Not all vegetarians are skinny, and not all people that drink soda-pop are fat. While some people clutch to extreme diets that “must work” because they are so extreme, others stick to basic diet principles that have been known or practiced for centuries. Here are a few of those problematic extremes, followed by the moderate solution.

Forget The Extreme Diets and Consider Moderation

Sugar Fast

Some point in the last year or two the general public discovered that, surprisingly, eating enormous amounts of sugar was bad for them; ever since then some people have gone on intense anti-sugar crusades. Like the down-with-sugar zealot woman that described 57 different secret names for hidden sugars. Sure, cutting way down on sugar is good, but this diet ignores the reality that there is still a myriad of ways to eat unhealthily even without sugar.

Fruitarian

Fruitarians are sweet people. They get back to the roots of some of our ancestors and eat only fruit. Oftentimes, they only eat one type of fruit in a day, simulating the experience of a primitive man sitting under a fruit tree and eating till his heart’s content. This is the opposite of the sugar fast, and it comes with its own problems. Mainly weight gain, tooth decay, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and diarrhea.

Veganism

Vegans say no to all animal products; they partake “not of the meat, nor of the breast milk, nor of the ovum, of any creature with a face.” Just ask Todd the Vegan. Sure research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows vegans are thinner and enjoy a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But still, meat can be a part of a very healthy diet also. A different study in the same exact journal showed healthy diets that include up to 5.4 ounces of lean beef a day can drop cholesterol scores by about 10%. In fact, meat plays a key role in our next extreme diet.

Paleo Diet

Paleos get back to the basics — the caveman basics: lean meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit; skip sugar, grains, dairy, beans, and legumes. This diet subsists on the logic that if food was good enough for a caveman it must be good enough for us, right? Well sure, if you only want to live as long as a caveman and die when you are thirty. For the rest of us, maybe a loaf of bread won’t hurt — humans have been eating it for a while.

The “Moderation-in-all-things” Diet

For those not seeking extremes, we can get back to what is sustainable and what works. Here’s what moderation looks like in brief:

  • Realize everyone and each body is different and needs different nutrients
  • Make your diet:
    • 45-65% carbohydrates
    • 20-35% fat
    • 10-35% protein
  • Don’t eat more calories than your body needs in a day.

And remember Oreos are vegan.

Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for personal fitness and time management as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet. You can read more of Kevin’s writings by connecting with him online; LinkedInTwitter