A friend of mine, whose sole claim to being an authority on nutrition is that he is Scottish, embraces the theory that it really doesn’t matter what diet you choose to go on, you will lose weight and improve your health if you eliminate any one of the five food groups from your diet. He bases this opinion solely on anecdotal information and informal observation but I cannot help but wonder if there is a fundamental truth to the idea.
Most people associate diets with weight loss or maintaining one’s proper weight. Achieving and holding an appropriate BMI (body mass index) improves general health and reverses all sorts of pernicious conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis because at the proper BMI, the subliminal systemic inflammation every individual’s internal environment is maintained at a healthy level. We can never be entirely without some level systemic of inflammation if for no other reason than we are always fighting off invasions from microbes that want to eat us from the inside out.
Markers for inflammation levels can be observed in blood analysis. In the case of atherosclerosis, for example, they will be elevated not only because of atherosclerosis but because of some other internal environmental imbalance productive of an elevated systemic inflammation. This inflammation can manifest itself as sores in the inner walls of the arteries. Platelets attach to these sores, as they are supposed to do, and cholesterols stick to the platelets, producing arterial placing. Placing can further elevate the inflammatory markers because it produces limitations to healthy behavior that will result in BMI increases. And so the vicious circle spins. The chemistry and physiology behind it all is complicated, arcane, and I can only speak to it on a general clinical level. To put it in a simple axiom, lowering BMI raises the quality of one’s health. To this end, and in the spirit of my Scottish friend, I will offer information on twelve diets, one per month.