It is so confusing with diets, it looks like some trends come and go. We are trying to find some foods that make us feel good and will help us maintain healthy weight or more: we wish to heal our self and reverse diseases.
We realize that our metabolism changed through the years and we can’t eat the same food like we did in our youth and still feel good. We have tried many diets in desperation to find a solution. Then our food journey begins…
What is your reason for changing your diet? Is it indigestion? Tiredness, brain fog? Weight control? Autoimmune condition?
Let’s look into the most common diets we are hearing about everywhere nowadays. Maybe you will find the answer that suits you. Low carbo, vegan, paleo, keto, raw food.
One of the most popular, because it so easy to lose weight and get rid of sugar Low carbo high fat diet or LCHF:
In short- you change one part of calories from carbs to calories from fat. I would say not only from fat but also slowly metabolizing veggies as well. In that way you also reduce the amount of calories. So simple.
First choice is eliminating refined SUGAR, bread, pasta; reduce potatoes, and most of grains. There is a very wide marginal in the LCHF diet, it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Is your first priority body weight, energy levels, yeast infections, autoimmune condition, diabetes, brain health? This diet won’t let you starve, you can eat a lot of vegetables (you could choose less starchy veggies for faster results), fats and proteins. The difficulty in this diet is: in very many cases the animal protein intake becomes too large, and that diminishes the effect of this diet.
You have to be conscious about changing fast carbs to healthy fats and other slowly metabolizing carbs-veggies, but not to more protein and unhealthy fats.
This is the dangerous part about this diet-changing bread and pasta to more eggs and bacon. You can experiment with intake of carbs, because it is very individual, there’s no strict rate for carbs: protein: fat. Find your individual rate and some daily menu with healthy foods.
Eating bacon and eggs each day doesn’t give us better holistic health at all!
If you get your diet right, then it’s impossible to not lose weight. If you like to get more health benefits from this diet and not only weight reduction, then choose to make your food with healthy fats like cold pressed coconut oil, avocado, avocado oil, omega 3, some ghee and butter from grass fed cows; proteins like legumes, gluten free grains in moderation, grass fed animal meat, including organ meat, tendons, cartilage, bone broth etc, deep water fish, not starchy veggies like pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potatoes, lot of green leaf veggies, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, nuts, seeds, berries and fruits. For improving the balance in your gut flora, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar controll is resistant starch very useful (for example green bananas, raw potatoes, cocked and cooled root vegetables, whole grains, legumes). You probably already know all about this stuff just try it for at least 2 months and notice all changes very carefully.
The first week of every diet is hard, but after that, experiment with carbs intake and see how much you can take to get the results you wish and feel good.
You can reduce carbs or you can make it more extreme and come closer to the keto diet, then you critically minimize carbs and switch your body’s energy supply from sugar to fat. The duration, especially for the keto diet, has to be planned very carefully. Keto diet can be useful as a reversing diet for particular conditions. There are scientifically evidences about reversing epilepsy, diabetic 2, Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline and some kinds of primary cancer with this diet. New research appears about very good results of keto diet and intermittent fasting for cancer patients before each chemo treatment. (Source: chemothermia.com) In this case you will need to consult an expert in this field to make this diet right and have control on the way. This diet doesn´t fit everyone, for example very lean people. For people choosing the vegan approach this diet is extremely difficult to accomplish, but is still possible. You have to test if it fits for your body’s metabolism and conditions.
Be aware: too much fat for a longer period of time is not a good option for anybody.
In the Paleo diet not only sugar, processed food, but also dairy, grains and legumes aren’t on the menu. You can eat all vegetables, all fruits, all nuts, seeds and grass fed whole animal meat included organ meat, fat, cartilage, wild fish, seafood, eggs. This is the diet of our ancestors. For some people, especially those with serous gut diseases, food intolerances, allergies, some autoimmune conditions- it could be a very beneficial diet. Dangerous with this diet could be- overconsumption of animal proteins. A good thing to remember is that our ancestors weren’t only hunters; they were gatherers of berries, fruits, nuts, leaf, roots and all eatable plants. They had periods of time in the year when they had natural fasting. They were living by the cycles of nature, were listening to their bodily needs and of course they also had bad hunting seasons and cleaned their own body by eating only plants and fasting.
The vegan diet- everything from the plant kingdom. No eggs, no dairy, of course no meat, fish, or sea food. The vegan diet can be very healthy and you save animals and planet Earth in the process! But you have to take it seriously and learn about food preparation first, the balance between carbs, fat, protein. It is not so easy eventhough it is very trendy now! To replace meat, fish and eggs to more bread and pasta is not good option at all. You have to change your life style a bit; it should be clear decision, determination, an inner need… The vegan diet is becoming trendy, because the situation on our planet forces us to change the way we live, eat, consume… Possible dangers in this diet are (in my eyes) vegan products-substitutes; vegan sausages, beef, cheese and overconsumption of fast carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes, gluten etc. Unfortunately if you go on a vegan diet without knowledge and preparation it could be less healthy. The food industry also reacts very fast with new vegan products; we see vegan fast food products which isn’t a good alternative at all! Be careful and look on labels in the store. The best thing to do is to learn to make delicious vegan dishes by yourself, you can find plenty of websites with easy to make vegan recipes. Or to hire high skilled a vegan cook at home. I would start this diet at once in that case… Anyway, without doubt- it is really worth to invest time in the vegan cuisine.
There are plenty of studies about the world population and undeniable researches about how food influences lifespan and health. And there is a clear message:
Population consuming very little or almost no animal based food live longer and are healthier! But it is very important to consider what you replace animal products with.
The raw food diet- it is ideal for those who can do it. All good stuff from plants to your mouth, but it doesn´t necesserily comes to your body cells. There is a trick. Depending on your gut condition, metabolic type (capacity to process carbs, fiber, fat, proteins) you can benefit enormously from this diet or you can cause huge damage. If you have a leaky gut, IBS, bacterial imbalance in your intestines, SIBO- small intestine bacterial overgrow, not to mention a more serious intestine condition like Crohn´s disease, be careful with a raw food diet and enormous fiber intake. Heal your gut first and then make this transition gradually.
I don’t know which diet is best. Nobody can give the answer, even world leading diet experts are still saying – “this is the eternal question -which diet is the best?” Trust your senses; you have the best answers for yourself. We all have different conditions, we all have different metabolism for proteins, carbs, fats etc, we have some unbalances in our body and combinations of unbalances which makes us unique in the way we metabolize foods. One can get a health benefit from such a diet, but another could get more unbalances and become sicker.
There are a lot of other diets with calorie restriction plans, but I really don’t understand it. How can we live and all the time calculate in numbers what we are supposed to eat? You really can get sick and become neurotic about the food. How can it be possible that the same calculation of calories suits for everyone with the similar weight? Maybe it could be useful for a short period of time for researching and understanding your own metabolism… Best is to learn healthy food basics, to make the switch to a healthy diet and be attentive to your body needs.