Pros and Cons of Popular Diets
There is so much misinformation about nutrition plaguing our culture with false promises, quick fixes and just plain bad nutrition advice in so many popular diets. There is truly a great need for science-based nutrition information from reputable sources. Knowledge is power, but knowledge doesn’t mean lasting change. Knowledge often helps us with change, but we need to dig deeper. We need to discover the heart behind the decisions we are making with about our nutrition. I often use the Bible to help direct change in my clients, and I have seen amazing results when we apply God’s word to our health and nutrition!
Making a food choice is not simply about eating what is good for us. There are so many factors that play a role in how we feed our bodies because we all have different life experiences, different taste preferences, and different physiology. Food can also be very personal and emotional leading us to eat for reasons other than hunger. How do we sort through the information and pick the one that is best for us? In this article my goal is to inform you about some of the popular diets today and help you sort through key information so that you can choose an option that is right for you.
Healthy, Whole, Variety, Balance, and Moderation
Let me preface this article by saying that I am a HUGE fan of eating healthy whole foods, variety, balance and moderation. I rarely recommend any of these diets. However, there are some specific situations where I may recommend one of these diets. Also, if I have a client that wants to try one of them, I am happy to guide and encourage even if the particular way of eating is not my first choice. Just remember that the research shows us that the only “diet” that works long-term is the one we continue doing. This means, you should consider the practicality of starting one of these plans and continuing it.
Lastly, remember that we are all different! A diet that works really well for you may not work well for your best fried and that is OK!!! Be respectful of one another’s choices and support each other regardless of differences in opinion!
<50 grams of carb per day
75% Calories from Fat
20% Calories from Pro
<5% Calories from Carb
|Helps to improve insulin function
May improve brain health
Fewer cravings and hunger, especially sugar
|Side effects include “keto flu”
Excessive thirst, fatigue, anxiety and irritability
Limited long-term research
Some concern about heart health and kidney function
Cut out all foods that may cause potential problems: all grains, corn, gluten, nightshades, dairy, legumes, soy, sugar
|Emphasizes high vegetables and low processed foods
May help you to figure out causes for food sensitivities, autoimmune, pain, IBS, and other hard to treat medical issues
|Strict rules may lead to increased cravings
Limited time option—only 30 days
No animal products
No eggs, dairy, meats, fish, etc.
Typically, lower in fat
Moderate in Protein
Higher in Carbohydrate
Low in Saturated fat= better heart health
High fiber content may help increase satiety
Better insulin function
|Risk of nutrient deficiencies especially vitamins D, B12, iron, omega-3’s, Calcium, and zinc
16 hrs. fast=8pm until noon no eating
OR 5:2 plan= 5 days per week eat normally, but 2 days, eat less than 500 Calories.
*Note there are many options for intermittent fasting
|Better insulin function
Possibly helps increase muscle mass
May increase longevity
|Probably better for men
May lower fertility, especially in women
May lead to disordered eating
In general, all of these diets “work” in terms of producing weight loss, lower blood sugars, and better overall health. However, they are all fairly restrictive. This means that when making a choice about which type of diet you want to pursue; you should consider your ability to persevere with it. I always say about exercise that the best one is the one you like and the one you will do. This is true when choosing a lifestyle eating plan as well!
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy reading about “What the Health?”
Is there a diet you would like to know about? Send me a message!