If you look hard enough on the internet you can find enough information on anything to support your opinion on the topic. So here’s my opinion on a few of the trending diets and ways of eating!
Whole30 is a way of eating that limits grains & dairy, and pushes fruits & veggies. Whole30 allows for potatoes and homemade fries, but wants you to avoid fast food fries. The concept being you’re eating whole foods rather than processed junk. This is a fairly easy reset back onto the healthy food wagon if you’ve been gone for a while. There are plenty of recipes out there and the foods are things you are familiar with. Breaking the simple carb cycle can be hard! The one thing I am not a fan of with Whole30 is that you are not allowed grains like quinoa unless you are vegetarian. To me it just seems arbitrary as to what is “allowed” and what isn’t. Whole30 is meant to be a thirty day reset to help you step away from the grab and go deli sandwiches and making your meals.
Paleo is a way of eating that focuses on meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding foods that became popular with the advent of commercial farming like grains, legumes, and dairy. And of course, all the other junk you find in the middle aisles of the grocery store. Paleo is very similar to the Whole30 concept, you just do it longer than a thirty day reset. This is still a fairly restrictive way of eating, although easy to comply with if eating out. Just know you won’t be getting a pastry when you stop to grab your morning coffee. Is this sustainable? Possibly! It would be an awesome foundation for how to shop and what to eat. Just know that you might be missing out on foods at social gatherings and potlucks.
Keto started as a medical diet to treat children with epilepsy. There are also a few studies that have been done on patients with brain cancer/tumor diagnoses. (Aimee has done A LOT of research on this and is happy to share if you’re interested!) Keto is basically a paleo diet, with strict macros of where your calories are coming from. As a way of life, many people eat keto to lose weight. When you restrict the amount of carbs going into your body, your body uses fat for energy. Keto is fairly easy to follow if you’re eating out, too. Burgers without a bun and a side salad instead of fries is easy to get almost anywhere. A downside is that companies are making “keto” foods and selling them under the guise of health, but they don’t fit the strict macros of keto, or have cane syrup in them. Women can stand to have more carbs, and their bodies will often require more during certain stages of their cycle. As a long term diet, keto is very restrictive and doesn’t leave room for watermelon or birthday cakes.
Carnivore is just what it sounds like. No veggies or carbs, just locally raised grass fed free range meat and eggs. This can be an expensive way to eat. But it really takes a lot of thinking out of the equation, all you have to do is eat meat! I don’t know much about the feasibility of a long term carnivore lifestyle. Most proponents I’m familiar with are eating this way for short periods of time like 30 days or so. Again, no fresh summer fruits on this diet!
Veganism is gaining popularity. There are many options for fake meats! But do you really want to eat them? People usually start eating vegan because they either want to eat better for the environment, or because they want to stop animal cruelty. It’s still possible to eat meat and be against feed lots and cruel practices! Local beef is absolutely better for the environment than fake meat made in a factory across the country. To make these processed products, the grains are grown and trucked in, then processed, and made into a product that is again shipped across the country to your grocery store. The environmental impact of packaging the foods and shipping them is far greater than getting locally raised meat that is processed, packaged, and sold in the same county it was raised in. The concept of veganism and eating more whole vegetables is great! I love using vegan cookbooks for meal inspiration.
Take it for what you will - if you are jumping on an eating trend, make sure you have done your research. Some ideas are fads, just as some are sustainable long term. The point of changing up your eating habits is to create a healthier relationship with your food. The food you eat should be serving you, not drawing you back from being your healthiest self. Let us know what your thoughts are, or if there is another eating fad/lifestyle out there that you have knowledge on! We would love to hear it!
In health and wellness,