Diet Wars

Competing Expert Plans Perplex The Public

This is the time of year where many of us have high hopes for self-improvement. The subject of diet leaps to mind, but good intentions aren't necessarily enough because there is an ongoing dispute among experts on how we should diet, which has led to a lot of confusion.

Dr. Dean Ornish tells us all to avoid all meats. Dr. Robert Atkins tells us to eat all meats.

According to Dr. Atkins, we cannot only eat all meats, we can eat bacon, duck, cream and most cheeses - not all cheeses, but most cheeses.

Dr. Ornish wants us to eat legumes, grains and fruits. Dr. Atkins wants us to avoid grains and fruits. He doesn't say anything about legumes.

Dr. Atkins wants us to avoid skim milk, but you can eat most cheeses - not all cheeses, but most cheeses.

In the special advice category, Dr. Ornish wants us to eat only when we're "gut hungry," savor each bite, create diet support groups and meditate. Dr. Atkins doesn't say anything about "gut hungry," savoring each bite, support groups or meditation, but does tell us to test our urine for the presence of ketones.

I looked up ketones in the dictionary. It said "any of a class of organic compounds having a carbonyl group linked to a carbon atom in each of two hydrocarbon radicals and having the general formula R(CO)R, where "R" without the accent may be the same as "R" with the accent."

I don't know. I had a friend who followed a diet where you could eat all you wanted as long as it was just one thing - in her case, apples. Today she's heavier than ever and can't even look at an apple.

Here's my diet: Watch what you eat.