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Why you might want to reconsider the Keto diet as a long term solution

Finding the right diet for you can take a lot of work. It depends on your goals, lifestyles, and overall dietary needs and restrictions. Natasha Turner is breaking down the three most popular diets out there right now, and sharing who can benefit most, and why you might want to be cautious before you fully commit. 

Keto diet

Short for “ketogenic diet,” this eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use of fat as a form of energy. After about two to seven days you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. Then it starts making ketones, or organic compounds that your body then uses in place of those missing carbs.

Who stands to benefit most?

Seizure patients

Words of warning

For most people it is not the ideal approach as it is hard to sustain for a long period.

For women – in general, it can be particularly harmful as the high fat diet spurs estrogen production. High estrogen is linked to increased breast cancer risk.

The Keto diet can also be associated with a loss of muscle mass, therefore this dietary approach is not ideal for anyone who wants to age well and maintain strength. After 30 days on the keto diet, athletes may notice a decrease in energy and performance.

This dietary approach should be for short term use only as it carries an increased risk of heart disease because of the high fat intake, and there are also concerns about nutrient deficiencies as the foods are so limited and an entire food group is eliminated.

Keto Day One

  • Breakfast: two scrambled eggs in butter on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado
  • Snack: sunflower seeds
  • Lunch: spinach salad with grilled salmon
  • Snack: celery and pepper strips dipped in guacamole
  • Dinner: pork chop with cauliflower mash and red cabbage slaw

Keto Day Two

  • Breakfast: bulletproof coffee (made with butter and coconut oil), hard-boiled eggs
  • Snack: macadamia nuts
  • Lunch: tuna salad stuffed in tomatoes
  • Snack: roast beef and sliced cheese roll-ups
  • Dinner: meatballs on zucchini noodles, topped with cream sauce

Paleo diet

In its purest form, the paleo diet allows you to eat only those foods that humans ate when they first roamed the planet millions of years ago.the diet can improve your health by eliminating high-fat and processed foods & emphasiing fruits, vegetables, fiber, which fills you up faster so you eat less, helping curb weight gain.

Who stands to benefit most?

The paleo diet has been found particularly beneficial for diabetes type II, pre-diabetics, and those at risk for diabetes. It also helps in the reduction of cholesterol and fatty liver disease.

It can assist with weight loss and glycemic balance even in those who do not exercise, though this diet is particularly beneficial when combined with exercise

Words of warning

Caution for those with type I diabetics and those with kidney disease.

Strict paleo dieters have limited starchy vegetables and no grains or legumes. One serving of starchy carbohydrates has been found to assist with cortisol balance, maintaining mood (serotonin production) and healthy testosterone production in men and women. Anyone with depression, anxiety, chronic stress, low testosterone and shift workers should think twice about following a strict paleo approach as these people need a serving of starchy carbs. All of these conditions are associated with high cortisol, and a diet completely devoid of starchy carbohydrates is linked to high cortisol and low thyroid function.

Iodine supplementation may be necessary, especially for post menopausal women: and free t3 (thyroid hormone) should be monitored as it can decrease with this dietary approach.

Paleo Day One

  • Breakfast Onion and spinach omelet with liver pâté
  • Lunch Tuna wrapped in lettuce with almonds
  • Snack Hard-boiled eggs
  • Dinner Beef bourguignon
  • Dessert Ice cream made from coconut milk

Paleo Day Two

  • Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables fried in coconut oil. One piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil. Handful of nuts.
  • Dinner: Burgers (no bun) fried in butter, with vegetables and some salsa.

Paleo Day Three

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs, with a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Leftover burgers from the night before.
  • Dinner: Salmon fried in butter, with vegetables.
  • There is usually no need to track calories or macronutrients (protein, carbs or fat) on the paleo diet, at least not in the beginning. However, if you need to lose a lot of weight, it is a good idea to cut carbs and limit your intake high-fat foods, such as nuts.

Pure plant based

A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.

Who stands to benefit most?

Cancer patients or those at risk of recurrence often see improvements in their health and decreased risk of cancer returning. 

Words of warning

As with all diets, pregnant and breast feeding women need to make sure they're getting the necessary nutrients to avoid deficiency, but there are plant based pre-natal vitamins available as well.

Those with low muscle mass, low bone density, and athletes need to make sure they the correct for nutrient balances and protein intake to maintain muscle mass and strength, though when done properly many professional athletes see an improvement in performance on a plant based diet.

In some cases hormone levels can drop on a completely plant based raw food diet so that should be monitored.

While many people think that a plant based diet is a quick way to lose weight, and it can be, but if you are imbalanced in carbohydrate versus protein intake, you could actually gain weight.

Pure Plant Based Day One

  • Breakfast: oatmeal breakfast muffin
  • Lunch: edamame hummus wrap
  • Snack: zucchini chips
  • Dinner: Lentil soup with mashed potato

Pure Plant Based Day Two

  • Breakfast: Mexican Tofu Scramble
  • Lunch: Spicy Black Bean and Greens Over Rice
  • Snack: Roasted Chickpeas
  • Dinner: Gluten Free creamy mushroom lasagna

Pure Plant Based Day Three

  • Breakfast: Bakes steel cut oats with grapes and banana
  • Lunch: Deli style “Tuna” salad sandwich with cashew mayonnaise on ryes
  • Snack: Maple curry roasted walnuts
  • Dinner: Spagetti and “meat” balls