Review: The Nordic Diet

Review: The Nordic Diet

The Nordic Diet is an eating strategy based on the traditional way of eating from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Greenland. Just like the Mediterranean Diet, which is also based on the traditional foods in a specific part of the world, it was not developed with weight loss in mind.  Instead, it is meant to be healthy, balanced and delicious and can result in weight loss by correcting certain nutritional issues such as overeating or consuming too many processed foods.

What Do You Eat on the Nordic Diet?

When you’re following the Nordic Diet, you’ll be using the following guidelines to help you make the right choices:

  • Whenever possible, choose more vegetables, fruits, seasonal and organic foods.
  • Eat more whole grains.
  • Choose foods from the wild, lakes and seas.
  • Eat less meat but choose high quality meat when you do have it.
  • Choose less sugary and less processed foods.
  • Waste less food.
  • Prepare more foods at home.

Losing Weight with the Nordic Diet

As people start using this eating strategy, they will often lose weight.  This is particularly true when it comes to the fat they carry around their middle.  This is good news not only because many people want to lose the weight around their waists the most. That said, it is also a great place to lose weight when it comes to your health.  The middle is one of the most dangerous places to carry extra fat stores, and one of the most beneficial places to lose it.

Reducing Heart Disease Risk with This Eating Strategy

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, glucose, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and insulin levels that aren’t ideal.  These are all areas improved by the Nordic Diet among many people. Scientists believe that both weight loss and eating these types of food will help to support heart health and improve heart disease risk factors.

An Environmentally Friendly Eating Strategy

Among the Nordic Diet’s primary goals is eco-friendliness. Therefore, though it’s healthful to eat more plant-based foods than animal-based ones, it’s also great for the planet.  Moreover, since this diet encourages us to eat more local and in-season foods, it reduces the distance ingredients need to travel and, therefore, the carbon footprint your diet leaves behind. Equally, foods picked when they’re ripe and consumed close to the time they were picked, they provide higher nutrient levels.

Review: Atkins Diet

Review: Atkins Diet

At this point, there are very few people who haven’t heard of the Atkins Diet.  It was the first major fad to place low carb dieting into the spotlight.  Though it was first created in 1972, it wasn’t until over twenty years later that it truly reached its peak.

Still, even after the Atkins Diet exploded in popularity, what most people learned about it was that it required dieters to consume a low carbohydrate diet.  In fact, many people believed that it involved the attempt to eat no carbs at all.  Many myths circulated and distorted the main understanding of what this eating strategy involved.

If you’re curious about the truth behind this diet, read on and discover what it’s truly about.

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins Diet, also known as Atkins 20, is a low carb, high protein, moderate fat intake eating strategy that is meant to help you to quickly lose weight without suffering from hunger or feeling deprived from the foods you love. At the time that it first came out it had a certain amount of popularity, but it went through a significant return around the turn of the millennium.

At that time, millions of people were using the strategy to try to shed the pounds, including many well known celebrities. The diet had a popular website, books and a range of other branded products. In fact, many grocery chains carried special Atkins food items that helped people to enjoy their favorites without overeating carbs.

An Evolving Eating Strategy

The Atkins Diet has shifted and changed over the years in order to keep up with the latest nutrition and health research. The original strategy was revolutionary but was found to be flawed in some of its principles. The most recent form of Atkins now focuses more on lean proteins, healthy fats and veggies that are high in fiber.

Four Phases to the Atkins Diet

This diet is broken down into four phases to be followed by the dieter. That said, no matter the phase, the main proteins and fats to consume are meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, butter and oils. At the same time, sugary and starchy carbohydrates need to be avoided. They include foods such as potatoes, bread, chips, pasta, candy and cookies.

The Atkins Diet starts off rather restrictive but works its way toward allowing a growing number of foods once the body has adapted and adjusted.

