simple sugar or from refined carbs, can lead to diabetes and heart disease. It is one of the biggest problems in many Americans’ diets and adds no nutritional value. In fact, I would say fats aren’t making us gain weight, sugar is."
Low-carbohydrate diets may improve cardiovascular risk factors and are effective for achieving weight loss.[14] Low-carbohydrate diets are not an option recommended in the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which instead recommends a low fat diet. A systematic review of 62,421 participants in 10 dietary trials found that reducing dietary fat intake had no effect on coronary heart disease and had no effect on overall mortality. The authors of this meta-analysis conclude that the available evidence from randomized controlled trials does not support the recommendation of the 2015 - 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that people reduce their fat intake.[15]
Spinach is a great source of iron, which is a key component in red blood cells that fuel our muscles with oxygen for energy. But researchers in Sweden identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. That means eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).
According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat than the standard American diet, yet lower in saturated fat. It’s usually roughly a ratio of 40 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent to 40 percent healthy fats and 20 percent to 30 percent quality protein foods. Because this balance is somewhat ideal in terms of keeping weight gain and hunger under control, it’s a good way for the body to remain in hormonal homeostasis, so someone’s insulin levels are normalized. As a byproduct, it also means someone’s mood is more likely to stay positive and relaxed, energy levels up, and physical activity easier.

In a review published this week in the new issue of Science, scientists from diverse backgrounds and research focuses came together to address whether a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet or vice versa was the better option for maintaining good health, as well as whether the specific kinds of fat and carbs mattered. The researchers—from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University, and others—hoped that by comparing their knowledge of nutrition, they could both find general areas of agreement and identify others where more research is needed in an effort to the end the so-called “diet wars.”
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.

In the short term, you may lose a modest amount of weight over a year span and are likely to keep it off it you continue to eat following the diet. (6) If eating in the Mediterranean style prompts you to consume more fruits and vegetables, you’ll not only feel better physically, but your mental health will get a lift, too. Research shows that people who eat more raw fruits and veggies (particularly dark leafy greens like spinach, fresh berries, and cucumber) have fewer symptoms of depression, a better mood, and more life satisfaction. (36)
The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostak and Melvin Konner. This book, published in 1988, was the start of the Paleolithic diet movement. Its recommendations are not in line with what today is considered a paleo diet, as whole grain breads and pastas, legumes and some low fat dairy products are allowed. However, it is still a profoundly important book. Used books are available for a reasonable price.
Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed--a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today's diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases--and even beat them back--through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.
Despite the fact the Paleo diet eliminates food groups vital to health, Katz believes the eating pattern has some merit. "Every species on the planet does well on the diet which it natively adapted. And the idea that things would be different for our species is absurd. There is some modern science to show its benefits, but with limitations. Those limitations include what it is compared to (everything is better than the typical American diet), and how genuinely 'Paleo' it really is," adding that there's a big difference between what meat enthusiasts casually call "Paleo" and legitimate Stone Age Homo sapiens eating patterns, which by today's standards would make a huge negative impact on the environment. "To procure the wild plants and animals required for sustenance depends on a lot of space per person," Katz says. "I have done the math, and for the current human population to eat that way would require about 15 times the surface area of the planet. Eight billion Homo sapiens cannot be foragers, or substantially carnivorous, without decimating the planet."
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980’s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.)
The final benefit we’ll discuss is a balanced dietary alkaline load. While this concept sounds complex, it’s actually quite simple: after digestion, all foods present either a net acid or alkaline load to the kidneys. Meats, fish, grains, legumes, cheese, and salt all produce acids, while Paleo-approved fruits and vegetables yield alkalines. A lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, an increased risk for kidney stones, and may aggravate asthma and exercise-induced asthma. The Paleo diet seeks to reduce the risk of chronic disease by emphasising a balanced alkaline load.
The Mediterranean diet is, from the point of view of mainstream nutrition, based on a paradox: although the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to consume relatively high amounts of fat, they have far lower rates of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the United States, where similar levels of fat consumption are found. A parallel phenomenon is known as the French Paradox.[44]
Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
The Mediterranean diet is, from the point of view of mainstream nutrition, based on a paradox: although the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to consume relatively high amounts of fat, they have far lower rates of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the United States, where similar levels of fat consumption are found. A parallel phenomenon is known as the French Paradox.[44]
A ton of meetings are held at my office, with bagels, sandwiches, and pastries often left over. Before starting this job, I'd followed a paleo eating plan for a couple of years and had managed to cut most refined carbs out of my diet. But I’m not made of stone, so when I’d spot a wrap or cookies in the office kitchen on difficult days, I’d eat them, even if I wasn’t hungry. When there were no sweet treats up for grabs, I began running out to buy myself a huge peanut butter cookie or a pita sandwich. And things just spiraled out of control.
Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, assigned 322 moderately obese adults to one of three diets: calorie-restricted low-fat; calorie-restricted Mediterranean; and non-calorie-restricted low-carb. After two years, the Mediterranean group had lost an average of 9 7/10 pounds; the low-fat group, 6 4/10 pounds; and the low-carb group, 10 3/10 pounds. Although weight loss didn't differ greatly between the low-carb and Mediterranean groups, both lost appreciably more than the low-fat group did.
Because this is an eating pattern – not a structured diet – you're on your own to figure out how many calories you should eat to lose or maintain your weight, what you'll do to stay active and how you'll shape your Mediterranean menu. The Mediterranean diet pyramid should help get you started. The pyramid emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Top it off with a splash of red wine (if you want), remember to stay physically active and you're set.
The Mediterranean diet is easy to find in the grocery store, contains nutrients that are known to enhance longevity and has other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Broccoli makes the list because it's one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols -- antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body -- with each serving.
Many people do this for performance benefits during a workout, as it is thought to teach your body to use fat for fuel, which can provide a longer-lasting form of energy during extended bouts of endurance activities. That said, whether it really does boost performance is still up in the air, reported a study published in November 2015 in the journal Sports Medicine. If you’re an athlete interested in this style of eating, your best bet is to consult with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition to see what’s right for you.
Hi Alma – Honestly, I think both programs work great, so you probably can’t go wrong with either. The big difference is the coaching that comes with OPTAVIA, so if you feel that you could benefit from working with a coach 1-on-1, that may be the one to go with. If you want to save a few bucks, and think you can have success without the coach, then South Beach Diet may be the better choice.

