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Friday 3 April 2015
DIET WARS… WHICH ONE IS OPTIMAL?
This article summarizes the analysis of a range of dietary approaches to:
understand whether a high fat diet can provide optimal nutrition, and
to identify common factors across a range of healthy dietary approaches.
The table below shows the macronutrient split of the approaches evaluated. They are sorted by the total score for each of the dietary approaches based on insulin load, vitamins and minerals and protein of each.
The chart below shows the total score for the approaches graphically, sorted from highest to lowest ranking, left to right and the contribution of each of the components that make up the total score (insulin load, vitamins and minerals, and protein).
The highest ranking approaches involve organ meats. If you’re not in to liver then non-starchy vegetables are your next best option to maximise nutrients while keeping the insulinogenic loadlow.
The extreme high fat approach (3% carbs from spinach and 10% protein) does not provide optimal levels of vitamins and minerals. This style of approach may be useful for more extreme therapeutic treatments for epilepsy, Parkinsons, or cancer., however supplementation may be required if this approach were used over the long term.
A diet with 80% calories from and 7% of calories from carbohydrates can meet most of the recommended daily intake values for vitamins and minerals.
A diet with 75% fat and 10% carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables we can achieve an optimal balance between vitamins and minerals and insulin load.
The fruitarian and budget grains approaches both scored poorly across the board.
Dietary approaches without animal products struggle to provide adequate amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Optimal nutrition can be provided using a range of macronutrient profiles. When we consider the insulin load, nutrients and protein quality the highest scoring dietary approaches used between 50 to 80% fat, 13 to 34% protein and 7 to 16% carbohydrates. Within this window we can then refine the diet based on the goals of the individual whether they be weight loss, blood sugar control / ketosis or athletic performance.