Using Diet Style Information

One of the goal of Microbiome Prescription is to stay true to source data / study. There are many studies that deal with a diet style or atypical food elements, like ‘high milk fat’. Below these wide sweeping terms may be concrete specific items that are reported in a different manner. A simple examples:

Underneath the covers of this complex microbiome engine in the human body, the impact of more beef or more milk is an increased availability of Vitamin B2.

Diets are complex concepts subject to regional interpretation. A high beef diet means more beef than a typical person… so how much is that [source]?

  • If you are in China, it’s more than 1 pound of beef a month.
  • If you are in Russia, it’s more than 2 pound of beef a month.
  • If you are in USA, it’s more than 3.5 ounces of beef a day (so, more than a MacDonald’s Quarter Pounder every day).
  • If you are in Uruguay or Argentina, it’s more than 5.5 ounces of beef a day.

When we go over to items like a Mediterranean Diet, often it can mean many things with a wide range of contents. Both of the following would meet that criteria for many people:

  • One serving of cereal, two servings of citrus fruits, one servings each of eggplant, okra , green beans
  • 13 servings of cereal and breads, one half apple, five servings of potatoes, 3 servings of carrots, 1 serving of onions.

The MedDiet contained three to nine serves of vegetables, half to two serves of fruit, one to 13 serves of cereals and up to eight serves of olive oil daily. It contained approximately 9300 kJ, 37% as total fat, 18% as monounsaturated and 9% as saturated, and 33 g of fibre per day.

Definition of the Mediterranean Diet; a Literature Review [2015]

The majority of studies emphasized the same key dietary components and principles: an increased intake of vegetables, wholegrains, and the preferential consumption of white meat in substitute of red and processed meat and abundant use of olive oil. However, the reporting of specific dietary recommendations for fruit, legumes, nuts, bread, red wine, and fermentable dairy products were less consistent or not reported

Differences in the interpretation of a modernized Mediterranean diet prescribed in intervention studies for the management of type 2 diabetes: how closely does this align with a traditional Mediterranean diet? [2019]

To me, a medDiet is eating traditional Greek — stuffed grape leaves, Tomato Fritters, etc with a glass of Ouzo [example] – in my younger days while I was teaching, I would have this 3-4 nights of the week.

At this point, we find that most studies involving diet deteriorates into vague hand-waving.

Can you use diet style?

This is a two sided coin. If you take recommendation for items like Luteolin, it can be translated into diet such as more celery seed, olives, blueberries. Quercetin into Cranberries and Blueberries. etc. While a high meat diet is vague — does it mean beef? pork? chicken? fish? – how much?

A logical solution is to decompose the diet into an itemized list of what the diet means by component. Then using the wonderful databases at the US Department of Agriculture develop a profile of what you are getting with this style of diet. Usually there are multiple diet suggestions, so you need to intersect them to get the true bottom line on what the diet changes should be.

Bottom Line — Use Diet Style with caution!

IMHO, it is so close to saying “Buy tech stocks for your retirement”. Without doing due diligence, you may end up with a worthless portfolio. At the bottom of the suggestions is a Flavonoid section which could be translated into food specific items.