What is the Aztec Diet? Is it worth trying?

Dr. Bob Arnot

If we each got a nickel for every time a new diet comes into existence, then we would all be rich. Some of these diets lose traction as soon as the first cookie comes into sight. However, a few other diet regimens seem to have real merit that make them worth considering. The Aztec Diet falls into the latter category.

Developed by Dr. Bob Arnot, the Aztec Diet emphasizes whole grains, beans, lean protein and chia seeds. Arnot claims that the traditional diet of Aztecs helps people maximize the amount of nutrients they consume each day. As a result, Arnot says the diet can help you lose weight and improve your mood.

“The blood of most people on a classic, carb-loaded Western diet has become a poisonous, angry stew of altered hormones and elevated blood fats, inflammation, cholesterol and sugars,” writes Arnot in his new book, “The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Superfood That Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy.”

Much of the emphasis in the Aztec Diet is on chia seeds — the same seeds that were popularized in the 1980s with Chia Pets. Rather than using them to grow a new friend, Arnot includes a number of recipes developed by chef Charlotte Hardwick that are heavy-handed on the chia seeds.

Aztec Diet Chia Seeds

With high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and fiber, the tiny chia seed is an absolute nutrition powerhouse. The seeds also expand when wet, so Arnot claims they will help keep you fuller longer. This assertion is backed by research from the University of Toronto that  found high doses of chia decrease appetite for 60, 90 and 120 minutes after a meal. The seeds also limit the rise in blood sugar that follows carb-heavy meals, which is good news for diabetics.

Of course, there are some trade offs with the Aztec Diet. If you are a die-hard fan of refined carbs, fried food and sugar, then the diet probably won’t stick for long.

Arnot also outlines a three-phase program to help people transition into the Aztec Diet: The Chia Challenge, Accelerate with Lunch and Real Life Aztec Style. In contrast to some diet books that just aim to help participants cut big amounts of weight in a short span of time, the Aztec Diet helps emphasizes the integration of nutritious foods.

After reading the book and analyzing the plan, Diets in Review said the only downsides to the diet is that it can be option-limiting and that chia seeds are moderately expensive.

“The theory backing the diet is founded on scientific research as opposed to theory,” the Diets in Review article explains. “We found it very approachable with a detailed meal plan and nearly 100-Aztec friendly recipes. We also loved that the emphasis is on nutrition as opposed to just losing weight.”

CLICK HERE to buy Dr. Bob Arnot’s book The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Superfood that Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy

Do you think this could be the next South Beach or Atkins Diet?

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