Keto, Paleo, Vegan or Whole30? How to Pick the Best Diet For You
Oh, the diets. Anyone else out there as confused as I am? Although I’m always on the quest to learn more about health, I have to admit, my mind is swimming with all of this information!
There are a lot of trends going on right now. Ketogenic, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Blood Type, Alkaline, Whole30, Gluten-Free…holy hemp seeds! I feel like ordering a pizza just looking at that list.
Unfortunately, I think that’s what many of us resort to because the alternative seems too overwhelming. One diet tells us to focus on protein. Another claims that animal protein causes inflammation and tells us to stick to produce and whole grains. And yet another swears grains are the culprit for our inflammation.
In college, when presented with conflicting information while doing research, I would look for a common denominator. A foundation of truth, if you will, that everyone could agree upon and then proceed from there.
With strong feelings that I didn’t want to waste money on food that could harm my family or me, I decided to apply the same strategy here, and these are the conclusions I found:
That is one thing every diet can agree on. More vegetables. Well, produce in general, but some differ on the types of fruits you should eat.
2. Organic when possible.
With the rise of genetically modified foods and pesticide-ridden crops, it’s best to opt for organic and even better, locally grown organic.
Drink lots of water! But absolutely invest in a good filter. There are so many contaminants and pharmaceuticals in our water supply these days that this is a must.
4. Shop the edges of the store.
Everyone seems to agree that processed or packaged foods typically found in the inner aisles of the store are no bueno as your body can’t really recognize these chemicals as food. Thus, we have a generation of people who are obese but so nutrient deficient that they are quite literally starving to death.
5. Avoid sugar.
White processed sugar is basically poison at the end of the day, and a huge culprit of disease and inflammation. If you need to sweeten something, stick with natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup (The real kind! Grade A or B!), and Stevia. Some of the diets mentioned above oppose all sweetener, so I guess I will clarify that no sugar is what they all have in common for sure.
That’s about it.
No, I’m serious. I wish there were more similarities among the diets, and I wish I could tell you exactly what you should eat in order to bring the most health to your bodies. But, in my opinion, the answers are different for different people. I truly believe some people have gluten sensitivities while others handle it perfectly well. Same with dairy. At the end of the day, the best question you can ask yourself before eating something is: “Is this going to poison me or nourish me?”
Stop trying to figure out all the things you need to cut out, or you might end up rocking yourself in the fetal position on the floor in front of your open refrigerator. Instead, think of what you can add in.
There are so many beautiful, healthy choices out there that are truly delicious but when we are so focused on what we shouldn’t be eating, our human nature has a tendency to become obsessed with those things, and it can backfire on us. Find a smoothie recipe you love and make it part of your routine. Figure out a way to get more greens in your diet via salads, juicing or even homemade kale chips. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies and if there are other things you want to eat, let those portions be smaller than the live, fresh foods.
Listen to your body! Do you feel clearer, happier, and calmer after eating a lovely salad or after a plate of cheese fries? Did you know what you put into your body can have a direct effect on your mind and even cause anxiety and depression?
Start with the basics. Drink water. Eat produce. Limit toxic sugar and chemicals and watch not only your waistline shrink, but your energy level and sleep quality improve.
And give thanks! Not to totally guilt trip you out there, but there are oh so many people in this great, big world who would love to have any food at their fingertips, much less so much food that they actually have to research which kind to choose. Take a few moments before a meal and breathe calmly. Enjoy the tastes and concentrate on chewing each bite. Avoid watching TV or eating in your car as you can’t recognize when your stomach says “enough” amid the distractions. And most of all, give thanks for the gift of food in front of you. Be a good steward of that blessing by choosing things that will honor your body (which is another gift) and not harm it.
You’ll love this episode of our podcast Is Your Life Out of Balance? – 011
You’ll also like Can I Be a Hippie in Heels? Balancing a Healthy Lifestyle, 7 Easy and Natural Methods to Boost Your Immunity, Simple Skin Care: All-Natural Recipes for Bright Healthy Skin, How to Go Gluten-Free (Without Hating It), and 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nutrition.