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Differences in Fat Restriction continued...

"You can have fat in your diet if you also have a lot of veggies and fruits to offset the fat," Rolls tells WebMD. "We show that people who eat a high-fat diet -- more than 30% of calories from fat -- but who eat a high number of servings of fruits and vegetables, actually had a lower incidence of obesity than those eating a low-fat diet with few fruits and vegetables."

Understandably miffed by the Consumer Reports rankings is Ultra-Metabolism author Mark Hyman, MD. The article says Hyman's theories of nutrition "goes beyond scientific evidence."

"The science I use may be ahead of its time, but it is still science," Hyman tells WebMD. "My book is the only one to deal with the underlying causes of disease, which also underlie obesity. The same things that make you sick make you fat -- and the things that make you fat make you sick. This is not being paid attention to by conventional medicine."

Hyman says the consumer group's low ranking of his book is due to a "dangerous" over-reliance on the USDA diet guidelines, which he calls "watered down to meet the special interests of industry."

"Eat real foods, whole foods. That is the essential message of my book," Hyman says. "That means eating foods that come from the land and not from a food chemist's laboratory."

Exercise: 'A Tough Sell'

First-ranked diet-book author Bob Greene is less vexed by Consumer Reports' mild criticism of his work. The article says that dieters "might be discouraged when they don't lose weight in phase one" of the diet.

"People might very well be discouraged at first. That is why I spend most of my time motivating people and getting them away from their addiction to scales," Greene says. "Exercise is a tough sell. But we humans were meant to move, from a weight loss standpoint as well as from a health standpoint. "

Exercise alone isn't enough, Greene says, unless you are getting at least a full hour of strenuous exercise every day.

"Most of the population won't devote that amount of time to exercise, so they have to watch their food intake," he says. "But if you are consistent with moderate exercise, you place a ceiling on your weight gain. Then you earn your result: the level at which you set your calories."

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