  • Phase 1 is meant to cause the body to stop burning carbs and to start burning fats instead, a process called ketosis. During that phases, weight loss typically occurs quite quickly. In this phase, dieters eat proteins, fats, and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, all of which must come from vegetables.
  • Phase 2 starts to introduce some new foods into the dieter’s allowable options. This is a time of gradual trial and error, allowing the dieter to determine how many carbs they can eat while continuing to lose weight.
  • Phase 3 doesn’t begin until the diet has only around 10 pounds left before reaching their weight loss goal. This teaches the dieter how to polish off the rest of the weight loss they still have left.
  • Phase 4 is the last one and is meant to be maintained over the long term. This phase is designed to make sure that once the weight has been lost, it will never come back.

A Less Restrictive Form of Atkins

It should be noted that there is a less rigid form of the Atkins Diet, called Atkins 40, which goes by similar strategies as the Atkins 20 version, only it is not as restrictive. For example, during the first phase, dieters can eat 40 grams of carbs instead of just 20 grams. Moreover, there aren’t any food groups that are completely excluded. There are limits to certain fats, but no rigid guidelines regarding the consumption of many proteins such as meats.

Other versions of this strategy have been created to appeal to people who are concerned with the environment or who want an option that is plant-based, such as Eco-Atkins.

No matter which version of the Atkins Diet you’re considering, it’s very important to speak with your doctor first.  This eating strategy is not appropriate for everyone and may even be dangerous for people with certain common medical conditions.  Talking to a medical professional will help you to know if this is the right option for you or if an alternative may be safer and more effective.

Review: The Engine 2 Diet

Review: The Engine 2 Diet

The Engine 2 Diet is a weight loss and cholesterol reducing strategy developed by Rip Esselstyn. Esselstyn is a former firefighter from Texas and published his diet in a book called “The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds.”

What is The Engine 2 Diet?

This is a plant-based diet which, according to its creator, is primarily focused on eliminating junk foods from an everyday diet.

The Engine 2 Diet refers to junk food as processed and refined foods as well as meat and dairy. Instead, the follower will consume only nutritious foods consisting of whole, plant-based options. The book encourages dieters to learn how to live, eat and cook in a way that is healthy overall.

Two 28-Day Plans

There are two 28 day diet plans that comprise the Engine 2 Diet. The first plan is called The Fire Cadet. That option is a more gradual approach to adopting this lifestyle. The second plan is called The Firefighter, which is far more extreme.

Dieters can choose one or the other of those two plans based on what they feel is most appropriate for their needs and expectations. At the same time, both the Fire Cadet and the Firefighter plan have identical goals. Their purpose is to take four weeks in order to eliminate junk, meat and dairy from a person’s diet. Instead, followers eat only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

The Fire Cadet Plan

The Fire Cadet Plan is broken down into four weeks.

  • During the first week, the dieter must eliminate all refined foods, processed foods and dairy from their diets (keeping in mind that this is the more gradual and moderate plan).
  • In week two, all meat, poultry, fish and eggs are eliminated. During week three, any extracted oils (such as conola, olive and coconut) are eliminated.
  • During week four, additional vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are added to the diet.

This is clearly a restrictive diet, particularly at the beginning.  Though it does progressively allow for additional food types to be consumed over time as the dieter moves through the four weeks, it certainly doesn’t mean that the dieter will be returning to a more traditional way of eating by the last week.

Firefighter Plan

On the other hand, the more intense Firefighter plan (that’s right, the Fire Cadet was the gentler of the two) dives right in at week four and continues that lifestyle for four weeks.

Therefore, right from the start, dieters will need to eliminate all animal based products as well as refined and processed foods and extracted oils. These are replaced with the fruits and veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.

The main difference between this plan and the Fire Cadet Plan is that there is a gradual progression in the first plan.  This one plunges head-first into the restrictions that will be maintained over the complete 28 days.

Additional Restrictions

Moreover, the author also recommends that anyone following the diet should stop drinking any alcohol for at least the four weeks during which they are introducing themselves to the diet.  This is true regardless of which plan you start with.

Engine 2 Diet Resources

To make things easier to understand, the Engine 2 Diet book provides a full list of what can and cannot be consumed at any given time throughout the 28 days. Many people who have followed this diet have found that this additional resource is an important investment into the diet.

The reason is that it can be difficult to know what is and is not allowed when it comes to the specifics.  Even if full categories of the rules are understood, there are certain foods that can seem to be in a gray area and the dieter may need clarification.

