Health & beauty

The Diet That Beats Out Paleo and All the Rest

Experts have zeroed in on the foods that can make a tiny waist a reality

Total shocker, we know, but when you compare diets -- the paleo diet, the South Beach diet, the Atkins and so on -- the healthiest diet of them all is eating real food.

As much as we'd all like some magic shortcut to health, wellness, and a tiny waist, scientists have published a new paper that definitively cuts through the health food crap. Yale researchers published their paper, "Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?" and studied a variety of common diets, including low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, and vegan. They found that there's no clear winner but that certain trends and characteristics across the diets were most beneficial to people.

So what are those? Not surprisingly, said the paper, "a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."

Did you need a scientific paper to tell you that? Probably not. If it's processed, it's probably not good for you. And the corollary is likely true, too. "If you eat food direct from nature," said Dr. David Katz of Yale University's Prevention Research center, "you don't even need to think about this. You don't have to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt -- most of our salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker. If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves." [Atlantic]

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