There are so many diets out there and there has been a round out of the diets of 2017 in the news lately, so I thought I’d break them down into what’s effective and sustainable.
This diet is a 30-day program with NO deviations. Once you’re on it, you can’t cheat even with a lick, otherwise, you break the healing cycle of resetting your body of any food, skin or seasonal allergies. Cutting out all inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and soy. You eat moderate portions of protein foods; meat, seafood, and eggs, a load of vegetables, natural fats, herbs, spices, and seasoning. You are allowed to drink tea and coffee.
You can’t follow this diet if you are plant-based or vegan. Tricky for vegetarians too.
Feedback: I’ve heard people say that this is a game changer for them. The first days and even week are brutal for withdrawal and missing sugar, and then they turned a corner and felt amazing. Someone on Facebook commented that her skin was glowing too.
Also called the Caveman diet, as it’s based on eating like our ancestors. It’s a high protein, low carb diet that eliminates all refined and starchy foods; grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt and refined vegetable oils. Oh yes, and coffee. You can eat meat, poultry, fish, non-starchy fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthy oils. The only caffeine is a bit of green tea. This diet is promoting a higher consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Feedback: I’ve had clients who have followed this for a long period of time and many symptoms including gut issues fade. It seems to be a sustainable diet that once people get it, they stick to it.
Ketogenic or Keto Diet
Keto seems to be a newer diet that is gaining momentum. With this diet, you’re changing the source of energy your body uses. This is essentially a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet. The long-term effect of the keto diet on obese patients has been studied. It decreases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increases good cholesterol (HDL), lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and levels of insulin.
Fats to eat include avocado, coconut oil, eggs, nuts seeds including butters, meat including the skin on chicken and bacon fat, dairy, all oils like avocado, olive, flax, hemp, butter, ghee, duck fat, and drinking butter and MCT oil in your coffee. Low carb veggies like broccoli, kale, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, celery, greens, mushrooms, zucchini. Fruits of avocado and blueberries are safe.
Eggs, fish, beef, pork, protein powders (specific ones), seafood, lamb, poultry and some plant-based proteins are included in your protein choices.
Bone broth is important as are fermented foods. Dairy alternatives, 100% dark chocolate (no sugar), stevia, xylitol and erythritol are safe sweeteners. Coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup in moderation as they will count as your carbohydrate intake.
This is not about what you eat, but when you eat. You’ve just eaten, and your body is digesting and absorbing for 3-5 hours afterward. It’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high. Intermittent fasting is a way to deal with high insulin levels and is used by Dr. Jason Fung in Toronto to help many people deal with type 2 diabetes. The overall restriction of calories consumed each day has shown to increase longevity. The fasting for 16 hours a day and eat during an 8-hour window. The tricky part of this is not bingeing for the 8 hours.
Feedback: I have tried it and it’s tough to make it to that 16th hour without wanting to eat my arm off. I wouldn’t suggest this for anyone with a tendency towards an eating disorder because the restriction can mess with your head. For anyone who isn’t in touch with their hunger signals, this will help you know what hunger feels like. You’ll find more here.
Seen by some as the diet to follow, this European diet likely has the most research to back it up as it’s not as much of a fad diet as a way of life. Lower heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of cancer, Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease are also linked to this mostly plant-based diet that includes healthy fats, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, some fish and not much meat. Wine, coffee and tea are allowed and with very little restriction compared to others, only avoiding sugar, refined grains, trans fats, processed foods, refined oils and meats.
Feedback: It’s quite a sensible and well rounded and sustainable diet. It really is the go-to for just about any situation to do with inflammation; arthritis, heart disease and high cholesterol.
For more on this topic, listen to my chat with Jerry Agar on NewsTalk1010 below: