In a culture riddled by fads, it should come as no surprise that the same holds true of the world of health and fitness.
We’ve seen diet and nutrition fads come and go, while those methodologies that have proved truly useful and effective tend to stand the test of time. Today a number of competing opinions exist on what is truly the ‘healthiest diet’.
All the confusion over what truly works best for losing or gaining weight can be discouraging.
For an athlete or just a regular person trying to wade through the sea of evolving information and try to strike a balance between the varying opinions of experts, it’s a mess out there. And that’s not the worst of it.
Aside from the experts claiming they’ve found the holy grail of diet regimens, we’re bombarded by advertising pushing the latest fads. Let’s be extremely clear, whether they work or not, hot new fitness fads are created with one goal first: making money.
Unfortunately, much of the health and fitness industry is geared towards profit, not on true health and fitness. We all want to look and feel our best, so we’re all hunting for the latest and greatest in information to help us toward our goals.
In an industry where the line between science and marketing is often blurred, sometimes it takes a group of scientists to come along and clear the fog. One group of researchers did just that.
Dr. David Katz from Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and a team of scientists conducted experiments to determine the effectiveness of popular diets. Each of these methods has been subject to claims of superiority. Katz, a practitioner of nutrition science has become an established voice on behalf of reason, calling the claims of fad diets, junk food themselves.
The challenge in finding reliable information on this subject is that most of the time, studies are paid for by a company with its own interests in mind. Katz’ team from Yale removed this variable.
What Diet Is the Best For Weight Loss?
Low glycemic index?
The findings were published in the Atlantic and the results might be shocking to some. However, you might notice that results support the dieting principles that we’ve been encouraging here on the Gym Junkies blog.
For bodybuilders, the phrase ‘healthiest diet’ comes with an asterisk to include the phrase, “…that will also increase size and strength.” The basis for a healthy diet should consider that peak internal health is key to supporting any effort made to support muscular size and strength. There’s no point in putting fresh paint on the Ferrari if it’s a Ford Pinto under the hood.
Your diet isn’t just about getting big and strong. For many years, the common body building diets focused only on huge amounts of protein and carbs to support lifting. A truly healthy diet is about much more than that. The simple fact is, our ability to live a long healthy life, free of disease is contingent upon what we put in our bodies. While this has come to be accepted, no one can know what the best method truly is.
From preventing disease to reducing the inflammation caused by training and sports, there are a number of concerns that affect all humans, and others that are specific to bodybuilding. All of these needs or concerns are addressed through a balanced diet. The goal of the study was to determine what really works best.
Best Diet to Lose Weight And The Results?
In fact, there was no single diet that is the best. Rather, the most success was found through principles that carried true across numerous methods, rather than a single rigid set of dietary restrictions or overconsumption of any dietary building block.
Best Diet to Lose Weight Fast And Your Health?
The decisive principles established as the best means of promoting health and preventing disease is a diet made up of:
-Minimally processed foods
-Foods “close to nature”
While the study especially encourages high plant content, for those looking to make gains in size and strength, eggs and meat are often staples. One way to interpret “close to nature,” especially for carnivorous strength trainers is:
Produce and livestock grown or raised as close to its natural state and making as few stops from farm to plate as possible.
When it comes to eating your greens, there’s no argument. Thinking about where your meat comes from and what impact that can ultimately have on your health is something that is worth consideration. Fresher is always better and the preservatives involved in industrial food are doing nothing good for your body.
What’s the Conclusion on Fat?
Interestingly enough, Katz’ study did not find any conclusive evidence to suggest that low-fat diets are healthier than diets rich in healthy natural fats (like the Mediterranean). This is probably because those monounsaturated oils contain a reduced ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 when compared to most American diets.
What’s the Ruling on Carbs?
The Yale study also produced some interesting findings on carbohydrates. The key, according to the results, is being selective in which carbohydrates we eat. Across the board, being selective in carbs was found to be a healthier option than restricting all carbs indiscriminately. The study also found that eating whole grains was ideal.
One major distinction the study made is to pay attention to the difference between ‘glycemic index’ and ‘glycemic load’. Glycemic load provides a better indicator as some foods can be confused, like carrots which have a high index. Katz’ study concluded that consistently eating high GL foods will contribute to greater risk of heart disease.
With regards to weight training, timing of specific carbohydrate types is also key—keep in mind that after a workout a high glycemic index carbohydrate helps facilitate protein synthesis. This is the only time in the day that we will ever recommend high GL carbohydrates.
Paleo Gets Clubbed
Major Paleo diet supporters also probably won’t love what Katz had to say about this diet. Because today’s available meat and vegetables are so different than the mammoth meat and now mostly extinct plants that a Paleolithic human would have eaten, he says this diet has essentially no basis.
In fact, Katz speaks strongly against any diet based primarily on meat because of the risks associated with heart disease.
For an athlete trying to gain weight, this means that it’s time to consider plant and non-meat sources of protein to help reach those daily protein intake goals. This way you’re not gaining size and strength at the cost of your overall health.
In an industry flooded with biased information, it’s extremely beneficial for all of us health seekers that studies like this exist. Katz and his team shed an unprejudiced light on the best means of maintain health which we can interpret through the lens of strength training and bodybuilding. Rather than adhering to one diet’s claim or another, invite healthy, proven principles to form the foundation of your diet.
To sum it all up, remember, for optimum health make these the pillars of your diet, and your body will be a temple: mostly greens, produce and livestock as close to nature as possible, diverse protein sources, no processed foods, fats from natural oils rich in omega-3s, low glycemic load carbs.
Latest posts by Terry (see all)
- How Important Are Net Carbs For Building Huge Muscle? - Apr 28, 2017
- The Matt Damon Workout Explained - Apr 27, 2017
- Watercress – Benefits And The Best Way To Consume It - Apr 26, 2017