The simplest approach to dieting

When homo sapiens became the dominate species on the earth and the natural selection halted for them, the natural diet (mixture of fruits, vegetables and meat)  was the best  food determined by the evolution process.  It is still the best food for us modern home sapiens if we live the same life style as our ancestors - physically active.  If we live sedentarily, then we need to figure out what is the best diet for it.  This is where many diet programs should belong to.

Many people diet for good health.  The simplest and easiest way to maintain good health is to accept the natural, evolutionarily proven good food structure of seasonally changing mixture of fruits, vegetables and meat and live a physically active life.

One of the many gifts that the evolution has given us is the appetite changing to meet our needs.  When our glycogen store is low, we crave for sweet; when we are dehydrated, we are thirsty; when we lose too much sodium, we can't wait to eat salty food.  We hate monotonous meals because the body needs diverse nutrients. We lose the appetite for anything that has caused sickness such as vomiting.

In summary, the best diet program is to follow our taste buds and eat natural food while maintaining a physically active life style.

The most common dieting myth - you gain what you eat

Many people believe that you gain fat if you eat fat, you gain only fuel if you eat only carbohydrate.  They probably know little about how good our body is at adapting to different types of food intake and maintaining our body composition.  Converting carbohydrate to fat is almost as easy as converting the  fat in the food to the fat of the body.  This is why Dr. Atkins' Diet of high protein, fat, low carbohydrate does help many people lose weight (mostly fat).

Atkins' Diet

Dr. Atkins is the author of the most popular diet book.  His courage to defy the medical establishment is admirable. However the long term safety of his unorthodox diet has not been established.  The rationale behind Atkins diet is very simple - Atkins believes that the modern ubiquitous refined sugar is the culprit of many modern heart disease such as atherosclerosis.  A minor flaw of his diet that may make his theory shaky is that he puts rice on the list of refined carbohydrate which consumption should be minimized.  It is obviously untrue that rice is associated with modern heart diseases because it has been consumed as staple by many peoples for thousands of years.  



(originally written on 5/18/02)

Last updated on Sunday, June 30, 2002 22:59:59 -0400