That’s how old I am: Decades ago, I was involved in a nutrition debate between Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Robert Atkins, renowned cardiologists with opposing views on the best diet for weight loss and heart disease prevention. Each of the cardiologists was fascinated by their diet plan, although the diets contrasted sharply with each other.

Ornish presented a number of studies to show that a very low-fat and mostly vegetarian diet can reduce heart disease as well as improve diabetes and other chronic diseases.

In turn, Atkins cited his evidence that a low-carb diet – one that is more dependent on protein and fat and severely restricts fruits, breads, starchy vegetables and other plant foods – is effective for weight loss and does not harm the heart.

Who won? In my opinion, this was the third speaker at the debate. A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed us evidence that both types of diets have their advantages and disadvantages. He finished a study that shows that the best diet is probably somewhere in the middle.

Times have not changed much. Only this morning I learned about these three “new” diets:

The new Mayo Clinic diet (unlike the old Mayo Clinic diet) is an improved weight loss plan, according to the medical team that developed it. What is interesting in this regard is not one plan. People who are on a diet can choose healthy keto, high protein, vegetarian, Mediterranean or something that promotes gut health.

What? One plan doesn’t suit everyone? This is true. Genetic research is beginning to show us that based on our DNA, some of us work better on one type of diet (such as vegetarian) and others on another (such as high protein).

Then there’s the Nordic diet, yes. As expected, eat plenty of fish as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils. It is based on studies in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, which found an improvement in blood sugar and cholesterol levels in volunteers who ate this way.

Have you heard of the Pegan diet? This is a cross between two rather opposite diet plans: vegan and vegan, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds and other foods that our ancient ancestors hunted or collected, which were probably eaten by a tiger. before they appeared a chance to really learn this diet, but still).

Is it me, or do we finally learn that the real answer to optimal health is to choose different foods in the right balance? This is what current research tells us. No diet is suitable for everyone. Just make sure it includes foods from each nutrient group: protein, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products (including fortified soy products).

Barbara Intermil is a registered nutritionist and syndicated reviewer. She is the author of the book “Queen-Essential Nutrition: The Simple Science of Nutrition”. Write to her by e-mail [email protected]

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