The most popular New Year’s Resolution, according to a recent poll, is Improve Health and Fitness. Since 66% of our population is either obese or overweight, there is a great deal of interest in any diet that promises to take off weight. There is no way anyone can get around the primary principle law of thermodynamics which, in effect, says that the only way you will lose weight is if you take in fewer calories than you burn. As people get more desperate to lose weight, they will try different fad diets but if they lose their health in the process, what have they gained?

So, let’s look at two diets: the Atkins (or any high protein diet) vs. the Real Food Diet (fruits and vegetables). This boils down to “animal” vs “plant” foods.


Tastes good
Protein (excess)

Heart Disease
Joint problems
Bad breath
Risk of Mad Cow Disease


Tastes good
Protein (right amount)

None that I can think of…


Added Advantages to Plant Food Diet: You can save a lot of money because plant foods are much cheaper than animal foods. You also get to eat as much as you want because the caloric density is so low in plant foods. Since exercise is an important part of the weight loss equation, plant foods give you energy to exercise where high protein diets don’t.  A plant food diet is also certainly much better for the animals and the environment.

Ruth E. Heidrich, Ph.D.