Pritikin Diet: Pros and Cons
After its appearance in the middle of 1970s the Pritikin Program remains on the market and has its followers till our days. All in all it can be considered as a healthy and well-structured approach among many existing diets and regimens. Certainly it has its own drawbacks but as the saying goes, nothing is flawless.
What is more important in every diet is that the negative sides of the diet plan won’t outbalance the positive ones. After all we put on the scale not only our pounds but rather our well-being, self-assurance and health. The diet program should comprise a little more than just instructions as to what, when and in what quantities should be eaten. It should improve our attitude to eating, teach us the basic principles of healthy nutrition and body care and make ourselves feel better and stronger.
Let us make certain that the Pritikin Program copes with the above mentioned tasks.
In the first place, the program has a great amount of scientific proofs of its correctness and soundness. The bulk of literature states that the low in fat and high in fiber diet is beneficial in the prevention of many degenerative diseases and brings many benefits for those who already have certain medical problems. Such a diet helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Numerous clinical studies were held to prove that the Pritikin diet combined with aerobic exercises is effective for weight loss and maintenance.
Secondly, people following the diet are taught to eat healthy and provided with the fundamental understanding of nutritionally balanced meals. The diet itself is based on a variety of healthy products to choose from. There is not such craziness as certain amount of calories per meal or strict limitations of portion sizes.
The dieters are encouraged to go in for sports, especially swimming, jogging and walking which is useful not only for weight loss but makes us feel more energetic and fit. Sports and physical activity are indisputable factors for better physical condition particularly for keeping in shape.
Though it is not the main argument for choosing the diet nevertheless the Pritikin Diet is not expensive; it significantly excludes meat consumption which in turn cuts down the expenses. Besides the dieter doesn’t have to buy additional food supplements since the regimen provides the sufficient amount of necessary trace elements and minerals.
Worth mentioning is also the fact that the Pritikin Diet can be easily adjusted to the needs of vegetarians and even vegans since it anyway contains a small proportion of animal products.
At the same time exactly this point is being highly criticized by some specialists. They claim that many dieters aren’t able to reduce animal meat and dairy products to such an extent and stick to it for a long term. The regimen with a small amount of fats is often unsatisfying for many people thus they would feel constant hunger and can easily overeat.
The dietitians criticize another drawback of the Pritikin Diet – its very low fat consumption. 10 % of calorie intake derived from fat is too low in comparison with the recommended share of 30 %. Fats are certainly sources of excess calories and bad cholesterol but we shouldn’t forget that certain fat components are important parts of our cells and are needed for hormones production.
Two essential fatty acids – linoleic and linolenic acids – aren’t produced by the organism and must be supplied with the diet. The absence of these fatty acids will result in worsening of skin condition, tissue development and impairing the protection mechanism against certain diseases.
Another criticism concerning low fat proportion is about some essential fat soluble vitamins which come into our organisms with high fat foods. The inadequate intake of such fat soluble vitamins as vitamins A, D, E, K and beta-carotene can cause the diseases connected with vitamin deficiencies.
It is a known wisdom that we are what we eat; our diet influences our health, our appearance and feelings. In fact what we eat today will have an impact on us tomorrow. So, let us be wise and make the right choices.