Forged in Australia in 1926, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have advised the continent and helped Australians and the rest of the world with key nutritional information for nearly 100 years. Released in 2006, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is this organization’s latest contribution to the world.
Unlike a lot of other diets, the CSIRO Diet didn’t catch on right away. There was a little bit of steam behind its release, and ultimately a rather large following once the diet was released to the public some four years ago. But unlike many fads and trends, this plan didn’t exactly explode in popularity.
However, after CSIRO started to show real results with a diet that isn’t nearly as restrictive as others in the “restrictive” category, the snowball started to roll, picking up size and strength until it became one of the biggest programs of 2010.
In Australia, the diet book hit the bestseller list quickly, though, and the rest of the world soon found out why.
Overall, the CSIRO Diet was designed to promote optimal health in people as well as acting as a device to lose weight. The diet is built around the premise that “balance” is essential in every individual, and that key nutrients are always needed for healthy immune function, high energy levels, high brain activity, bone strength, etc.
The diet, although similar to other diets like Atkins, for example, aims at helping people remain healthy while losing weight. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while still helping people lose the desired amount of weight.
How CSIRO Works
At its core, CSIRO is a high-protein, low-carb diet. It shares a lot in common with the Atkins Diet. However, instead of being extremely carb limited, you can still enjoy carbohydrates. Example: Atkins wants you to reduce all carbs, even complex, to the point you’re only ingesting a few grams per day. CSIRO, on the other hand, allows for low glycemic index (GI) food items.
Basically, you will be limiting the carbs you eat, upping your protein intake, eliminating junk food and processed foods from your diet, and starting a healthy exercise regimen. You should be working out at least 30 minutes per day on this diet, and you should be eating four small meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a late-day snack (the latter can switch; you get the idea).
So, what types of foods can you enjoy with the CSIRO Diet? Well, as far as low-GI foods, your options are rather vast. Carbohydrates in moderation are perfectly acceptable on this diet if they’re complex and in the form of whole grains, fruits, whole wheat bread and pasta, oat bran, yogurt, and practically every vegetable.
Note: some vegetables and most fruit items will have a higher GI content, so the idea is to eat in moderation. For example, a carrot has many more carbs in it than leafy greens. So the idea is to make the healthier choice for you – a lot of leafy greens, a little carrot. Understand?
While restricting the body’s intake of carbohydrates, a stabilization of blood glucose occurs. What does this mean? Your body will begin to use stored fat reserves as fuels instead of newly ingested glucose.
Complex carbs will provide longer-lasting energy for your body. But it’s also important to note here that, on this or any other type of carb-restricted diet, the fewer carbs you eat, the quicker you will lose weight. On CSIRO, a max of around 80g of good carbs per day is about average.
Another area where you find balance with CSIRO is in the fat intake. Atkins, for example, doesn’t really watch out for the saturated fats. This diet does. It wants to balance out fats and have you ingest plenty of monounsaturated fats while cutting down on unhealthy fats.
This means you should be eating more olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, and other food sources with monounsaturated fat.
Example CSIRO Diet
It’s easier to explain this or any other diet by offering an example. So, we’ll go over some typical foods and how often you can eat them.
Beef, lamb, veal, venison, etc: You want to eat this type of meat no more than three times per week. Also, it has to be lean.
Fish, poultry: You want to eat a serving of fish/poultry at least once per day. The idea is to get a lot of protein without a lot of fat, so these healthier proteins are preferred over red meat. Eggs also work at providing plenty of protein without adding a lot of fat.
Whole grains: You want to get at least two servings of whole grains every day, whether it’s from bread, high-fiber whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta, etc.
Fruits and Veggies: Ideally, you should be getting two servings a day each of fruits and vegetables. There is a large list of low-GI vegetables that you can eat larger amounts of, like broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, asparagus, etc.
Oils: As far as butter and unhealthy fats go, you want to eliminate them from your diet. But for flaxseed oil, grape seed, olive oil, etc, you should be ingesting at least 3 tablespoons per day.
This isn’t a quick-fix diet, per-se. It’s more about changing your lifestyle completely and becoming a healthier person. That’s why exercise is so important here. It will help you expend more energy and to lose weight quicker. To that end, there’s no time table with this diet unlike others. Results will vary.