Workout Plan

Beyond the eating strategy, the Engine 2 Diet also offers dieters an exercise plan. The plan is broken down into the four weeks so that the dieter can know what he or she should be doing as a workout at any given point throughout the 28 days.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is considered to be a vegetarian or vegan diet, but only over the short-term, making it somewhat of a fad diet as opposed to one that is necessarily geared toward the longer-term.

Review: SlimFast Diet

Review: SlimFast Diet

The SlimFast Diet is a plan that has withstood the test of time. It has been around for decades. That said, it should be noted that while the diet does still exist, it has evolved over time so that it doesn’t necessarily look the same as it did when it was first launched in 1977. The SlimFast Diet was originally created by the Thompson Medical Company, which was founded in the 1940s. In 2000, it was purchased by Unilever which sold it to Kainos Capital in 2014.

What is the SlimFast Diet?

This diet is based on the use of meal replacement products including shakes, smoothies, and bars, among other branded items such as 100-calorie snacks. The premise is that it allows the dieter to replace his or her usual meals and snacks with pre-packaged foods that will automatically control caloric intake.

This diet is sometimes known as the 3-2-1 Plan, as the dieters who follow it are permitted 3 snacks, 2 meal replacements and one low calorie meal per day. Of all those snacks and meals, only the “1” is made of actual whole foods. The rest are required to be SlimFast products.

How to Supply Yourself to Follow this Diet

The official SlimFast website lists meal replacements in the form of four different shake flavors (creamy milk chocolate, strawberries and cream, rich chocolate royale, cappuccino delight, and French vanilla), three smoothies (creamy chocolate, vanilla cream, and mixed berry yogurt), two bars (chocolaty crispy cookie dough and chocolaty peanut butter pie), and two cookies (peanut butter chocolate chip and double chocolate chip).

On the other hand, there are also SlimFast brand snacks from which to choose. There are two of them listed on the official website. They include mesquite BBQ baked chips, sour cream and onion baked chips.

These products are all that can be consumed for the three snacks and two meal replacements that must be eaten per day. For the remaining meal, the SlimFast website offers a number of different recipes that can be followed in order to stay within the small calorie limit. On the whole , the recommendation is to make sure half the plate is filled with veggies, one quarter contains a lean protein and the remaining should consist of a whole grain.

Why Do Some Dieters Choose the SlimFast Diet?

Dieters who are looking for a quick and easy way to control calories without much counting or food prep might find SlimFast convenient as everything is already prepared aside from one meal per day. This type of structure is quite straightforward and doesn’t leave much room for confusion. When followed as directed, many people are more than likely to lose weight by using this strategy. Overall, the reviews regarding the taste of the SlimFast products have been quite positive and the products are sold both online as well as at several large retail chains.

Drawbacks of This Type of Dieting

On the other hand, as convenient as this type of dieting may be, following this type of strategy doesn’t teach the dieter how to build the right habits for keeping the weight off over time. After all, if eating is at the core of why a dieter has gained the weight in the first place, then replacing his or her meals with bars and shakes will only help over the short term.

Once the weight is lost, it is unlikely that the dieter will want to keep eating shakes and bars instead of meals. Unfortunately, as the diet does not teach the individual how to eat in a way that supports weight control, the result can be that he or she regains the pounds in a relatively short period of time.

Another drawback to the SlimFast Diet is that the products aren’t cheap. Therefore, following this diet for any length of time can become quite costly when compared to a standard grocery bill. This is another reason that this is often considered a short-term or fad diet instead of something dieters can keep up over the long term.

It’s very important to speak with your doctor before starting a meal replacement eating strategy such as the SlimFast Diet.  This can help you to make sure you won’t be harming your nutrition or bringing on unwanted side effects that could risk your results or even your health.

Review: 5:2 Fasting Plan

Review: 5:2 Fasting Plan

The 5:2 Fasting Plan is a type of very low calorie weight loss strategy typically considered to be a fad diet. That said, despite the fact that this strategy has been around for a while, the recent popularity of IF has spiked the number of people following it.  There are many people who use this technique and swear by its effectiveness.

