Pros and Cons of Weight Reducing Diets
The article “Health Advantages and Disadvantages of
Weight-Reducing Diets: A Computer Analysis and
Critical Review” outlines eight diets that were
examined and how the researchers and doctors looked at
the potential long term effects of each one. The
diets examined were Atkins, Protein Power, Sugar
Busters, Zone, ADA Exchange, High-Fiber Fitness,
Pritikin and Ornish. The research team created
formulas using computer software, menu plans with
recommended snacks and looking at the food pyramid to
estimate coronary heart disease (a disease of the
heart and arteries that blocks blood flow to the
heart). They found that diets high in protein and
fat, protein being a complex organic molecule
necessary for the proper functioning of an organism;
and low in carbohydrates, an organic compound that
serves as a major energy source, produce a greater
risk for coronary heart disease and diabetes.
“Over 50% of Americans are overweight.” This has led
to the creation of many different diets. Some of
these diets promote healthy eating and long-term
weight loss while others are just fad diets with
unsafe recommendations. It is suggested by expert
panels that people should consume about 30% fat, from
which only 10% can be saturated fat (a fat of animal
origin) and less than 300 mg. of cholesterol daily.
Cholesterol is a white substance found in animal
tissues that serves the cell membranes.
The first thing the researchers did was to identify
which diets were currently popular. They then looked
at those diets that have been around for a long time.
Each diet examined was different. The Atkins diet
states that a high-fat diet makes you lose more weight
than a diet high in carbohydrates. In fact, dieters
aren’t allowed to have less than 20 grams of
carbohydrates a day. The Protein Power diet, which is
similar to Atkins, restricts your carbohydrates to no
more than 30 grams a day. The Sugar Busters diet
stresses that calories aren’t as important as what we
eat, just so long as it is low in sugar. The Zone
diet promotes a regime of 30% protein, 40%
carbohydrates, and 30% fat at each meal. The ADA
Exchange Diet stresses 50-55% carbohydrates, 10-20%
protein, and less than 30% calories from fat. The
High-Fiber Fitness Plan advocates generous amounts of
vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber carbohydrates with
a restriction on fat intake. The Pritikin diet
advocates 80% carbohydrates (high-complex
carbohydrates), 10-15% protein, and 5-10% fat. The
Ornish diet is a vegetarian plant-based diet that is
low in fat.
The researchers then formulated a diet plan for all
three diets. They used a 1,600 calorie limit and
based each menu plan selection on that specific diet.
Even snack foods and foods that are off limits were
listed on the plan. “Free foods” are snacks you can
eat on the diets that...