By: Dr. Melissa Lee ND

New Year’s Day is often an exciting moment. It is an opportunity for a new start. A new start for career goals, a new perspective on life, or a new start to a self-care routine. One of the most common health trends we see is the emergence of diet fads.  I often get two questions:

  1. “What is the best cleanse or detoxification program/product I can use?”
  2. “What is the best diet that I can follow to optimize my health and lose weight?”

In relation to the first question, the best cleanse can be addressed in a past article I wrote entitled “The Art of Detoxification.”

The second question is a little more complex. To just follow one “protocol” may not be the best idea. We are complex and unique human beings from our genetics, physiology, and biochemistry to our mental, emotional and physical state. With all these variations in ourselves, we have to ask “is there only one best diet for me?”

Historically, there are have been a lot of diet fads as shown below:

 

Timeline of Diets

 

Given this timeline we can conclude two things:

  1. There have been a lot of diet trends in the past.
  2. We ended 2014 with a lot of diet trends: Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free, Vegan, Mediterranean or some combination of the above.

Some of these diet fads or combination of them will continue into 2015. So… what diet do we choose?

It can be difficult to pick the right diet for you, especially since each routine can become restrictive or regimented. Scientific research has also validated the positive benefits of the 2014 diets in relation to optimizing health, minimizing the risk of chronic disease, treating chronic disease, or promoting weight loss, if done properly.

Let’s take a look at the latest diet trends and examine what it entails, its benefits, and possible problems that can arise.

chart of diets

So I still haven’t answered your question: “What diet is best for me?” Let me ask you this: What is the common variable in all these diets when a beneficial health effect has been shown?

  • A focus on whole foods
  • A focus on Quality protein: grass fed beef, organic meats, fish, nuts and seeds
  • A focus on Quality fats: olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, hemp oil, fish oils
  • A focus on unlimited vegetables and fruits
  • Removing processed foods
  • Removing refined sugars

Conclusion in: your optimal diet doesn’t have to be regimented and defined. Your optimal diet should be focused on the points above: A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, quality proteins, and complex carbohydrates all with low allergenic potential. New diet trend: going back to the basics of whole foods.

Happy Healthy Eating for 2015!

In Health,

Dr. Melissa Lee ND

 

References

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Ashat, M., Kochhar, R. Non-celiac gluten hypersensivity. Trop Gastroenterol (2014); 35(2): 71-78.

Craig, WJ. Health effects of vegan diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89(5): 1627S-1633S.

Cunningham, E., Are diets from Paleolithic times relevant today? Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2012); 112(8): 1296.

de Lorgeril, M., Salen, P., Martin, J.L., et al., Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation. 1999; 99: 779–785

de Lorgeril, M., Renaud, S., Mamelle, N., Salen, P., et al., Mediterranean alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1994;343: 1454–1459

Estruch R, Ros, E, Salas-Salvadó, J, et al., Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. NEJM. 2013;368(14):1279–1290.

Jabr, F. How to really eat lik ea hunter-gatherer: why the paleo diet is half baked. Scientific American June 2013.

Johnstone, AM., Horgan, GW., Murison, SD. Effects of high protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (2008): 87(1); 44-55.

Kastorini, C., Milionis, H.J., Esposito, K., et al.,The effect of Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome and its components: a meta-analysis of 50 studies and 534,906 individuals. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011; 57: 1299–1313

Key, TJ., Appleby, PN., Rosell., MS. Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets. Proc Nutr Soc2006; 65(1); 35-41.

Kirby, M., Danner, E., Nutritional deficiencies in children on restricted diets. Pediatric Clinics of North America (2009); 56(5): 1085-1103.

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Mustaliahti, K., Lohinemi, S., Collin P., et al., Gluten Free diet and quality of life in patients with screen detected celiac disease. Eff Clin Pract (2002); May 5(3): 103-113.

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What Diet Trend Do I Choose for 2015?
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