World's Best Diet? Or Just the Way You Should Always Eat?

An expert has compared all the popular diets out there -- llow carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, Paleo and vegan -- against a regular old "mixed, balanced" diet.

And guess which one won?  You guessed it.  The old three-square-meals a day version, consisting of plant and animal foods, or as he puts it, "a diet comprising 'preferentially minimally processed foods direct from nature and food made up of such ingredients, ... mostly plants, and ... in which animal foods are themselves the products, directly or ultimately, of pure plant foods.'"

According to youbeauty.com, it's not that the other diets (or, as Weight Watchers, which despises the word, calls it, "a new way of eating"), are bad.  

"The problem is that each, by virtue of being prized and heavily marketed for its distinctions, misses the point that their individual successes are due to the commonalities among them," the Web site notes.

Blind adherence to anything is not a good thing.  If you're on a low-carb or low-glycemic regimen, you might very well exclude nutritious fruits and vegetables.  And The New York Times' Mark Bittman has jumped on the wagon, too, espousing a view today that the more processed foods -- with their refined starches and added sugar -- you eliminate, the healthier you will be.  And maybe, the thinner, too.

.So what to do?  Throw out the Oreos, and Fritos, and reduce the visits to McDonald's.  Try eating plain meats (grilled chicken, hamburgers without the bun,) and bananas and apples and grapes instead of the processed kinds, like Fruit Roll Ups, which kids love (and advertisers try to convince us could be their one fruit serving a day). 

I blog for a food magazine (totalfood.com) and just did a story yesterday on a woman who couldn't find frozen yogurt for her three kids without any "mysterious" ingredients.  So she created a yogurt with just three ingredients: filtered water, fruit and cane sugar.  

I'm not suggesting you go out and make food for your kids.  But think about everything you put in your grocery cart.  Did it come straight from the earth or the farm or was it manufactured in some way?  If it's the latter, see if you can replace it with something that did.

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