Diets aren’t just for losing weight. Challenging yourself to eat differently for a time can give you insight into how your body is functioning and long or short-term changes you may need to make in your nutrition. From recognizing foods to avoid to incorporating immunity-boosting foods into your diet, switching up your meal plan can have a ton of benefits.
Three diets that you have been hearing a lot about lately are Keto, Paleo, and Whole30.
Let’s take a look at what these diets actually entail so you can better educate yourself on which would benefit your lifestyle!
Keto, also known as the ketogenic diet, revolves around low carbs and high fats. It’s been linked to many different health benefits, including weight loss, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease.
Reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with nutritious fats puts the body in a state of ketosis, which spurs efficient fat-burning and converts fats in the liver into ketones, fueling brain function. Ketosis utilizes fats for fuel instead of carbs. This decrease in carbs lowers your body’s store of glucose and helps in making the body feel fuller sooner to assist in weight loss.
If you’re looking to get into keto, start by subbing carb-heavy foods like burger buns with lettuce wraps, or pasta with a gluten-free or cauliflower alternative. Start introducing more protein and fatty foods like salmon, eggs, nuts, meat, and healthy oils into every meal.
The paleo diet is designed to bring us humans back to our roots as ancient hunter-gatherers, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods.
By being physically active and eating a diet of whole foods, it is presumed that ancient humans were able to avoid diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart issues. Studies have supported the fact that a paleo diet is an effective tool in aiding in weight loss.
By principle, paleolithic humans survived on what was available to them, so there is technically no wrong way to eat a paleo diet.
While some ancient humans may have had high-carb, low-fat diets centered on plant life, others may have had a meat-heavy diet of fish and game. Generally, you can focus your meal prep on things like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats, and oils. Avoiding sugary, highly processed foods like soft drinks, grains, dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fats are a plus.
Whole30 involves eliminating certain things from your diet for 30 days to see if they have a positive or adverse impact on your health. This diet can aid in weight loss and the detection of digestive or even cognitive disorders.
Following a strict elimination timeline, the official Whole30 guidelines cover a list of allowed and off-limits foods. If you fall off track and “cheat,” it is recommended that you start the diet over from Day 1 again.
Following the guidelines, focus your efforts on unprocessed foods like meat, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some select fats. Avoid things like sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, dairy, and processed additives like MSG.
At the end of the day, educating yourself and discussing any major diet changes with your physician, dietician, or trainer is vital. It’s also a good idea to keep a food diary to track any changes you may be experiencing and to better narrow down the cause. No one diet is perfect for everyone, and it may take some trial and error before finding the one that fits you best. But don’t be discouraged—this is a great opportunity to learn about yourself, your body, and your unique dietary needs. You never know until you try, and food is a fantastic tool to use in bettering our mental and physical well-being.
If you enjoyed this article and are looking to educate yourself even more on dietary needs, check out these proven cancer-preventing foods and why they work. You may also want to check our ultimate Brussels sprout recipe.
This article is meant to be informational and should not be treated as medical advice. You should always consult with your physician for any personal concerns or when feeling ill and before starting any new supplements.