UNDERSTANDING POPULAR DIET SYSTEMS
Below is a brief outline of the most popular diet systems along with and assorted list of vitamins, mineral and supplements. Make yourself familiar with each of these so you can decide which adds the most value to your meal plan.
The vegetarians’ diet is excellent for weight loss because it is automatically low in fat and calorie dense foods. Deficiencies can occur in protein and B Vitamins while following a vegan lifestyle. These can be overcome by the use of a soy based protein powder and a B-complex supplement every day. Those wishing to lose weight will be able to make good progress with this system. Bodybuilders will find it difficult to add muscle mass. Octo-ovo vegetarians include eggs and milk in their diets and are not as likely to be protein deficient. They will still make good gains in muscle size and strength. The vegetarian diet gets a rating of 10 for general health and 7 for pure muscle building.
LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET
The low carb diet is probably the best weight loss system available. It has a muscle sparing effect because of the protein consumption, which is kept at normal or higher levels. Carbohydrates should never be lowered to less than 80-100 grams per day because the brain requires that amount for proper functioning. Hard training strength athletes should drop no lower that 150 grams per day or the training intensity would drop off. The low carb diet gets a 10 for fat loss and another 10 for pre-contest phase cutting up.
HIGH FAT DIET
There are still some who advocate this dangerous and unhealthy system of eating. The premise is that you eat fat and protein, but no carbs. With what we know about lipid and cholesterol problems associated with excess fat intake, this system is of little or no practical value. A top current bodybuilding champion followed this system several years ago and ended up looking so bad on contest day that he fired his trainer. He went back to the tried and proven moderate carb diet and won the USA Bodybuilding Championships. On a positive note, I knew a Mr. Rochester winner who ate nothing but bacon and eggs for six weeks and looked incredible. He won the show. I don’t know if he’ s had heart problems or not. This diet gets a rating of 2 in all categories.
FOOD ALLERGY DIET
Their Doctor or Allergist often puts people suffering from allergic reactions to food on a rotational diet. Food allergies can be responsible for stomach bloating, gas, fatigue, headaches, colitis and arthritis. Milk, eggs, dairy products, wheat flour products, corn, chocolate have all caused allergic reactions in certain individuals. The rotational diet is a non-pharmaceutical cure that includes extra Vitamin C and quercetin (a bioflavinoid), four times a day. Inability to process certain foods may hinder athletic performance. With food allergies you will only be able to consume a narrow range of foods, so you will have to research alternatives from the list of acceptable foods that they provide you. When trying the rotational diet, start off with a one day fast. On day one rice protein (baby rice cereal) and water is added back. The following day brown rice is added to the menu. The third day any vegetables are allowed. By adding foods back one or two at a time, the item causing the allergic reaction is singled out. Whatever it is must be eliminated from the menu. This procedure has cured chronic colitis in some people and rates a 10 for those with colitis or food allergies.
LOW FAT DIET
The low fat diet, as recommended by Cardiac Specialist Dr. Dean Ornish in his book, "Reversing Heart Disease," is probably the most effective diet for keep fitters and the senior whose goal is good health and weight loss. Dr. Ornish recommends that fat calories make up no more than 10-15% of the daily calorie intake. Most individuals will still lose weight and see blood cholesterol levels drop on a diet that contains about 25% fat calories. Bodybuilders may see a loss of muscle mass and strength on a low fat diet because fat intake plays a major role in muscle building. It is important to understand that fats have more calories per gram (9 calories per gram) than carbohydrates (5 calories per gram) or protein (4 calories per gram).
LOW CHOLESTEROL DIET
The low cholesterol diet is important to any American because heart disease is the number one killer in the US and elevated blood cholesterol is directly linked to dietary cholesterol. LDL is bad, low-density lipoprotein. HDL is good or high-density lipoprotein. Total blood cholesterol of less than 150 is considered excellent on a fasting blood test; with HDL levels no lower than 30. Cholesterol consumption can elevate LDL cholesterol blood levels, but not as much as saturated fat can. Saturated fat raises LDL blood cholesterol levels. For health reasons, everyone is encouraged to eat less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol daily. Someone having 2,000 calories daily should keep saturated fat intake to less than 22 grams. Foods like egg yolks, whole milk, cheese, mayonnaise, red meat, shellfish (except lobster), chicken skin, grease, butter, margarine, and palm oil must be eliminated while following a low cholesterol regimen. Fish and olive oil are low in cholesterol, so olive oil sprays are excellent for cooking. Fish oil is particularly good because it contains omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Many of your clients will be following low cholesterol diets. That means egg beaters instead of whole eggs, and lean cuts of meat, chicken, turkey and fish protein sources.
FDA FOOD PYRAMID RECOMMENDATION
The food pyramid chart shows people how to select food based on new groupings. For good health, foods at the bottom of the triangle should be eaten more often than items at its point. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1992 created the Food Guide Pyramid as a replacement for the four food groups formerly presented to school children. I still like the four food groups: the milk group; meat group; bread and cereals group; and the vegetable and fruit group. The old chart put greater emphasis on meat and dairy products. At the base of the pyramid are breads, cereals, rice, and pasta, with a recommendation that 6 to 11 servings be eaten daily. On the next levels up are the vegetable (3 to 5 servings) and fruit (2 to 4 servings) groups, dairy group (2 to 3 servings) and meats, eggs, nuts, and dry beans group (2 to 3 servings). Fats, oils and sweets are at the point, with a recommendation that they be limited. This is a healthy way to eat, but it won’t quite mesh with the high protein muscle building diet or the low carb fat loss system. It is OK for those athletes who really don’t need anything specific, like golfers. It’s probably better than most high school and college athlete’s current eating system, no matter what. Fats, oils and sweets eat sparingly Meat, eggs, nuts 2-3 servings Dairy 2-3 servings Fruit 2-4 servings Lots of servings of bottom foods, Vegetable 3-5 servings sparse servings of top items. Bread, cereal, rice, pasta 6-11 servings