At the same time, many dietitians caution that the majority of people who try to use diets like the 5:2 Fasting Plan will not be able to keep it up over time. Indeed, there will be some success stories.  However, most people cannot adhere to this type of diet long-term.

What is the 5:2 Fasting Plan?

It is based on an intermittent fasting (IF) strategy. The basis of the way this plan works is for a dieter to eat normally for five days out of the week. That said, the remaining two days of the week are considered to be “fasting” days, in which the caloric intake is significantly slashed. Therefore, the 5:2 ratio stands for 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of fasting.

What is Fasting?

The fasting days typically require you to eat only about a quarter of the number of calories you would usually eat in a day. For example, if your typical daily calorie intake is around 2,000, then your fasting days would require you to eat no more than 500 calories, an extremely low caloric consumption.

Does Fasting Work?

Medical studies have been increasingly supporting the use of fasting to help to achieve effective weight loss. This includes strategies similar to the 5:2 Fasting Plan. When compared to many forms of calorie controlled diets, this style can help to keep up a continual rate of weight reduction.

At the same time, those research studies have also found that people following diets involving intermittent fasting are less likely to develop certain medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and certain forms of obesity related cancers.

Beyond weight loss, those who believe in this type of dieting also say that it helps to boost longevity, heightens brain function, provides Alzheimer’s disease protection and guards against other types of dementia. However, it should be pointed out that as much as supporters of the 5:2 Fasting Plan may believe in these benefits, there is little to no research to support those claims.

How is the 5:2 Fasting Plan Different?

To be fair to the 5:2 Fasting Plan, the research conducted on fasting have not involved this specific strategy.  Indeed, it was conducted on similar fasting efforts.  That said, they have not been this precise plan, so its unique properties could conceivably make a difference.

Among the known advantages of the 5:2 Fasting Plan is that it will indeed lead to fat loss when followed properly. It offers a certain amount of flexibility as the dieter can choose whichever two non-consecutive fasting days, they would like to observe each week.

This means that dieters can shift fasting days around certain occasions such as social engagements so that they don’t have to bow out of eating a meal when they’ve been invited to dinner just because it happened to fall on a fasting day. Moreover, because only 2 days per week are for fasting and the rest remain normal, many people find it’s easier to stick to this diet than to ones that require daily calorie control.

This is important, as most fasting plans are rigid.  This is among their top problems.  It isn’t that intermittent fasting doesn’t work if followed precisely. It is that many people misinterpret it or find that they cannot realistically fit it into their lives.  Practice is much different than the way it works on paper.  The 5:2 Fasting Plan was created to try to work around that challenge.

The Long-Term Problem

Unfortunately, the number of people who are likely to stick to this diet until they reach their goal, and then keep the weight off once it’s gone is not terribly high. It requires a great deal of self-control and self-discipline. While non-fasting days do allow for normal eating, it is still important not to overeat as this will only negate all the benefits accumulated during the days when calorie intake is severely restricted.

Many people find that as long as things are going well and they feel motivated, it’s simple to stick to the 5:2 Fasting Plan.  However, as soon as anything becomes complicated in life – stressful events, illness, travel, special occasions and others – it becomes impossible to keep up with the IF. An effective long-term diet requires you to be able to keep it up the majority of days regardless of what’s going on in your life. This is why most doctors recommend a healthy lifestyle as opposed to a strict, regimented program.

Furthermore, many people who fast suffer unpleasant side effects from their low calorie intake. This can include lightheadedness, weakness, dizziness and fainting, among others. Irritability, anxiety and poor concentration are also common side effects of this type of dieting.

This diet isn’t necessarily safe or appropriate for all dieters. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying this or any other diet that involves fasting.

Review: TLC Diet

Review: TLC Diet

The TLC diet stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. It is a type of eating strategy created to help people to be able to effectively reduce their cholesterol levels. The claim is that by keeping up this diet over the long term, you will be able to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) in a meaningful way. In fact, it states that if you follow it to the letter for six weeks, you are likely to reduce your LDL cholesterol by between 8 and 10 percent.

Who Created the TLC Diet?

