Sunday, January 02, 2011

Dr. Barnard's 5 Diet Pitfalls

By the looks of the comments, or lack thereof, on his blog post I'm going to say Dr. Neal Barnard doesn't have a big following, at least not among readers of The Huffington Post:

Avoid These Five New Year's Resolution Mistakes

That's unfortunate because the guts of his message constitute a ray of sense among the blinding inanity of many weight loss schemes. As evidence: Female Chinese Students Resort To Eating Roundworm Eggs To Ensure They Look Thin For Job Interviews.

Here are his 5 mistakes:
  1. Exercise instead of changing what you eat to lose weight.
  2. Count calories.
  3. Avoid carbs.
  4. Avoid sugar. (Kind of like #3, isn't it.)
  5. Focus on the long-term.
Which, if you avoid them, lead to these 5 bits of advice:
  1. To lose weight, change your diet. "Exercise is not likely to do much for your waistline unless you also change your eating habits."
  2. Concentrate on foods, not numbers. "Let foods do the work for you."
  3. Choose healthy carbs.
  4. Sugar, per se, is not the problem. "The real problem with sugar is that it lures us in to cookies, cakes, candy bars and doughnuts," that are prepared with lots of fat.
  5. Focus on right now - the next meal, the next weeks' meals.
I'm not on board with a few of Barnard's finer points. But I'll give him the overall argument: eating a minimally-processed, low-fat, plant-based diet is a great avenue to good health.

Here's Dr. Barnard talking about diabetes:



Autumn Hoverter, MS, RD said...

I haven't watched the video yet but I love the advice!

Sara said...

40 years ago the doc would be considered normal looking; now he looks a bit on the skinny side.
Thank "Mike & Molly" and our obese society for that.

RB said...

Interesting. Overall, I think this is good advice. However
1. Exercise is important for fitness. Sure we must change to a good food diet to lose weight but we must also exercise to be fit. Fitness and health should be the goals: feeling good and energetic. I think simply concentrating on weight loss and calories is a losing (no pun intended) proposition.
4. People avoid fruits because of the sugar. Many diets even advocate this. Bananas have a lot of calories!! Fruits are good. As pointed out, its all the process foods with added sugar that are the problem.
5. Their are strategies and tactics for everything. Of course its only the next meal we can do something about immediately (tactic). But we also have to realize good eating and good fitness is for life. A 30 pounds in 30 days diet is great but then what? We must choose foods that we will eat at all our meals going forward for life. We must learn what good food are and wean ourselves off the bad stuff (strategy). By the way, weaning ourselves off the bad stuff is not easy.

Bix said...

Sara, Now that you mention it... It's true, he's be considered normal years ago.

I had to google Mike & Molly. I see...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Dr. Barnard. Carbs (that includes sugar) is the main cause of obesity in the world. There is no such thing as a healthy carb because in the end it will still raise you blood sugar.

Fruits are even worse because they are high in fructose which automatically gets turned into triglycerides in the liver. This is because fructose is a toxin (to the point that it undergoes the Mailard reaction in the body).