The Diet Labyrinth

As part of my studies in nutrition we have been asked to look at hundreds of dietary theories. Each week, a new module opens with a new theory – Raw diets, high carb diets, vegan diets, Nutritarian diets, macrobiotic… it’s enough to make your head spin. Each time we learn of a new theory, the person presenting it is so convincing, it’s hard not to take it as the only way to go. Then there are the extremes, everything from peanut butter to ice cream diets, all of which I am sure have helped someone lose weight at some point. So, how do we know which one is best?

 

High carb diets have been shown worldwide to help people stay slim and be healthy, just look at traditional Japanese and other Asian cultures. But, unfortunately, people do not often know the difference between “good” and “bad” carbs and this can often lead to weight gain if not adhered to. 

 

On the flip side, many people have proudly exclaimed the miracles of the “Atkins diet” and other high protein diets. Initially people will often lose significant amounts of weight, as our body, not having a carbohydrate source to burn, will then burn fat stores.  But too much meat can have negative effects in other ways though as it has been linked with increased cancer risks in many studies.

 

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Low fat diets, high fat diets, raw diets, and soup diets….

 

I could write pages and pages about all the different dietary theories and their pros and cons, and if you’re like me you can find it quite overwhelming when it comes to healthy eating. It seems every week there is a new “superfood” or magic weight loss supplement. So how can you know where to start?

 

What’s my two-cents worth? – Start with the basics. Start with what the planet has given you.

 

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Whole foods! What’s a whole food? It is something with one ingredient on the back of the package. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, cold pressed oils, whole grains! And if you must eat animal protein, eat fish, and free-range “happy farms” organic animal protein. Even our animals have become processed these days. Dairy? That’s a whole different article, but again… processed. 

I challenge you to try a week of eating a balance of whole foods. Consume fruit and vegetables in their raw state as much as possible.  Blend up some smoothies, juice up some veggies. See how you feel, see if you lose weight. I bet you’ll be surprised with the results.  It’s all about consuming what the earth has given us – you cant get more paleo than that! Enjoy your food, enjoy cooking, eat as much as you want, (who wouldn’t love that kind of diet?!) – just…  keep it real. 

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