The TLC diet was first created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Cholesterol Education Program. It is also endorsed by the American Heart Association as being a heart-healthy way to eat in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The main component of this diet is to significantly reduce fat intake, particularly in the case of saturated fat. Saturated fats are the type of dietary fat found in heavy meats, fried foods and full-fat dairy products such as whole milk. Eating more than just a tiny amount of saturated fat has been associated with elevated cholesterol levels. When LDL cholesterol levels are too high, it increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

What Do You Do on This Diet?

The TLC diet typically requires a follower to have to greatly reduce their saturated fat intake while boosting their fiber intake and limiting the amount of dietary cholesterol they consume. According to top medical organizations (mentioned earlier), this can make a considerable difference in reducing high cholesterol levels, even without having to resort to the use of prescription medications in some cases.

In order to follow the TLC diet properly, the first thing you will need to do is find out how many calories you should be eating every day. A doctor or dietician can often provide that advice. From there, it’s important to learn about the types of foods you should be eating and how you should be preparing them in order to enjoy your meals and still stay within your daily calorie range.

How Many Calories Will You Eat?

Most women will need around 1,800 calories depending on age, activity level, weight, height and other factors. Women trying to lose weight may need as few as 1,200 calories. On the other hand, men will need around 2,500 calories based on the same factors, but will need only 1,600 when weight loss is the goal.

The types of foods you will typically eat on the TLC diet include skinless poultry, very small amounts of reduced fat cheese and dairy, very little to no processed or cured meats, lots of veggies, lots of fruits, whole grains and very little – if any – processed foods.

Two Key Guidelines

As the main focus of the TLC diet is to be healthy and keep cholesterol levels where they should be, the foods you eat are low in both saturated fat and natural cholesterol.  That said, this is not a low-fat diet.  Instead, it also requires dieters to eat an appropriate amount of good fats.  These good fats include monounsaturated fats.

Also included among the types of foods you’ll focus on eating with this diet include those high in fiber.  Research has shown that diets high in fiber help to promote better heart health and support healthy cholesterol levels.

Overall, there are two key guidelines that TLC diet followers will need to stick to each day.  This includes:

  • Eating less than 7 percent of your total daily calories in the form of saturated fat.
  • Eating less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol.

It’s a good idea to speak with a doctor before starting the TLC diet, particularly if the goal is cholesterol control. If you are taking medication to lower your cholesterol levels, don’t stop taking it just because you are following this diet, unless you have been directed to do so by your doctor.

Are There Banned Foods?

There are no specific foods that must be consumed in order to follow the TLC diet, but many people find that they need to change what they purchase at the grocery store. Depending on the choices that are made, this could mean that you pay more or less once you get to the checkout counter.

While this diet was designed for cholesterol reduction and heart health, some people do lose weight by following it due to the improvements to their overall nutrition.

Review: Paleo Diet

Review: Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet – also known as the Paleolithic Diet, the Stone Age Diet, the Caveman Diet or the Hunter-Gatherer Diet – was created to provide a lifestyle strategy to overcome illness associated with the way we live our modern lives.

Who Created the Paleo Diet?

That said, since it was first created, it has become better known as a highly popular weight loss plan. It is based on a method that restricts or even eliminates certain food types and individual foods. It has been followed by certain top celebrities from Matthew McConaughey to Megan Fox and Ray Mears.

Still, just because a diet is popular, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily effective or that it is appropriate for everyone even if it can be effective.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at any diet, including this one, and to speak with your doctor before making any major changes to what you eat or how you prepare it.

What is the Paleolithic Diet?

To follow the Paleo Diet, you will need to start focusing on foods that may have been the top choices of our Paleolithic ancestors around a thousand years ago. According to the creators of this diet, this was a time before agriculture.  Therefore, our ancestors from that time ate essentially anything they could hunt or gather.

Some of the foods they ate included:

  • Meat,
  • Fish,
  • Fruit,
  • Vegetables,
  • Nuts, and
  • Roots.

On the other hand, the foods you will not be consuming on the Paleo Diet include:

  • Grains,
  • Legumes,
  • Dairy,
  • Processed oils,
  • Refined sugar, and
  • Salt

The reason those foods aren’t permitted on the Paleo Diet is because the creators of the diet believed that those became available only after agriculture became a part of the average human life.

