Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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44 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m DW Life > Very low fat such as TLC Diet and Pritikin HOW THEY WORK: Very low-fat diets, including the TLC (erapeutic Lifestyle Changes, developed by the National Institutes of Health) and the more restrictive Pritikin, were all the rage in the 1990s, when scientists pointed to dietary fat as the root cause of heart disease. ese plans favor fruits, vegetables, whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and lean red meat. WHAT EXPERTS LIKE ABOUT THEM: ere's a lot of data showing that a diet low in saturated fat can reduce both cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. "When it comes to your health, restricting saturated fat is the behavior we have the most evidence for," says Dr. Kumar. WHAT THEY LIKE LESS: "It's tough to feel full on a diet of all carbs, which leaves you vulnerable to bingeing behavior and weight gain—reversing the heart-healthy benefits of cutting out saturated fat in the first place, according to Dr. Kumar. "You can't just say that fat is bad," she says. "ere are good fats and bad fats, and good cholesterol and bad cholesterol." Dr. Kumar prefers the more moderate TLC diet to Pritikin. "TLC distinguishes between which kinds of fats are healthy— avocado, olive oil, and certain nuts can help raise your good HDL cholesterol. It's the saturated fats in full-fat dairy and fried foods you want to stay away from." Adds Lemond: "When you go very low in fat, it's easy to overdo the carbs, or eat the wrong kind of carbs. You have to make sure you are going with whole grains and staying away from refined sugar." IF YOU WANT TO TRY THEM: Go with TLC as opposed to more rigid regimens. "TLC is really great if you want to lower your cholesterol," Lemond underscores. "It emphasizes foods that are naturally going to pull cholesterol out of your diet, including legumes, and foods that are high in soluble fiber, like lima beans and oatmeal. You can drop your cholesterol a good 10 points or more." Mediterranean and DASH HOW THEY WORK: e Mediterranean diet and its more Americanized cousin, the DASH (Dietary Ap- proaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, are based on the Mediterranean way of cooking and eating—that is, plenty of fruits and vegetables; whole grains; legumes; nuts and seeds; low-fat or nonfat dairy products; healthy fats like olive oil and avocado; fish and poultry twice a week; red meat no more than a few times a month. e DASH diet tends to be lower in sodium than the Mediterranean; the Mediterranean is lower in dairy and more generous with healthy vegetable oils. Both plans have been shown in randomized trials to reduce the risk of heart disease—the number one killer of women—as well as diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. WHAT THE EXPERTS LIKE: ese diets aren't restrictive, which means you can keep them up over the long haul. Plus, you can drink wine! "I'm a big fan," says Lemond. "Because you are eating more fruits and vegetables, the higher-fat foods, like meat, naturally get squeezed off the plate." WHAT THEY LIKE LESS: Weight loss isn't always fast and furious. You don't get the dramatic, quick drop in pounds that you might experience with more restrictive plans—"though if you follow the diet, you will likely lose weight," says Dr. Kumar. "It's healthier than the way most Americans eat." IF YOU DECIDE TO TRY THEM: Dr. Kumar recommends doing these diets with extra calorie restriction if your main goal is weight loss—for women, she says, trying "to keep your calories to 1,400 a day." (Calorie-counting apps like MyFitness Pal and Lose It! can help you keep track.) for people with diabetes, due to the low-carb factor, which can lower blood sugar. "I'm a big fan of eating foods in their whole form, as opposed to consuming processed foods," says Lemond. WHAT THE EXPERTS LIKE LESS: Both diets are so rigid that most people can't stick with them for more than a few weeks at a time. "ey're defi- nitely not doable for life," says Lemond. "Whole30 isn't even intended to be a weight-loss diet, but more of a 30-day cleanse for people suffering from gastrointestinal issues, skin problems, and other things that may be diet related," she explains. "e point is to eliminate possible dietary trig- gers for these issues. e problem with eliminating entire food groups is that there are almost always unintended consequences—it's tough to get enough calcium and vitamin D if you don't do any dairy, for instance." Dr. Kumar agrees: "Skipping dairy isn't good for your bones. Most cavemen didn't live until their 70s, 80s, or 90s, so they didn't experience the effects of osteoporosis." IF YOU DECIDE TO TRY THEM: "Give yourself some leeway," recom- mends Lemond. "Allow yourself some foods off the plan to start, and maybe even ongoing. at makes the plan much more sustainable." But unless you really, really love fruits and vegetables, you'll likely end up fall- ing short on nutrients—and falling off the wagon. Paleo Diet and Whole30 (cont.)

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