Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Nutrition information is EVERYWHERE and it can be so confusing. Should you be vegan, grain-free, low-fat, high-fat? There is a lot of conflicting information out there and it can be hard for the average person to determine what is best of their health. Truthfully, depending on your physiology, there may be pros and cons to each diet to you personally. Sure, all of them have benefits but it can be a very individual thing. Below is a breakdown of three popular ways of eating but its important to note that they are all different and vegan for example, is about a lot more than nutrition and health.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. About 5% of your diet each day can come from carbs. It's known to help with weight management, digestion and mental clarity. It has also been said that it helps cancer patients since it starves cancer cells of sugar and also improves blood sugar levels but there is a lot of research that has yet to be done. The science behind this diet is around the idea of ketosis and intermittent fasting. When there is low levels of of glucose in our diet, our body uses fat for energy so in other words your body now uses ketones not glucose. Be sure to do research to ensure this diet is good for you.
A lot of the foods you can expect to eat are eggs, bacon, red meat, coconut oil, ghee/butter, poultry, fish, oil, nuts and seeds, and carbohydrates in the form of vegetables. Obviously there are some good foods in this diet but there are also a lot of arguments about the high consumption of red meat, dairy, etc., which adds to the confusion surrounding this diet.
The problem: This diet is quite strict and hard for people to maintain longterm. Individuals may go on this diet and lose weight and then quit the diet and gain all the weight back which can be quite defeating. It is also important to note how important fiber from carbohydrates are for digestion and elimination. We also need glucose for energy production
Paleo diets have actually been around for quite some time but they have become popularized and marketed into programs through blogs, cookbooks and products. Paleo diets are about low carbohydrates and high protein with moderate fats. People who follow paleo diets claim it helps them lose weight, feel more energized, have improved digestion, balance blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
Luckily this diet allows for more vegetables and some fruit but no grains. Fiber is one of the main concerns with this diet but it isn't necessarily an issue for all and can actually improve digestion.
What can you expect to eat on a Paleo diet? Grass-fed beef, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, poultry, some fruit, vegetables. What can't you have? Grains, sugar, dairy, legumes, and white potatoes.
Problem: like the ketogenic diet, it can be restrictive to some people and after following a 30 day protocol they may lose weight but can easily gain it back if they don't keep up with it.
I put vegetarian and vegan diets together because there are a lot of similarities but its important to note that there are a lot of variations to vegetarian diets.
Veganism includes a lot more than just the health aspect but is a whole lifestyle approach. Vegans are generally environmentally conscious and care greatly about animal welfare. Vegans don't eat any animal products which even includes honey.
If people haven't done enough research before becoming vegetarian or vegan they may lack adequate protein and vitamin B12. However, there are plentiful amounts of plant-based protein and supplementation is always an option for those with a deficiency.
One of the problems is that there are a lot of unhealthy vegan foods. Of course you can be very healthy on a vegan or vegetarian diet but many chips, candies, breads, etc., are technically vegan, so if you follow this diet just be cautious of that.
In good health,
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