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Do You Know Nutrition: Which is the best diet?

By By Phylis Canion
May 13, 2014 at 12:13 a.m.

Phylis Canion

If I am trying to lose weight, is a low-carbohydrate or fat-free diet better? If these are not healthy diets, what would you recommend? I have eliminated caffeine and refined sugars but struggle a bit with carbohydrates. Thank you for your suggestions.

Actually, neither low-carbohydrate nor fat-free is recommended. Here are the top four rated diets according to U.S. News after diets were evaluated by a panel of health experts. To be considered a top-rated diet, the diet had to be easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet snagged the No. 1 spot.

This diet was developed to fight blood pressure; so the theory is that nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to a balanced diet as are fruits, veggies, gluten-free whole grains and lean protein. Snagging the No. 2 spot is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet. This diet suggests cutting back sharply on fat, more specifically saturated fats, as in red meats, whole milk dairy and fried foods. Weighing in at No. 3 is the Mayo Clinic Diet in which the theory is to recalibrate your eating habits by breaking the bad habits and creating better and healthier eating habits.

My favorite and coming in at No. 4 is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds. All of these diets are considered very heart healthy and nutritionally sound, diabetes friendly and can benefit cancer prevention. These diet are available to download if you do a bit of research on the Internet.

Remember, simplicity is the best. Also, eliminate those items that were not available 100 years ago, such as artificial sweeteners, margarines, microwaves, Styrofoam, aluminum pans, foods cooked in BPA-ladened cans and drinks in plastic bottles.

Thought for the week: The pessimist says opportunities are nowhere while the optimist says opportunities are now here. Both see the same words but read it differently. Such is life.

The next free nutrition class is at 6 p.m. May 22 at the Wellness Center in Cuero.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at docphylis@gmail.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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