This is a very common question in the nutrition world. You may hear on TV about a fantastic new diet, or a friend might tell you that the diet they recently tried is “the best!” Truth is, there is not one diet that works best across the board. While there is an overwhelming amount of diet options available, the diet that works best is whatever works best for you.
One nutrition tip to keep in mind: if you hear of a diet that recommends cutting out an entire food group (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat/protein), that is typically a red flag! Unless you have a medical need to eliminate certain foods, consuming a diet with plenty of variety from all food groups is essential. It’s important to note that there are many harmful diets out there, so please be sure to speak with your provider or dietitian before following any diet. Just remember that each person has different medical needs, health goals, dietary preferences, schedules, and so much more! Also, it’s best to avoid the “diet” mentality, and try to aim for more lasting lifestyle changes. To learn more about how your diet can impact your life, try to meet with a registered dietitian – it’s a great way to get answers from a nutrition professional about what will work best (once again) for you.
Julia Bleecker, MS, RD, LD
AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy
Can you tell me more about bariatric surgery?
There are multiple types of surgery for people who struggle with excess weight. These surgeries are now much less invasive and much safer than back in the ’90s. Hundreds of thousands of these surgeries are done each year and follow up over 5-15 years has shown sustained weight loss of 25–30 percent of body weight. Plus, the risk of serious complications is very low, like that of a gallbladder surgery. The improvement in heart and brain health, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and even risk of cancer, is significant. The most common surgery involves cutting the stomach down to a “sleeve” shaped like a banana. It reduces hunger and makes people feel full so they lose weight. A couple months after the operation, they go back to eating normal food but smaller amounts of it. The other common operation is bypass and that is more effective, but has slightly more complications. It is still very safe and preferred for those who are very obese.