Quantcast

Yale Researchers Show Why Choosing a Paleo, Low-Carb or Fat-Free Diet is Not the Healthiest Way to Go

Food

Diets can bring about life-altering changes, but they are also the subjects of never-ending debates.

Until now.

According to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and researcher Stephanie Meller, there are no winners in your favorite dietary squabbles. Low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat diets? It doesn't matter. Going vegan? That's great, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're any better off than a person who embraces a Mediterranean diet.

Table credit: Annual Reviews

After comparing seven popular diets, Katz and Meller concluded in Annual Reviews that no diet is especially healthier than any other. Katz says thinking otherwise has been one of the biggest myths of the last few decades, allowing various doctors and nutritionists to cash in on misinformed consumers.

"I really, at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives," Katz admitted to The Atlantic. "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."

If no diet emerged as a clear winner in a comparison of low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic and vegan regimens, what is the key to eating healthy?

"A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention and is consistent with the salient components of seemingly distinct dietary approaches," reads the abstract portion of  the duo's study, "Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?"

Katz and Meller say there is "no decisive evidence" that low-fat diets are better than the Mediterranean diet, which is known to contain higher amounts of healthier fats, like olive oil and nuts. While they find some merit in the increasingly popular, grainless paleolithic diet, Katz and Meller believe that grains help prevent heart disease, eliminating them from declaring that diet to be the best.

A paleolithic diet meal. Photo credit: Jeff Coble/Flickr Creative Commons

In all, the researchers eschew the concept of themed diets in favor of tried-and-true facts. These include that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are preventative measures for many cancers, heart disease and body weight. Whole grains also made them unwilling to favor a low-carb diet.

 The researchers said they aimed to bring a common-sense element to the noisy world of diets.

"If you eat food direct from nature," Katz added, "you don’t even need to think about this. You don't have to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt—most of our salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker.

"If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves."

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less
At least seven people have died in a Bangladesh pipeline explosion. Youtube screenshot

At least seven people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Bangladesh Sunday, and another 25 were injured, the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less
The Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, Washington. John Westrock / Flickr

The Washington Department of Ecology responded to an oil spill that took place Friday night when a Crowley Maritime Barge was transferring five million gallons of oil to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less