Quick fix dieting is a $66 billion industry, yet 70 percent of Americans remain overweight and are more confused than ever about what to eat for optimal health. Today’s most popular diet approaches restrict followers to lists of allowable foods or acceptable timing windows for eating with no regard for individual preferences or ability to implement.

  • Ketogenic, Whole 30 and Paleo – restrict foods based on food groups, how the food was produced
  • Intermittent Fasting – restricts the eating window to a few hours per day or shuns eating at all 1-2 days per week
  • Juice Cleanse – liquid diet with restrictions based on food groups and how produce was grown

These plans are extreme and by eliminating entire food groups cut out essential nutrients. For example, removing dairy from your diet can result in under consuming vitamin D and calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis. Adding insult to injury, most dieters fail to stick to the plan long-term and regain any weight lost. A better strategy is to shift focus away from what foods to deny ourselves and toward foods that will nourish us over a lifetime supporting our best health.

The best diet is an eating style you can live with the rest of your life. Try the Mediterranean Style, one of the healthy eating patterns recommended in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and ranked the top diet by US News & World Report this year. Feast on fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, as well as nutrient-rich dairy foods like cheese and yogurt. This Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp is a delicious start to a lifetime of nourishing your best health.

Fads fade. Diets don’t last. Ditch the latest, most extreme eating trend and focus instead on choices you can sustain over the long term.

Southeast Dairy Association - Mickela MitchellMickela Mitchell, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics for The Dairy Alliance.