Watching Your Macros

In terms of macronutrient balance, Paleo encourages a low carbohydrate and high protein eating strategy. It does not have any specific recommendation for calorie counting and makes no mention regarding the type of exercise that should be followed.

In terms of its macronutrient balance, Paleolithic dieting can reflect many other lower carb and high protein diets.  What makes it unique is the justification for balancing the macros this way.  The claim is that the foods are selected because they are what the body evolved to process first. It’s what the body naturally digests the best as opposed to being forced to cope with it.

Paleo Controversy

As popular as this diet may be, it is also quite controversial. The idea behind it is that by choosing the options our ancestors ate, we are more likely to opt for foods that the body is actually prepared to properly digest and use. The hunter-gatherer body could digest precisely what Paleolithic people could find on the land around them. That didn’t include chips, fries or cakes.

The claim is that by living this way, we can become more fit and healthy and can reduce the risk of degenerative disease, certain cancers, arthritis and heart disease. The belief is that many of those conditions came about as a result of more modern lifestyles following the development of agriculture. Moreover, the idea is that if a Paleolithic person died young, it wasn’t because of disease – particularly chronic illness – but was rather because of having to live in a harsh environment where accidents were commonplace.

Furthermore, in recent years, a large and growing body of evidence has shown that the Palaeolithic people did not eat in the way the creators of this diet claimed.  Instead, they did eat grains.  Substantial evidence revealed that oats and many more grains were a regular part of our ancestors’ diets.

Caveman Diet Drawbacks

That said, this more “natural” way of living does have certain drawbacks, such as being low on soluble fiber consumption and can risk an inadequate intake of antioxidant vitamins (such as A, E and C), phytochemicals, monosaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, and many other low-glycemic index carbohydrates. Weight can indeed be lost on this diet, but it remains rare for a dieter to keep it up over the very long term, leading to potential nutrition, metabolism and weight issues.

Review: Flat Belly Diet

Review: Flat Belly Diet

The Flat Belly Diet is an eating strategy designed to help people lose weight effectively. It was created by Prevention magazine editors. This diet promises to make weight loss fast and easy, especially when it comes to fat stored around the middle. This is supposed to occur in about one month.

What is the Flat Belly Diet Supposed to Do

The diet’s creators say that the Flat Belly Diet lets dieters change the way they eat to drop the pounds. In fact, exercise isn’t a requirement of this plan. That said, the creators of the diet do underscore that if you do exercise, it can help to boost results from the other efforts made throughout the month.

Two Diet Phases

There are two phases to the Flat Belly Diet. The first is four days long and is meant to help combat bloating. It uses specific drinks and foods to help followers to overcome bloating. That way, the dieter won’t be carrying extra size that doesn’t need to be there and that isn’t even caused by body fat.

The second phase is a four-week eating plan that affords dieters a set number of calories. Women eat about 1,600 calories per day. Men follow a similar plan but with a higher number of daily calories allowed.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

The Flat Belly Diet places the emphasis on eating foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Dieters must also eat lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies. Every meal must contain MUFAs. These foods include options such as seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil and soybeans.

No Solid Research

Despite the fact that the Flat Belly Diet was created by well respected people, the diet itself hasn’t been uniquely successful in research. Large clinical trials haven’t shown that using this technique is any more effective than any other calorie-restricted strategy.

Though a dieter might lose weight using these methods, they’re likely because of the calorie limitations and because it encourages healthy and nutritious eating, according to the Mayo Clinic’s analysis. This indicates that the additional methods recommended by the diet aren’t necessarily promoting additional weight loss. Instead, it’s the methods that are the same as other calorie restricted healthy diets that are helping these dieters to drop the pounds.

Though it advertises itself as a type of quick fix, it isn’t really all that different from following other traditional calorie-based diets with a focus on nutrition.

Review: Ornish Diet 

Review: Ornish Diet 

History

The original Ornish Diet was first created in 1989 by Dr. Dean Ornish. It was designed to be followed by patients at risk of heart problems such as cardiovascular disease or heart attack.

That said, the diet has since been updated to be called Dean Ornish’s Spectrum Diet, which is based on similar concepts and targets the same people, but that is focused more on losing weight to lower risk than exclusively living an overall health healthy lifestyle.