Eat WELL Feel GOOD: Practical Paleo Living by Diane Frampton has over 200 recipes that makes paleo eating simple, delicious, and ultimately, intuitive. So they claim. There are only a few reviews at Amazon. They all like the book, but their lack of details makes it appear that they are not truly independent reviews. The recipes have a Crossfit appeal to them. Chef Rachel Albert has made some of the recipes and posted here [archive.org].
The Paleo diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. Though there are numerous benefits eating a hunter-gatherer diet, there are seven fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets that help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and to lose weight and keep it off.
A perfect plate reflecting the Mediterranean diet is nutritionally balanced, diverse, and full of color, flavor, and texture. It’s crisp, leafy greens; deep purple grapes; ruby-red salmon; vibrant rainbow carrots; and nutty, crunchy farro. It’s Greek yogurt topped with figs, dates, and a drizzle of honey. Is your mouth watering? That’s exactly the point—the Mediterranean diet should never feel restrictive. Instead, it’s an enlightened way of eating defined by plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk writes that the idea that our genetic makeup today matches that of our ancestors is misconceived, and that in debate Cordain was "taken aback" when told that 10,000 years was "plenty of time" for an evolutionary change in human digestive abilities to have taken place.[4]:114 On this basis Zuk dismisses Cordain's claim that the paleo diet is "the one and only diet that fits our genetic makeup".[4]
The South Beach Diet was created by a cardiologist in 2003, and it's considered to be a modified low-carbohydrate diet, according to U.S. News & World Report. It's based on the idea that carbs and fats can be either good or bad. If you decide to follow the South Beach Diet, you'll probably be getting fewer carbs and more protein and healthy fats than you're used to eating.
Low-carb diets, especially very low-carb diets, may lead to greater short-term weight loss than do low-fat diets. But most studies have found that at 12 or 24 months, the benefits of a low-carb diet are not very large. A 2015 review found that higher protein, low-carbohydrate diets may offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and loss of fat mass compared with a normal protein diet.
To determine the diet rankings, US News & World Report selected a 25-person expert panel from the country's top dietitians, dietary consultants, and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health, and weight loss. The panel included Lisa Sasson, MS, RDN, CDN, a clinical assistant professor and dietetic internship director in the department of nutrition and food studies at New York University; Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, a nutrition and diabetes expert; and David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, founding director of Yale University's Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and founder of the True Health Initiative.4
Fresh fruits and vegetables naturally contain between five and 10 times more potassium than sodium, and Stone Age bodies were well-adapted to this ratio. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work properly. Low potassium is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke — the same problems linked to excessive dietary sodium. Today, the average American consumes about twice as much sodium as potassium! Following a Paleolithic diet helps to remedy this imbalance.

Almost equal numbers of advocates and critics seem to have gathered at the Paleo diet dinner table and both tribes have a few particularly vociferous members. Critiques of the Paleo diet range from the mild—Eh, it's certainly not the worst way to eat—to the acerbic: It is nonsensical and sometimes dangerously restrictive. Most recently, in her book Paleofantasy, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, debunks what she identifies as myths central to the Paleo diet and the larger Paleo lifestyle movement.


The carnivorous departure is a fairly new phenomenon and only represents 1 percent of the human evolutionary timetable, even when considering the earliest time point for effective human hunting. Any diet that says we should eat meat overlooks the other 99 percent of human history when we weren’t eating meat. If we were to compress human evolution onto a single calendar day starting at midnight, humans would have only started eating meat on a regular basis at 11:45:36 PM.
The South Beach Diet is generally safe if you follow it as outlined in official South Beach Diet books and websites. However, if you severely restrict your carbohydrates, you may experience problems from ketosis. Ketosis occurs when you don't have enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your body breaks down stored fat, causing ketones to build up in your body. Side effects from ketosis can include nausea, headache, mental fatigue and bad breath, and sometimes dehydration and dizziness.
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