What Is the Best Diet?
Consumer Reports: Volumetrics Is the Best Diet Plan; Best Life Diet Is Top Book
WebMD News Archive
Diet Authors Respond continued...
For the diet plans, that may not have been the best strategy, says
low-carb-diet expert Eris Westman, MD, associate professor of medicine at Duke
University Medical Center. Westman was a member of the Consumer Reports
expert panel that helped rank the diet books.
"When you compare a weight loss diet to a
healthy-eating guideline, of course it is going to look bad because it is
restricted in calories and, perhaps, in carbohydrates," Westman tells
WebMD. "This is a common point of confusion. If you have diabetes, can you follow the
healthy-diet guidelines? No! You are not healthy: You have diabetes and need a
different kind of diet."
Westman says that even though the Atkins Diet got the lowest
ranking among diet plans, the highly tested plan is more likely to work than
the untested diet books that got more of Consumer Reports' coveted red
bubbles (high scores) and fewer of the dreaded black bubbles (low scores).
The recipient of many blank bubbles (average scores), Dean Ornish, MD, says
Consumer Reports misrepresents his diet and overlooks "30 years of
studies published in peer-reviewed journals that support our claims."
"It's not only important to lose weight but to do so in a way that is
most healthful," Ornish tells WebMD. "The diet I recommend is based
primarily on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy products, and a
little fish, and is low in refined carbohydrates and high in whole grains. Most
authorities consider this the most healthful way to eat."
Moreover, Ornish says he is mystified as to why the Volumetrics diet gets a
high score while his gets a low score, as both stress low-energy-density
Differences in Fat Restriction
Volumetrics creator Rolls says she and Ornish differ mainly in fat
restriction. Ornish's diet stresses reducing fat intake to 10% of calories --
but only for people trying to reverse heart disease or prostate cancer.
For weight loss, Ornish simply advises people that the fewer fats they eat,
the more weight they will lose, since fat is the most energy-dense food type.
Rolls says fat intake can be offset by other foods.