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Stumped About How to Eat? Yale Scientist Compares All Diets and Finds REAL Food Best

Christina Sarich
April 20th, 2014
Updated 05/05/2014 at 8:56 pm
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apple whole food fruit 263x164 Stumped About How to Eat? Yale Scientist Compares All Diets and Finds REAL Food BestWhat should you do to get back in shape this Spring? Try a paleo-diet, go vegan? How about the Mediterranean diet, or even experiment with a low-carb diet? It turns out, according to a study recently published in Annual Reviews by a highly credentialed medical expert, Dr. David Katz, that the best food – is REAL food.

Forget about infomercials, questionable advice from your trainer at the gym, or the latest diet craze. All you need to do is put away the processed, non-food, junk you’ve been eating and you can expect to lose weight, feel better, and actually be – here’s a novel idea – healthier.

Credible nutritionists have been saying it forever, and even foodies know that nothing can take the place of real food – not GMO, not chemical laden biotech food, or things filled with artificial preservatives, colors flavorings, and more non-food stuff that our bodies don’t want or need. It can get confusing because one expert will tout the benefits of lowering carbs, and another or minimizing calories, then another will convincingly argue that you just need to combine certain foods for the best overall effect. It turns out that all of this, and your conscience probably already knows this –that real food is the answer.

We all have had inclinations of eating better – whether it was to cure ourselves from a serious disease like cancer or diabetes, or for more superficial reasons, like wanting to look better in a bathing suit, but real, and dramatic changes can happen in lifespan, and the reduction of chronic illness when we eat right. Study after study has compelled us to eat more nutritious foods, and now the latest compares all the ‘popular’ or ‘fad’ diets, and finds, unequivocally, that real food still wins.

—the data in favor of optimizing our diets are even more compelling. No one is arguing that diet is less than extremely important to health and well-being, but seemingly everyone is arguing as to what constitutes the best diet.

Dr. David Katz works at Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, and he rebels against a sea of disinformation about what people should eat to be healthy. He looks down on of-the-moment diet fads and dangerous crazes that many of his contemporaries – even other doctors promote without sound reason.

Katz compared the medical evidence for every mainstream diet around right now, and said, ‘he didn’t have a dog in the fight right now,’ meaning his research was largely without bias because he isn’t selling a diet pill or some other special fad-diet in a get-rich scheme. In a recent interview, he said”

“I don’t care which diet is best. I care about the truth.”

Katz published his findings with colleague, Stephanie Meller in a paper titled, “Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?” They compared all the trend diets of the day: Low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, vegan, and elements of other diets.

Katz says that despite the prevalent promotion of these diets in mainstream media, there are few studies proving they actually work:

“There have been no rigorous, long-term studies comparing contenders for best diet laurels using methodology that precludes bias and confounding. For many reasons, such studies are unlikely.”

Conversely, he found that:

“A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”

Among the important points made by the article are these:

  • Plant-based diets (non-GMO,organic, real plants, I might add) are nutritional powerhouses which support a wide variety of favorable health outcomes. These include lower rates of heart disease and cancer. These diets don’t just include fruits and vegetables, but real grains, nuts and seeds.
  • Katz and Meller found that ‘low-fat’ diets are no better than diets high in real, healthful fats (not fake, man-made ones). The Mediterranean diet is only successful because it contains a lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than the typical American diet. Americans also rely far too much on unhealthy fats like trans-fats.
  • Moderating meat intake, and alcohol improves health.
  • Increasing natural fiber improves health, including, “defense against neurodegenerative disease and preservation of cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and defense against asthma.”
  • Carbohydrate-selective diets are better than simply low-carb diets. Attention to glycemic index is important, but not the most important thing – since carrots, for example have a high glycemic index, but can cure cancer. Again, it goes back to eating real food.
  • One of the most important points of the study was this one: “if Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible.”

Katz is frustrated with the misinformation about how diet affects health:

“It’s not just linguistic, I really at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives . . . At times, I hate the people with alphabet soup after their names who are promising the moon and the stars with certainty. I hate knowing that the next person is already rubbing his or her hands together with the next fad to make it on the bestseller list.”

It’s a radical notion in today’s GMO-promoted, FDA-ignorant, pharmaceutical-pushing world, but real food can cure you. You may want to try eating some.

From around the web:

  • sherpeace

    REAL food means you don’t have to read a label! There is no label to read! REAL food means veggies, fruits, beans, grains & occasionally some free roaming eggs and cows that eat grass. Seafood is another story. Given how dirty the ocean is I can’t help wonder which is worse: farm raised or fresh from the sea.
    But for the most part, it is pretty easy. If you could pull it out of the ground and eat it, that’s what you should be eating! ;-)

  • JDooz

    Screw all diets! It’s all sooo bloody complicated. Everyone’s system is different and reacts to foods in different ways. Just keep it simple, eat organic food, avoid anything that is advertised on ads, TV, and anything with processed junk. Why make something so simple so complicated? Me thinks that those that are making it complicated have a business/cash cow they want to protect, to keep the blind coming, desperately seeking someone to guide them.

  • Laura Elliott

    This might be nitpicking, but it’s extra annoying to see this word misspelled in what should be an edited article. RE: “…you can expect to loose weight, feel better, and actually be – here’s a novel idea – healthier’. The correct spelling is ‘lose’, not ‘loose.

    • sherpeace

      I agree, Laura. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that going around these days. Even my little university newspaper had fewer typos/misspellings than you see in articles being read by millions. Very sad, indeed.

  • Undecider

    Always read the labels. Expect food to be GMO and non-organic unless it states otherwise. Unless stated otherwise, expect there to be fluoride content.

  • Alan D Smith

    This article may have been very valid a century ago. But today, I have a really difficult time finding good food to buy, because everything we can eat, drink or breathe is now routinely poisoned.

    FukUs-hima’s 300 tones a day of radioactive waste water every day for over three years has poisoned ALL the fish in the Pacific Ocean. And there’s no way to tell if the fish you’re buying came from the Atlantic or other cleaner body of water. Produce is tainted with sodium fluoride (rat poison), externally and internally as well as aluminum and barium from chemtrails and aerial radioactivity from FukUs-hima. Meat is poisoned with growth hormones and antibiotics as well as poisons and aerial radioactivity from the environment. Every drink is watered down with tap water “fluoridated” with fluorosilicic acid, a poisonous waste cocktail from the smoke stacks of (mostly Chinese) fertilizer plants, containing about 23% sodium fluoride (again, rat poison), lead, mercury, arsenic, barium, cadmium and polonium. The latter three poisons are known radioactive carcinogens. Also, our tap water contains aluminum, barium and radioactive particles from fallout. And none of this information is available to the public or allowed (or mandated) to be printed on labels. So, how the Hell can I figure out how not to poison my family? I hoped that’s what this rather shallow article would tell me.

    • Undecider

      It’s simple. Read the label and read the news. know ahead of time the toxins and pollutants that can exist in food.

      Shallow article? Are you expecting Natural Society to publish a thirty page report for you? Don’t be lazy! Use this article as a spark to get you moving. It’s amazing how the Internet audience expects everything to be done for them.

      You learn more during the journey and not being handed the destination.

      • Alan D Smith

        me too lazy and stoopid to read or lern much itz simple 4 u cuz u smart u tell me all I need to no, ok? Teech me, o learned one.