There is a wide variety of dietary practices. Some are fad diets. Some are developed based on physical health needs, allergies, food sensitivities, or active lifestyles. Not every diet is the same nor is every diet a good option for weight management. Despite literature recommendations to seek out advise from a physician, current medical doctors receive little to know nutritional education. Not all dieticians are the same nor are health coaches or sports fitness trainers. Understanding the professional's level of education and philosophy of care can make all the difference. Specialist health providers knowledgable about dietary practices and health related needs include Nurse practitioners, Naturopaths, Chiropractors, and Functional medicine or Integrative medicine providers. These providers can help you understand how to apply nutrition and diet to your unique needs.
Breaking Down Popular Dietary Practices
Food Elimination Diet
There is a connection between food and mood and often it is related to food sensitivities. Often clients want blood tests to confirm allergies but they aren't fool proof and if you are sensitive, it won't always show up. Other times, clients have enough body inflammation that the test indicates they are allergic to many products. An easy and inexpensive approach is to try a 21 day, strict food elimination diet to "wash out" foods from your system. Once accomplished, you'd reintroduce them 1 at a time to see if you feel "reactive" or sensitive or if physical symptoms like migraines, bloating, or stomach aches return. Click the link below to learn how to do this investigation.
The anti-inflammatory diet is a list of foods that decrease inflammation in the body. High levels of inflammation are the result of eating a diet high in ultra processed foods, sugar, nitrates, alcohol, and convenience foods. Anti-inflammatory foods are largely plant based, largely organic, contain natural sugars, healthy fats, moderate amounts of animal proteins, and minimal grains.
Gluten Free Diet
Persons sensitive or allergic to gluten often experience distressing GI symptoms. Increasingly, people are adopting a gluten-free diet, even if they do not have celiac disease or gluten allergy because they report feeling better. Gluten is commonly found in many ultraprocessed foods. Gluten triggers immune system activity leading to damage of the small intestine lining. This eating plan claims benefits of following it leads to improved health, weight loss and increased energy.
The Keto Diet is a low-carb eating plant that helps to reduce appetite and provide healthy fats. It works well for persons struggling with focus and attention issues. Keto helps lead to weight loss through removing excess water, fat, and toxins. A significant amount of fat loss tends to occur in the abdominal area. Metabolically, Triglycerides are often greatly reduced and "Good cholesterol" known as HDL, increases. This This dietary plan helps to reduce insulin resistance leading to more balanced blood sugar and mood levels. Health providers have noticed that abnormally elevated blood pressure tends to stabilize and return to normal.
The Mediterranean diet includes vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and organic whole grains. Meals are created around plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, and poultry are also central to the Mediterranean Diet. Seafood is a key ingredient as opposed to red meat which is eaten occasionally.
A paleo diet generally consists of lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds, spices, healthy fats and oils These foods were obtained by hunter and gather peoples of old. This diet limits foods that became common when farming practices emerged. Foods excluded in this diet are legumes, dairy products and grains along with processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, most vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
Plant Based Diet
A plant based diet stresses eating minimally processed foods and largely plant sourced foods. It limits animal food products (beef, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy, and fish); instead focusing on eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. These make up most of what is eaten. Ultra processed foods like refined foods which include added sugars, enriched non-organic white or wheat flour and processed oils such as soybean, safflower, corn oil, and peanut oils. Click on the button below for a link to a sample weekly eating plan.