The diet plan presented puts a heavy emphasis on protein. High protein diets are typically successful for people who desire to lose weight. However, twenty-five years of nutritional research suggests that high protein diets include higher intakes of cholesterol and saturated fat. Further, nutritional research suggests that overall consumption of fat and sugar be drastically reduced. In order to achieve such a diet, it is necessary to increase overall consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and the same time.
Therefore, it is currently recommended that human diets comprise mainly of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meat and dairy. Despite this recommendation, the most popular diet in America remains the low carbohydrate, high protein Atkins diet.
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The reason this diet is so popular is because it can truly enable human beings to lose weight. The danger in eating according to this, or any other high protein diet, is a lack in adequate nutrition gained from eating a variety of foods within all food groups.
A scientific analysis of this particular diet is offered in order to show that it may enable a person to lose weight but it is not a healthy diet. The main premise behind high protein diets is that they allow a dieter to feel full for a longer period of time. Therefore, it can be assumed that if the dieter felt full they would eat less overall. Restricting overall calorie intake is an important part of any diet plan, but adhering to a high protein diet only ensures that dieters are eating far too much cholesterol and saturated fat and not enough healthy carbohydrates.
The diet being analyzed here puts too much emphasis on protein and not enough emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean dairy. For example, almost every lunch and dinner meal includes eggs or meat. While eggs and meat are certainly healthy, they should not make up the majority of any diet. Further, the diet being analyzed includes some fruits and vegetables but not enough servings to reach recommended guidelines. There are many days where fruit is not included at all within the diet. Similarly, a variety of fruits and vegetables are not included.
The emphasis on vegetables is carrots and lettuce with a few servings of spinach and one serving of broccoli. There is not an inclusion of any whole grains with the exception of toast for breakfast on one day. However, it is not clear what type of bread is used for the toast. Finally, there are only two examples of low fat dairy included in the diet plan, which are cottage cheese and yogurt. It has been well documented that human beings must rely on a well balanced diet that includes lean protein as well as enough servings of other foods so that adequate vitamin and mineral intake can be maintained.
Plant based foods are particularly important because they contain the majority of vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary to maintain good health. Plant based foods also contain a wide range of antioxidants which boost the overall immune system and protect humans from certain illnesses and disease. Therefore, research emphasizes that a healthy diet “prevents nutrient deficiencies, reduces risks of diet related chronic diseases and is composed of foods that are safe and palatable. ” The diet plan analyzed here is lacking in several areas.
The first is the high concentration of protein. Consuming such high amounts of protein does meet the goal of making a person feel fuller for a longer period of time. At the same time, it also restricts the amount of other foods that are eaten. In order to prevent nutrient deficiencies and reduce the chance of chronic illness this diet would need to include a much higher concentration of plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables and those made with whole grains. Further, the food one eats must be palatable in order to ensure success.
This diet relies on the same foods over and over again which will only result in boredom and the inability to stick with the diet. Overall, the diet should include a wider variety of foods from all food groups in order to ensure adequate nutrition as well as the desire to continue with the diet for the long term. The United Kingdom relies on the Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients when showing the importance of eating a wide variety of foods in order to get enough of all the recommended vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals necessary for health.
These guidelines are published in order to ensure that the majority of the population understands what they need to consume in order maintain good health. This diet does not meet these guidelines in many areas and cannot be considered a healthy and safe diet. For example, these guidelines recommend that adults consume at least 200 micrograms of folate every day for optimum health. However, folate is primarily found in plant based foods. This diet does not include enough plant foods to ensure adequate intake of folate.
Similarly, these guidelines recommend that adults consume at least 600 micrograms of Vitamin A each day. Again, this diet includes carrots, which is a good source of Vitamin A, but only on a few days. Therefore, those following this diet plan would also be lacking in Vitamin A. Ultimately, this diet plan can guarantee weight loss but it cannot guarantee optimum health. It would be recommended that dieters consume less protein and more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean dairy.