Lately I have been researching different diets to try and find one that I think maximizes health and fitness. I try to steer clear of fad diets and stick to sources that include individuals with Phd.'s in science and nutrition, reputable strength and fitness coaches, and national organizations such as the NSCA. The problem is that even among all of these educated and experienced individuals there is conflicting results and recommendations, and each one of them considers their diet the valid one. One diet that has grown in popularity lately is the "Paleo" style diet. This diet, in a nut shell, consists of eating primarily meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, little fruit, no grains, no beans, and no dairy. It is based on the premise that humans have not evolved to eat foods that have come about since the agricultural revolution, and that most health issues today are caused by a high carbohydrate diet. I must admit, being someone who believes in keeping things natural, I was pretty intrigued by this diet. The logic is there and it seems to make sense. However, when I read books that are written by well known sports organizations and university professors in nutrition the benefits of high carbohydrate diets are praised for both health and performance. Another interesting fact is that the highest concentration of individuals who live to be 100 years old are in Okinawa, Japan. If you look at the traditional Okinawa diet you find that they eat predominantly whole grains, vegetables, fish products, and little meat. This diet goes against alot of the "Paleo" rules, yet it seems to produce the world's longest living people. Afterall, isn't prolonging life one of the main goals of diet and exercise.
Personally I think there are many diets out there that can work and will probably bring about different results in different people. It would be wise to try different diets to see which one gets you closer to whatever goals you have. That could be a decrease in weight, control of blood sugar, increased sports performance, or improved blood lipid profile. Probably the more important issue is eating more natural foods and eating proper portions. That seems to be a consistant variable among all the diets. EAT MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS. To me, if it comes from the earth it has to be good for you in most cases. I am not bashing one diet or another, I am just pointing out some inconsistancies that have been on my mind. I am also urging others to not fall into thinking that there is only one diet and one way to eat to be healthy and fit. At the end of the day I think food should be enjoyed and life should be lived to the fullest and finding a balance between the two is a good goal to strive for.