Updated: Feb 25
Diet is personal and emotional. Each person thrives on a different set of foods and no other person can really know what that is. We all have the tools to experiment with food and find what’s true and what’s not for ourselves. A valid argument can be made for and against every single diet out there because each type of diet is good for one person and bad for another.
Each type of diet can also be interpreted differently. A paleo diet can be mostly vegetables or mostly meat, a keto diet can be bacon and eggs or a big salad with salmon and avocado and a vegan diet can be brown rice and vegetables or French fries and soda.
A paleo diet is not primarily meat but based on foods that nomadic people ate. A paleo diet can consist of meat, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables while avoiding grains, beans and dairy. The paleo diet is similar to an autoimmune diet and the whole 30 meal plan. If a person is struggling with autoimmune disease or an inflammatory disease a paleo/autoimmune/whole 30 type diet removes the most common triggers for autoimmune disease and inflammation and in many cases the disease can go into remission. This plan can be low fat, high fat, vegan or meat based – it simply removes the most common autoimmune triggers which happen to be agricultural foods - grains, beans and dairy.
A ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet designed to alleviate a particular condition. Ketogenic diets were first found beneficial for children with uncontrolled epilepsy and have more recently been found to help brain function in people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. The keto diet switches the way in which a body operates – running on fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The body switches to functioning with very little insulin and very little blood sugar, but just enough fat to run all body operations smoothly while brain inflammation is reduced to improve symptoms. A keto diet limits carbohydrates so grains, beans and fruits are out, but can include plenty of leafy green vegetables, a moderate amount of meat and lots of good quality fats.
This does not mean that grains, beans and dairy are bad. For another person, eating a diet based on grains and beans with vegetables is a healthy vegan diet. For an omnivore - grains, beans and dairy can be a healthy part of a varied diet.
The keto diet, paleo diet and whole 30 have recently been popularized as weight loss diets. Yes, many people do lose weight on these diets because they are usually reducing carbohydrates and food allergies. Many people also lose weight when they stop eating sugar, stop eating meat, stop eating dairy, or stop eating any reactive food.
Listen to the diet guru’s out there but take it as information that may or may not be true for you. The trick for you is to keep an open mind and experiment to find what makes you feel the best each day. At the end of the day, nobody knows your body as well as you do.