Our Healing Hypothesis is personal to me because it helped me feel better and heal. This concept however, this one is big for me.
This isn’t about implementing the latest fad diet to get results.
I have personally fallen victim to this practice, and because of it, my health has suffered and I ended up in urgent care.
Your biochemistry is as unique as your fingerprint. That means your roadmap to better health will be as unique as you are, and your diet plan needs to be customized for the needs of your body, rather than worrying about if you are paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan, or what your blood type is.
Any diet that restricts any food group long-term has the ability to cause nutrient deficiencies, and health problems. I don’t consider processed foods, fast food, and the like food groups by the way, but I think you know this.
Let’s address calorie counting too. There is WAY more involved in maintaining a healthy body composition than calories in versus calories out, and not all calories are created equal. Calorie counting and obsessing about it can lead to disordered eating habits and eating disorders. Calorically depriving your body also can backfire and actually prevent you from losing weight. You cannot outsmart biochemistry. Trust me, I’ve tried.
I want to share my take on some popular diet trends, and some standards, based on my personal and professional experience, and the research I’ve done on these subjects.
Gluten: Some people of course (most I believe, if not everyone) should not consume gluten. Gluten has no health benefits, is inflammatory, and there are much better options when it comes to healthy carbohydrates you can eat.
Dairy: Dairy is also inflammatory. If you do eat dairy, sparingly is best.
Vegan/plant-based diets: Diets that are 100% plant-based often lack important nutrients including B12, iron, zinc, essential amino acids, and a range of other nutrients. Plant-based diets tend to be higher in carbs, and depending on your source of carbs, this can put you at greater risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems.
If you are on a 100% plant-based diet, it is important to supplement appropriately to make sure your nutrient needs are met.
Plant based diets are often recommended for cancer, where research shows a diet that’s high fiber, low fat and includes lots of fruits and vegetables may be preventative.
Ketogenic diet: This is the latest craze. A standard ketogenic diet is high fat (75%), moderate protein (%20), and very low carb (%5).
Research has shown benefits of keto for neurological disorders (epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), weight loss, diabetes and pre-diabetes, among other conditions. In these cases, the diet is used for therapeutic reasons and should be implemented under the supervision of a qualified professional.
A keto diet may have some cons. For weight loss, or because it’s the latest fad, we really don’t know what the effects of it long-term are. Based on what I know about biochemistry and how the body works, I’m going to defer to my earlier comment, that any diet that restricts any food group long-term has the ability to cause nutrient deficiencies, and health problems.
Mediterranean diet: A Mediterranean diet is the only one that has been scientifically validated, again and again, with benefits for health. The diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains (non gluten is best in my opinion), legumes and nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil. The only downside may be the recommendation to include red wine, which may not be advised if you are on certain medications, or have certain health conditions.
There are so many more, and not enough time for me to touch on them all here. These examples represent the ones I am asked about most often.
If you’re wondering what I eat, my diet consists of whole, real foods, from all food sources. I don’t define it any other way, nor do I wish to categorize it to fit under a particular fad or trend. I prefer to spend my time living and enjoying my life, rather than obsessing about what I am going to eat, and if it’s ‘ok’ for my diet. I’ve spent most of my life obsessing over what I ate, and suffered because of it. Food is necessary to fuel our bodies so that they work. Restricting fuel leads to functional impairments, and poor health. I’ve been there. It happened to me. It doesn’t have to happen to you too.