Truth and myths about diets and healthy nutrition

"About half of Russia’s citizens are overweight, 25% live on a diet, and the other 25% are built in a enviable way, they can eat as much as they want without putting on any weight. However, malnourished persons fall under this category too. Combating obesity is a very sensitive issue for the people living in the Russian Federation,” says Prof. Alla Pogozheva, head of department at the Clinic of Therapeutic Nutrition of the Nutrition Research Institute under the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.”

“The major risk posed by short-time diet has to do with stress which they invariably cause for the whole human body. A person will quickly slides back to his regular weight shortly after getting back to a usual diet. He is likely to put on some extra kilos. A therapeutic dieting course lasts 30 days in our clinic. Weight has enough time to get stabilized. Patients are fed 6 times a day. I mean they have 3 main intakes of food and 3 intermediate ones, the latter are designed to keep the lid on hunger. During the dieting course, patients are allowed to have a number of relaxed diet days only 2 weeks after the start of the principal diet. The Russian and Western nutritionists alike have arrived at the conclusion that low-calorie diets should not be used. The same applies to fasting. The names of those diets vary – the Atkins diet, the Kremlin diet, the diet of American astronauts – all of the above boil down to a diet originally patented by Dr. Atkins.”

“The diet is based on the intake of proteins and fats. The purpose is to minimize the level of carbohydrates in the body. Carbohydrates are promptly (and without suffering any loss in the process) transformed into fat. More energy is required to get a piece of lard transformed into a fat tissue. The Atkins theory maintains that carbohydrates, especially those that are easily absorbed (derived from confections) should be eliminated. In compensation, one can consume any food as much as he wants to: meat, fish, dairy products. Though the inventor of the diet loosened the restrictions in later years, he allowed the followers to include low-calorie greens in the diet, only a totally healthy person can go through this kind of diet without inflicting damage to his body. The increased level of protein is detrimental for kidneys. By the way, Dr. Atkins died from a kidney failure – the aftermath of his diets. Proteins-carbohydrates relation in the rational diet should be 1:4 as opposed to 1:2 with regard to the reduced diet. Blood will clot faster in case the relation drops lower than 1:2. Consequently, thrombosis is likely to occur. All these diets also have a diuretic effect, which leads to an increase in blood viscosity.”

- Some people seem to conduct sadistic experiments on themselves in order to slim down.

Dr. Pogozheva: First and foremost, the description is relevant in respect of complete fasting. Depriving a person of food always results in full-blown stress. We treated a few male patients in our clinic. The wives of those patients would dispense them nothing but one carrot a day and put a huge padlock on the fridge. A fasting period that lasts one day is acceptable. To be more precise, a fast lasts 36 hours. A person stops eating at 9 o’clock in the evening and stays that way on the following day. He can have breakfast in the morning of a second day. One should always take a sufficient amount of water (about 1.5 liters a day) while fasting. A ‘dry fast’ is more harmful to the body and a ‘wet’ one. Boiled water will be perfectly okay as opposed to juice. Juice and fasting are simply incompatible.

- Vegetarianism is getting increasingly popular these days…

Dr. Pogozheva: Vegetarianism has some pros and cons in it. Persons after 50 can be recommended to include more vegetables and fruits in their diet. Persons of this age group should eat meat 2-3 times a week. Yet it would be wrong for them to abstain from eating meat. Living on a meat-free diet is okay as long as meat is substituted by fish and dairy products. Children born into a family of vegetarian parents are shorter than children of non-vegetarian parents, they usually suffer from anemia and a deficiency of calcium and vitamins.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Translated by Guerman Grachev

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov