09 March 2007

The Best Diet

Do you still remember Manuel Uribe? Yes, the more than 1,200-pound-man. That is no longer his weight today. Yes, he was able to shed some pounds --- 395 pounds to be exact. His weight now is in the 800-pound range. 'Still heavy, I know, but what a significant improvement from before.

Last year, he went on nationwide TV to ask help for his condition. An Italian doctor offered gastric bypass surgery which he declined. Instead, he chose to stick religiously to the Zone diet recommended to him by Mexican dietitians. His low carbohydrate diet seems to be working well for him. He is in high spirits today. He was in a parade the other day in his native San Nicolas de los Garza, a Mexican suburb, to show people his weight improvement.

While he still needs around six people to push his iron-wheeled bed, there is a positive outlook that he can go out of his house on his own in a span of 3 to 4 years, when he reaches his target weight of 265 pounds.

Good luck, Manuel!

So, is the Zone diet the best diet of all, since it can help people like Manuel?

It's not the Zone diet but the Atkins diet that ranked first and the best among the results of a one-year study conducted by Stanford researchers which compared four famous diets: Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets.

But first, an important question: When do you consider a diet, the best diet?

For most people, the answer is easy. Of course, the best diet is the one which makes them lose more weight at the least possible time.

In addition to losing weight, people should also consider favorable metabolic outcomes in choosing the best diet for them.

Favorable metabolic outcomes? Yes. Potential dieters must take into consideration if their chosen diet will also result in lowering triglyceride and LDL (low density lipoprotein) levels, increasing their HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels, and improve both their fasting insulin and glucose levels, as well as help them maintain normal blood pressure levels.

In the study comparing the four diets, published in the current issue of JAMA, it was the Atkins diet which produced the greatest weight loss and most favorable metabolic outcomes among the study subjects. You can look at the table on the right for ready reference.

If you want to go on a diet and want to be sure on what's the best among all the diets available, you can always consult your doctor (preferably an endocrinologist) to help guide you what will be the best for your body type. It is not always wise to go on a diet because a friend recommended it, or because some famous celebrity did it. Each person's case is unique and requires a similar unique attention.

BOTTOMLINE: The best diet is one which takes care of your whole body. It is not all about losing weight, but feeling good and being healthy, too.

4 reactions:

ipanema said...

I still remmeber Manuel Uribe from your post last year, Dr. Emer. Now, that's good news indeed. I agree with you that the best diet is one that takes care of the whole body. I for one subscribe to some misconceptions before.

Dr. Emer said...

His journey to fitness might be long and arduous, but at least, he will be able to prove that it can be done without surgical intervention.

fionski said...

Atkins worked for me, when I was younger. Now I seem to have a harder time losing weight with Atkins. My body prefers to work out, diet would just be supplementary.
First time I went on Atkins, I lost 21 lbs in 1 month. I was 18 then. Years later I balooned to 175lbs so I decided to work out and go Atkins again. I lost 16lbs body weight but gained some muscle. Not bad huh?

Dr. Emer said...

Not bad indeed, Fionski. Even 10 pounds is hard to lose. You have quite a discipline many would envy. ;-)