Thursday, September 23, 2004

South bitch diet

Pardon the language but the way I see it, all this brouhaha about the South Beach diet is kind of nonsense.  Like all fad diets that have preceded it, it has its good and bad points. I saw the segment on Jessica Soho's program last night about this and that celebrity/politician who claims to have found success with this diet. Let me point out the pitfalls of going into yet another diet like this:

• THE GOOD & BAD CARB MYTH, it's not proper to label carbs as good or bad; low and high glycemic carbs each have their own place in the diet. The key word: moderation. Anything in excess is not good.

• AVOIDING CARBS, this low- or no-carb fad is getting out of hand. The brain, for one, runs on carbohydrates. If we have senators who are dull-witted, they can perhaps blame it on their no- or low-carb diets aside from their genetics. We can find better carb sources like less processed/polished rice and grains but they all have their place in one's diet.

• THE HORRIBLE COSTS, it's pretty obvious that people will cash in on this diet. Local restos are catching on. I'm not surprised when Jessica Soho totalled the cost of an average day's meal -- P1,000. That's good enough to feed a whole family decently for days. No wonder, those featured were politicians (who pay taxpayers' money for their P1,000 South Beach diet rations from those fancy restos so they can keep their figures trim) and celebrities.

Some pointers on how to spot if a so-called "diet" is for real:

• IS IT REALISTIC? We live in a real world, with real commitments. Does the diet require special foods? Or foods that require special preparation?

• IS IT SOMETHING YOU CAN SUSTAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? Let's not talk about months down the road. Any decent diet can help anyone lose pounds in the short term. But can you stick with that diet for years down the road? Will the cost keep you from eating this way for life?

• DOES IT LIMIT OR KEEP YOU FROM CONSUMING ONE OR MORE KINDS OF FOOD GROUP? Even fat has a role in the diet. Without fat, fat-soluble vitamins like Aand E will not be properly absorbed/assimilated. It's the portion control that matters. even protein, in excessive amounts, can be harmful and taxing to the body.

MAKING MORE SENSE - My most favorite portion of the program was the feature on a plain housewife who has found success with regular aerobic sessions in a Marikina public hall for a measly P20 and portion control. Funny but she made more sense than those supposedly-educated politicos and celebrities. Well, until people realize that the real solution is exercise and lifestyle change, Those fad diets will keep on coming. And people's waists are not slimming anytime soon. To end today's post, the nutritionist interviewed said it succintly - the key is not carb control per se but calorie control. Well said.


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