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SCOTT COOK: Choose diet wisely

by on March 18, 2014 10:50 AM

It seems as if every few months there’s a new diet whose rules and requirements we must follow if we’re going to reach the goal of good health.

The Paleo Diet provides a great example of this phenomenon. We’re exhorted by Paleo proponents to eat lots of fats and animal protein.

Carbohydrate consumption should be fairly light.

Grass-fed beef is prized by Paleo dieters. They may consume unlimited amounts of butter, and must eliminate all cereals, legumes and dairy products (except butter, of course) from their diet.

Now, unless you’re a Paleo convert, these prescriptions may seem to fly in the face of everything you’ve ever known about healthy eating. I am not against the Paleo diet, but it is definitely not for everyone.

Paleo supporters claim that human biology developed over the course of hundreds of thousands of years and that agriculture is brand new, having arrived about 10,000 years ago.

They may be correct, but remember that other diets backed by correspondingly compelling logic and dollops of science have come and gone over the course of many decades.

For instance, the Atkins diet, created by Robert Atkins in the 1960s, is still going strong after more than 50 years.

The main requirement of the Atkins diet is low carbohydrate consumption, and in this way the Atkins program resembles the Paleo Diet.

High-protein consumption is the other pillar of the Atkins approach. The rationale was that such an eating plan would force your body to burn fat, rather than glucose, for energy. Many of my patients have lost vast amounts of weight in a short period of time, but the majority regained this weight once going off the diet.

The bottom line is that good sense should prevail.

Starting a diet because the program was touted in a magazine article or a talk-show interview may not be in every person’s best interest. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another.

Paleo, Atkins and vegetarian diets may create great benefits for certain people, but may cause real medical problems for others.

The best overall approach for most us is to eat regularly from a wide variety of food groups, make sure to eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day and pay close attention to portion control and calorie intake.

Those desiring more detailed information and recommendations will find their chiropractors and family physicians excellent sources of expert guidance.

Effective, healthy functioning of your digestive system and a well-orchestrated metabolic system will help you get the most benefit from the good food you’re eating. Regular chiropractic care helps make this possible.

Dr. Scott R. Cook D.C., ACRRT, operates Cook Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Indiana.
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