Brooklyn NY specialty practice highlights the best and worst diets for your health
As a Board-certified Gastroenterologist, Dr. Alexander Shapsis naturally promotes diets that support healthy GI function. Furthermore, excess consumption of foods such as processed meats have been cited as risk factors for some gastrointestinal cancers, including colon and rectal cancer.
Here, Dr. Shapsis and the Atlantic Gastroenterology team highlight the “Best and Worst Diets for Your Health” in Brooklyn NY (and elsewhere).
U.S. News and World Report’s 25-member panel of health experts review 35 diets annually, and rank them in descending order based on the following criteria:
- Ease of implementing the diet into your lifestyle
- Nutritional value
- Effectiveness (for weight loss)
- Protective against conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
No. 1 – Mediterranean Diet
For the third year in a row, the Mediterranean Diet popularized by 1960s-era Italian and Grecian eating habits topped the list. Built around a daily diet of fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, and beans, fish and seafood are encouraged on a weekly basis, while poultry, eggs, and dairy are consumed “in moderation.” Red meat and sweets are “special occasions” foods. In several studies, this clear winner was associated with lower levels of weight gain and a slimmer waist circumference (further associated a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease).
No. 2 (tied) – DASH and Flexitarian Diets
DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and emphasizes food with blood pressure-fighting properties, such as potassium- and calcium-rich options. DASH supports veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Panelists appreciated the small and manageable changes at the heart of DASH; for example, you may add a serving of fruit to each meal, or enhance flavors with spices, not salt.
Developed by registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner, flexitarian promotes “weight subtraction” via “food addition.” So, you’re incorporating five food groups into your habits, including “new meats” (non-meat protein substitutes); fruits and vegetables; whole grains; and sugars and spices. A 5-week plan details meals and snacks, and the regimen can be tweaked as needed.
No. 34 – Keto Diet
Emphasizes extreme fat-burning by cutting carbs and fillings up on fats. So, your body enters ketosis, breaking down dietary and stored fats. Panelists alluded to a 2017 Nutrition and Metabolism-published study that found Keto had a “mildly negative” impact on endurance, leading to faster exhaustion during exercise. They also questioned the long-term sustainability of weight loss associated with Keto diets.
No. 35 – Dukan Diet
Somebody must be dead-last in the rankings, and this year it’s a diet with protein at its core. Adherents cite how proteins are filling, take time and work to digest, and have few calories per gram of food vs. carb-rich products. Panelists deemed the diet “too restrictive” (no bread, cheese, and fruit). They note high-protein diets exceed government recommendations that 10 to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein sources, which is also one of the reasons other popular diets like Paleo (No. 29) and Atkins (No. 32) got dinged in the rankings.
Atlantic Gastroenterology encourages you to eat for your GI health and quality of life. Flexibility is key!
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