The Ornish Diet and Heart Health

When taking into consideration the recent changes made to the recommendations by the American Heart Association, lowering blood pressure guidelines So that people with readings over 130 as their top number and 80 as the bottom number are now deemed as having high blood pressure. Previously, it had been 140/90.

Under these new definitions, about half of all American adults are now within the high blood pressure category. This could make a diet with a focus such as that of the Ornish Diet relevant to far more people than had been the case earlier this year.

What is the Ornish Diet?

In this diet, no major foods are actually banned, but all food groups are labeled with a number. Those in the number 1 category are the healthiest, whereas those in the number 5 category are the least healthy.

The food rating system is known as the spectrum. Moreover, this diet recommends a macronutrient balance of:

  • 70 percent carbohydrates
  • 20 percent protein
  • 10 percent fat.

This makes the Ornish Diet a very low fat diet. This diet does recommend against consuming alcohol and white flour, but it doesn’t necessarily ban those foods.

Why Choose This Eating Strategy?

The goal is to try to eat as many category 1 foods as possible. Anyone eating in this way should naturally find themselves losing weight. The diet also promises that it will help to lower cholesterol levels and maintain or improve arterial health, particularly in the arteries close to the heart. The official website for the diet claims that it can also reverse prostate cancer and diabetes.

How Hard is This Diet?

The rules of this diet are relatively direct and, according to the official descriptions of the Ornish Diet, it may help to reverse heart disease through changes in four primary lifestyle areas: nutritious diet, exercise regularity, stress response, and a loving support structure.

In terms of the amount of effort and difficulty needed to follow Dean Ornish’s Spectrum Diet, this is usually considered to be a moderate level challenge. The difficulty greatly depends on the difference between your current lifestyle and the degree to which you want to adhere to the diet’s recommendations. It could mean anything from regular tweaks all the way to a massive overhaul.

The top struggles usually identified when following this diet usually have to do with having to sharply reduce highly processed foods and fatty meats, among people whose diets have previously leaned heavily toward the consumption of those foods. That said, for people whose fatty meat and processed food consumption is already low, the diet’s changes can occur quite naturally.

Review: The G-Free Diet

Review: The G-Free Diet

The G-Free Diet is a dieting program created by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, best known for having been a co-host on The View for a while. This diet is gluten-free, which means that it does not involve eating any wheat, barley, rye or other gluten-containing grains. Traditionally, this type of diet is meant to ease celiac disease symptoms.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the small intestine is damaged by the immune system when the affected individual consumes gluten-containing food. While Hasselbeck was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome for many years by her doctors, she self-diagnosed with celiac disease. This was indeed later confirmed by a doctor.

The G-Free Diet Claim

As someone with celiac disease, it’s important for Hasselbeck not to eat gluten. Her response was to create The G-Free Diet, which provides tips for eating at home, at a party, or while dining out. She provides details for people to be able to avoid mistakenly eating gluten and offers ways to better understand food labels and other places where gluten may be hiding.

When following the instructions provided by The G-Free Diet, all gluten-containing foods are avoided, including certain oat-based products that have been processed in the same facility as wheat.

This includes foods that one wouldn’t expect to contain gluten, but that often do, such as soy sauce, many fried foods, beer and certain dairy alternatives. That said, options such as tequila, sake, wine and champagne are all typically gluten-free and are therefore permitted through The G-Free Diet.

Get a Diagnosis First

What is very important about The G-Free Diet is that it is meant for people with celiac disease. This is not a part of the gluten-free trend that many people have adopted regardless of whether or not they actually have an intolerance to gluten. In fact, preliminary research is indicating that gluten-free dieting is actually less healthy for individuals without an intolerance. Early studies have suggested that there could be a heart disease related risk for individuals following this type of eating strategy unnecessarily.

Therefore, reputable organizations such as the Mayo Clinic recommend that a individuals seek out a celiac disease diagnosis before starting a gluten-free diet. This can help to make sure that The G-Free Diet will be both safe and appropriate for their needs. Moreover, it also helps to rule out other potential underlying conditions that could be causing symptoms similar to those of celiac disease but that may be unrelated.