And The Oscar Goes To…

The Shape of Water??

Really? That’s the best movie of the last year? What happened to Wonder Woman and The Last Jedi? This thing is rigged!

Why did The Shape of Water win best picture? It wasn’t the best movie from everyone I talked to. Some people liked it but most people thought it was pretty strange.

I guess it checked the right boxes. Or more boxes than the other movies up for consideration. Or the right boxes for the people who make the decisions on what’s the “best”…

Award for Best Diet

Fresh off award season, where sometimes the winners aren’t always what you’d agree with and we find it hard to compare and distinguish differences, a health parallel popped up for me…

What if we were to have an Academy Awards for diets?

What diet would win?

How would you even create criteria?

Is the best/winning diet the most “technically sound” or is it “the most enjoyable experience” or is it the one that made “the biggest splash?”

The diet that broke new boundaries?

The diet that was the prettiest to look at?

The most artistic?

The most scientific?

The most popular?

The most advertised/known?

The most successful?

The most culturally relevant?

Movies have won for all these reasons and more. So I guess we could say that Best Diet could win for any reason.

When it comes to the Oscars, many people say it’s the movie that does the most of all those categories that deserves best picture. So would Best Diet be the same?

The US Academy of Diets

US News tries to be the Academy of Diets each year. Every year they release their awards for Best Overall Diet, along with things like best weight loss diet, best fast weight loss diets, best diabetes diets, best commercial diet and easiest to follow diet. They do, in essence create a dietary award show, handing out awards to diets in all different categories. These diets were chosen by and voted on by the US News editors and reporters (assisted by a panel of health experts) and had to be:

“relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease”

And the winner is… wait it’s a tie!

The DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet!

For those of you who don’t know, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was sponsored by the National Institute of Health, is endorsed by several government based organizations and has won this title 8 years in a row. So no surprise here. The DASH diet is “a plant-focused diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, with low-fat and non-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and poultry, mostly whole grains, and heart healthy fats. You fill up on delicious fruits and vegetables, paired up with protein-rich foods to quench your hunger.” Great.

The Mediterranean Diet is basically an interpretation of the standard cuisine of the people of the Mediterranean region and is considered an eating pattern that “emphasizes  fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Top it off with a splash of red wine (if you want), remember to stay physically active and you’re set.” Ok. I feel good just reading that.

The panel of experts rated these 4.1 out of 5 (overall score), stemming from strong health scores of 4.8. Both had weight loss scores of about 3.

So the Oscar (Meyer) for best diet goes to a government sponsored diet (for the 8th year in a row) and one that supposes the general cuisine of an entire region of people that don’t live anywhere like most Americans and have an incredible amount of actual variance compared to the diet how it’s presented.

Just for kicks, here’s their full list:

  1. DASH Diet/Mediterranean Diet
  2. Flexitarian Diet
  3. Weight Watchers
  4. MIND Diet
  5. TLC Diet
  6. Volumetrics Diet
  7. Mayo Clinic Diet
  8. Ornish Diet
  9. Fertility Diet
  10. Vegetarian
  11. Jenny Craig
  12. Traditional Asian
  13. Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory
  14. Flat Belly Diet
  15. Nutritarian Diet
  16. Spark Solution
  17. Engine 2 Diet
  18. Biggest Loser Diet
  19. Nutrisystem
  20. Vegan
  21. Eco-Atkins Diet
  22. Glycemic Index Diet
  23. South Beach Diet
  24. Zone Diet
  25. Abs Diet
  26. Macrobiotic
  27. Slimfast
  28. HMR Program
  29. Medifast Diet
  30. Acid Alkaline Diet
  31. Paleo Diet
  32. Raw Food Diet
  33. Supercharged Hormone Diet
  34. The Fast Diet
  35. Atkins
  36. Body Reset Diet
  37. Whole 30
  38. Dukan Diet
  39. Keto Diet

The top 5-6 were somewhat close in overall score. But given the top score was 4.1 out of 5, the best diets scored basically a 82%. The 4 diets at the bottom were tied with a score of 2 and the rest were sprinkled between. Notice how the Paleo Diet and Whole 30, two diets that emphasize eating real foods, are at the bottom. Check out the above link for all the details and/or if you want to see which diet was best at weight loss/easiest to follow/etc.

OK, back to the show…

Consider this:

Is the winning movie always the one you like best?

Or do you have different criteria than the industry that tells you what the best is?

How do we distinguish/compare different genres? Who really gets to decide on what type of diets are the “best” and, more importantly, the best for us?

Who’s to say that dramas are the best? That’s like saying that diets that cut down on fat are the best. Just because that’s the way the academy has done it historically doesn’t mean it’s right and/or the way it always has to be.

Comedies tend to be liked and very successful, but they, like carb counting diets, get no love come award time. People think they’re shallow and silly.

Action movies are the diets that give you all the leeway to eat treats or have cheat days. They can be tons of fun and you really enjoy them but no self respecting voter is going to acknowledge them as worthy.

Raw vegan or whole food diets are the documentaries of the food world. They are the salt of the earth stuff and great for some but, come on, most people need some fiction!

Choose Your Own Awards

Diets are supposed to help people but, like movies, the same doesn’t always jive for everyone. Trying to tell people what general type of diet is best for them is like trying to tell people what genre of movie is the best. Trying to tell them the precise diet to go on is like telling them what specific movie is best. There’s a good chance that what you or a governing body thinks is best might not be so for everyone. In fact, it might not be what most real people like. Everyone has different criteria, likes, history and needs. I don’t like  intense, sad and depressing movies, no matter how great the acting or cinematography might be. I want to be entertained, maybe laugh or think a bit, and feel better at the end. Some people like (and need) the heavy stuff, I totally get it. But, remember…

Diets are like movies: just because the critics love it or it’s got a big advertising budget doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Like movies, when it comes to diets there’s something there for everyone. We don’t always have to agree. We can even respect that someone likes a movie (or movie genre) without liking it ourselves. Going gluten free and cutting out bread is amazing for some but most people do not like horror movies! 😉

If no diet is rated 5 out of 5 and most are 3, that tells you no diet works for everyone, just like no movie works for everyone. So get out there and try the different genres, you might find a diet that wins your award for best new you.

Here’s my take on the Best Diet to Lose Weight

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. Don’t even get me started on politics and corruption guiding who gets nominated and wins, in both these arenas…

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