Dieting is like Apple technology: the faster you discover the newest edition, it immediately becomes obsolete and a more efficient and useful model is hot on the market. However, unlike technology, an improper diet can cause long-term repercussions, such as disease and obesity. But, with so many different diets and foods available to us, how do we know which one to try?




In the September 2011 Special Nutrition Issue of Time Magazine, Dr. Oz cuts through all the food hype by comparing and contrasting food choices, diets and other crazy ways American people try to lose weight. Stating the classic phrase, “everything in moderation,”  Dr. Oz takes us through a journey beginning in a time before manufacturers learned that putting the words “fat free” on the side of a cookie box could make them into billionaires and where all natural was the way to go. Dr. Oz explains that whole milk, salt, fat, nuts, wine, chocolate and coffee are the way to go to lose weight and live longer. Right now, I bet you are all thinking the same thing I did when I began reading this article: we have been taught to shun foods that are high in fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol, so how can these foods possibly be good for you? Well, let’s break these delicious foods down while remembering that overindulging in them can be as problematic as you’ve always been led to believe!




Before reading further, just think to yourself, “Have I ever not ordered, made or ate something, no matter how healthy it is supposed to be, because it is known to contain a lot of fat?” Most likely, the answer is YES! I have too; it’s how our generation is being raised. We are scared of the lipid monster! However, fats are by no means universally bad. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (mono meaning one, poly meaning many, and unsaturated referring to the fact that the carbon backbone is double bonded, making it so less hydrogen molecules bond with the lipid) are actually recommended for good health. Dr. Oz gives specific examples, such as canola oil and olive oil, which have been found to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind), thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The fats we should be watching out for are saturated fats (found in animal products) and trans fats (found in hydrogenated products such as peanut butter). Don’t let this scare you, for even this general grouping can be misleading due to recent findings that some saturated fats may actually be good for you and that dietary cholesterol may not affect blood cholesterol as much as past generations thought.


Now, about the egg…


I have grown up eating strictly egg whites because high cholesterol runs in my family. Even when I was little and my parents would take us out to breakfast, egg whites were my go-to food. But, Dr. Oz, a practicing heart surgeon, explains that most physicians recommend one egg with the yolk per day as an “inexpensive source of high-quality protein” .  So, parents, as well as children, let’s try to stop criticizing and breaking apart the most wholesome animal product available to mankind and enjoy every last bit of it!

A healthy breakfast option!




Don’t dial that number quite yet! Salt is another example of a demonized compound. Repeating his opening statement about moderation, Dr. Oz does point out that too much sodium can increase blood pressure to dangerous levels, increase our appetite (causing us to gain weight), and overindulgence can cause us to lose five years of our lives. But, our hearts cannot, and will not, beat without it! Just remember that a little sodium goes a long way and everything will be a-okay!


A new and true fad that has come around recently is the allowance of red wine and chocolate in our diets. Why the sudden change in heart? Well, Dr. Oz says that both red wine and chocolate are sources of antioxidants, which reduce the impact of bad cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. But, it seems to be coffee in the lead for the number one antioxidant in the Western world and in some studies has been associated with lower incidences of dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 diabetes. So, that cup of coffee in the morning isn’t just waking you up, but also lowers your risk of disease.




Nowadays, there are programs that take large chunks or whole food groups out of our diets in order to lose weight (Atkins takes out all carbohydrates, the Grapefruit diet only allows grapefruit…). These fads do get dieters results, and fast ones too. But, Dr. Oz points out the ultimate issue: once you reach the weight or healthy place you want to maintain and stop whatever one-food-group diet you have been on, all the weight can and will come back. All those weeks of torturing yourself by not having a little bit of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream are worthless if the minute you decide to indulge all your hard work disappears. So, when dieting or when trying to create a healthier lifestyle, remember Dr. Oz’s motto: “The key in life is moderation.” With this advice, nothing can go wrong!