The Great Diet Debate
Will you choose more bread or more fish?
By Amy Paturel, MS, MPH
For more than two decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has gone to great lengths to convince Americans of the benefits of consuming a diet that favors carbohydrates. Now the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid is under attack by physicians, researchers and consumers alike. In fact, recent scientific findings about popular high-protein food plans, such as the Atkins and Zone diets, appear to vindicate the low-carb theory of weight loss (Brehm et al. 2002; Layman et al. 2003). Add to this the anecdotal reports of substantial weight loss as a result of high-protein diets and it's no wonder that more experts are wondering if the traditional government dietary recommendations are responsible for our expanding waistlines. In the midst of this controversy, fitness professionals are scrambling to provide their clients with accurate, reliable information. How can you give your clients straight answers about nutrition? Even more important, how can you espouse healthy eating when your clients are losing pounds while feasting on double bacon cheeseburgers?
The National Academy of Sciences' Food and Nutrition Board offers the following broad ranges for daily intake of macronutrients:
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