Sign up FAST! Login

Why Diets Shouldn’t Tell You What Not To Eat


Stashed in: #health, Inclusion, Nutrition!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

In the study, we never told our participants what not to eat. We didn't say sugar was bad or fat was bad, because we wanted to avoid negative exchanges and frustration. We took the risk they might indulge in those foods anyway. We also never told them to count calories. Our message was clear: Focus entirely on the goal of 30 grams of fiber per day. Spread out the 30 grams across all meals and snacks. Get a wide variety of foods; don't rely on one food, or it may get boring. We gave them long lists of high-fiber foods, prepared tasty recipes for them to sample and gave them volumes of easy recipes to try at home. We compared this approach to the standard American Heart Association diet, which is heavily focused on restriction. It advises people to restrict saturated fat, calories, sugar, sodium and alcohol. It isn’t entirely restrictive, though – it also encourages intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.Findings revealed that both groups lost some weight and showed improvements in cardiometabolic factors, but no statistically significant differences between the groups were observed. The fiber group was not significantly better than the AHA diet, but it was also not significantly worse. A different research design is needed to officially establish that the two diets are exactly the same, but in this study our goal was to see if one was better than the other, and this was not the case. We hope to grow this research by expanding upon the “positive” recommendation and continuing to ignore the negative, restricting advice.

Interesting and good strategy to focus on getting enough fiber. Fiber makes us feel full.

High-fiber foods include beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and grains, which gives people a lot of choices. We chose fiber because no controversy exists whatsoever in the nutrition world about the health benefits of fiber. 

We also never told them to count calories. Our message was clear: Focus entirely on the goal of 30 grams of fiber per day.

Findings revealed that both groups lost some weight and showed improvements in cardiometabolic factors, but no statistically significant differences between the groups were observed.

...

Critics have also suggested focusing on one part of diet is too narrow, and people will end up eating more of the unhealthy foods that are not targeted in this diet. At the Obesity Society meeting this past fall, I presented data that showed otherwise. In our high-fiber group, we saw no evidence of increases in intake of any “unhealthy” foods. In fact, we saw statistically significant decreases in saturated fat, sugar, dietary cholesterol, sugary beverages and sodium in our high-fiber condition.  

Let’s return to the behavioral science. I don’t need to tell my daughter all the things I forbid her to do while she’s engaging in the positive play experience I set up for her. Why? Because she never plays with my clothes when she’s busy gliding down that sledding hill.

You May Also Like: