Tag Archives: Alternative Healthy Eating Index

What’s the Healthiest Diet?

Steve Parker MD

Not Amby Burfoot

Running guru Amby Burfoot has an article asking, “what is the healthiest diet?”  for the general public. His answer comes from the Journal of Nutrition. Looks like there are four winners. A quote from Mr. Burfoot:

They [the four leading contenders for best diet] differ slightly in the degree to which they favor, or disfavor, certain foods and food types, such as the following:

  • The Healthy Eating Index 2010: Considers low-fat dairy products a plus.
  • The Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010: Considers nuts/legumes a plus, as well as moderate alcohol consumption. Trans fats, sugary beverages, salt, and red meat get a minus.
  • The Alternate Mediterranean Diet: Considers fish, nuts/legumes, and moderate alcohol a plus; red meat, a minus.
  • The DASH Diet: Considers low-fat dairy and nuts/legumes a plus; sugary beverages, salt, and red meat get a minus.

The four tend to favor whole grains and disparage red meat. I doubt the Journal of Nutrition article even considered the paleo diet because we lack similar extent of clinical data to compete with the others.

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Steve Parker, M.D.