“OMG – I Can’t Eat That!” (What IS the Healthiest Diet?)

Photo: Our grateful thanks to Jason Jarrach on Unsplash

by Marcel Hernandez, N.D.

People have the strangest misconceptions about diet.

Of course, the internet is fairly crammed with misinformation about food, not to mention countless fad diets and outright scams.

The confusion isn’t limited to the general public. Even trained nutritionists often can’t agree.

The sheer number of “perfect” diet schemes promoted online is absurd:

The Ketogenic diet; the Atkins diet; the Paleo diet; the Zone diet; various vegan diets; low-fat diets; low-carb diets; the Pescatarian diet; the Dash diet; the Weight Watchers diet; the South Beach diet; the raw food diet…

Marcel Hernandez, ND

And that’s just for starters. Most of these diets won’t hurt you in the short term, but some of them are neither healthy or even life-sustaining over the long haul.

I won’t attempt to point out their individual weaknesses. Instead, let’s look at a single diet plan – not mentioned above – that is well-researched and has proven to be very effective for therapeutic purposes, and nutritionally.

Can you guess which diet it might be? Let’s call it Diet X. Here are some hints:

  • Research has shown that Diet X, which Dr. Connie and I most often recommend to our patients,is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (including stroke, heart attack, and overall mortality) by about 30 percent.
  • A 2018 study found that adhering to Diet X may improve sleep quality in older adults.The diet didn’t seem to affect sleep quality in younger people.
  • A 2016 study noted that people who were overweight or obese lost more weight on Diet X than on a low-fat diet. The diet group achieved results similar to other standard weight-loss diets.
  • A July 2016 review in the journal Frontiers in Nutritionexamined the effect of Diet X on cognitive function. The researchers concluded: “There is encouraging evidence that a higher adherence to (Diet X) is associated with improving cognition, slowing cognitive decline, or reducing the conversion to Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • A meta-analysis of 20 randomized clinical trials published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2013 found that Diet X improved blood sugar control more than low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index, or high-protein diets in those managing type 2 diabetes. This suggests that Diet X may offer an effective way to help ward-off type 2 diabetes-related health complications.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, because Diet X is rich in anti-inflammatoryomega-3 fatty acids, it may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
  • A meta-analysis and review of 83 studies published in the journal Nutrients (October 2017) suggested that Diet X may help reduce the risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer and may help prevent cancer-related death.
  • A separate study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine (January 2015) found that women who used Diet X, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, had a 62 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those in the control group that consumed a low-fat diet.
  • Diet X has been linked to lower incidence of depression, according to an analysis of 41 observational studies published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry (September 2018).

Have you guessed what the diet is? You can learn the basic principles HERE. (We modify the diet for our patients, to match their specific individual nutritional needs).


To review your specific nutritional needs with Dr. Connie or Dr. Marcel, give us a call to request an appointment: 650-961-1660.