What is the best diet? - Britt's Superfoods

What is the best diet?

There have been many diets that have been touted as the best, Mediterranean, Paleo, Keto to name just a few - but which one is the best?

Maintaining a healthy weight and body shape is important for good health, so how can you do this with a healthy balance?

We take a look at a couple of the most prominent and their pros and cons.

1. Paleo Diet

This diet is based on ‘ eating like our ancestors’ and is sometimes referred to as the caveman diet. Whilst following its regime you only eat foods that our bodies can process for example, fruit, vegetables, nuts and meats but you exclude anything processed, such as ready meals, dairy products, grains and salt.  It is currently the world’s most popular diet.

Pro’s

It is naturally a low sugar diet and naturally includes more fresh fruits and vegetables, which can undoubtedly benefit overall health. Many people who follow this also report improvements in sleep and focus and weight loss.

One study  found a mean weight loss of 3.52 kilograms plus a decreased waist circumference and BMI in those who followed a Paleolithic diet compared with those eating other commonly recommended diets.

The researchers behind this study suggest that following a paleo diet may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as having excess body weight is one of the main risk factors for their development.

Con’s

By excluding whole food groups, you risk deficiency in certain nutrients. For example, excluding dairy could lead to low calcium levels if you are not careful.

It is also impossible to follow a diet exactly like our ancestors as animal and plant species have evolved or become extinct and we are learning more about prehistoric diets, for example cavemen did eat starchy carbohydrates that were available at the time.

There are also concerns that although the Paleo diet may lead to weight loss for some in may also have adverse side effects. For example, beans are not allowed on this diet but are a great source of minerals, fibre, and plant-based protein and are known to lower cholesterol.

Recent studies Some studies  have also shown that those who follow a paleo diet may have different gut microbiota and higher levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a compound tied to cardiovascular disease as there is not much fibre in this diet.

2. Keto Diet

The aim is this diet is similar to the Atkins diet and other low carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. It is believed that when this happens, the body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy.

On this diet you focus on eating meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter and cream, cheese, nuts, healthy oils and low carb vegetables.  You avoid sugary foods, grains and starches, fruit, beans and legumes, unhealthy fats and alcohol.

Pro’s

Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits. The keto diet was originally designed to help people who suffer from seizure disorders and research has shown that it has a significant effect on reducing seizures.

It was as a side effect that some people found that they lost weight following the diet. The diet is very filling so will leave little room for snacking and research does indicate that it helps to lose weight, for example: A review  of several studies demonstrated that people following a ketogenic diet lost 5 lbs more than those following low-fat diets after 6 months.

Con’s

it's high in saturated fat which is commonly linked to heart disease and does not have a wide selection of vegetable options which could lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Also, very low carbohydrate diets tend to have higher rates of side effects, including constipation, headaches, bad breath and more. Also, meeting the diet's requirements means cutting out many healthy foods, making it difficult to meet your micronutrient needs.

3. 5:2 Diet

Commonly known as intermittent fasting, the aim of this diet is to control your calorie intake for certain parts of the day or days in the week. The ideas is to reduce overall calorie intake and therefore lose weight.

There are variations of this diet, but the standard version is having a normal diet on 5 days of the week and reducing your calorie intake to about ¼ of

normal for two days. There are no particular food restrictions on this diet, so people tend to find it easy to follow, the main issue is not to overindulge on non-diet days.

Pro’s

Easy to follow as few rules and restrictions. Many studies have shown benefits of fasting including weight loss, reducing insulin levels. And it may help reduce insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, heart arrhythmias, menopausal hot flashes and more.

One study showed that the 5:2 diet caused weight loss similar to regular calorie restriction. Additionally, the diet was very effective at reducing insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity.

Con’s

The 5:2 diet may be a helpful alternative to some people looking for a less restrictive diet plan, but it is not for everyone.

People who are prone to low blood sugar or easily feel dizzy or fatigued if they do not eat may not want to follow a diet that involves fasting.

You also need to be strict with yourself not to overindulge on non diet days.

4. Mediterranean diet

This diet emphasises foods that were commonly eaten around the Mediterranean region during the 20th century and earlier.

It includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, whole grains, legumes, dairy products, and extra virgin olive oil.

Although there are no strict rules or regulations for the diet, it typically encourages fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats. Processed foods, added sugar, and refined grains should be restricted

Pro’s

The Mediterranean diet has been studied extensively for its ability to promote heart health.

In fact, research shows that the Mediterranean diet may even be linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke .

The Mediterranean diet encourages a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats.

As such, following this eating pattern may help stabilise blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes as shown by research. 

Several studies show that the Mediterranean diet could be beneficial for brain health and may even protect against cognitive decline as you get older.

For example, one study including 512 people found that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with improved memory and reductions in several risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease .

Con’s

Since nothing is off limits, it can be difficult to not have a specific plan or calorie guidelines, so could be tricky to adhere to.

Also, since the focus is on healthy fats and whole grains, she explained that overeating is quite possible. In addition, she noted this diet promotes eating the whole food, like full-fat dairy products, which, when eaten in large quantities, may be very calorically dense.

One of the Mediterranean diet's disadvantages is that there's no one set rulebook for the eating style. As a result, there's no exact number when it comes to servings per day of the foods included, which may be confusing for some people.

5. Juicing

A juicing diet is a short-term diet consisting entirely of fruit and vegetable juices.

When you blend your juices using fresh fruits and vegetables only, you benefit from the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contained within the most popular juicing ingredients.

Pro’s

Increased motivation, you see results rapidly, which encourages you to continue

You may also improve your gut health and even feel an increase in your sense of well-being. One small study found that a three-day juice diet altered intestinal microbiota associated with weight loss and also promoted a greater sense of well-being even two weeks after the cleanse.

By eliminating the bad stuff and putting lots of good stuff into your body. Not only do you lose a few pounds, but it gives you more energy, improves your mood and generally makes you feel better.

It should come as no surprise that fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Drinking juices can make getting a variety of nutrients into your body simple.

The high vitamin content of fruits and vegetables can also support the immune system.

Con’s

The disadvantage of this type of diet is that you can only do it for short periods of time. As a result, your body doesn’t have the chance to adjust so you may experience fainting, headaches and fatigue. However, most of this can be overcome by increasing fluid intake and the correct juices.

 

 

The best diet isn’t always the same for everyone, so finding one that works for you is important. One that fits into your lifestyle and helps to get rid of old bad habits is the best.

To date, there is no evidence that one specific diet that can effectively support weight loss in all individuals - the best diet for weight loss consists of less calories in than out!

Adding a wheatgrass juice to your diet can help with weight loss. As a ‘whole’ food’ it is high on the satiety scale and keep you full for longer. Low in calories it can help with weight loss, to order yours visit our shop today.

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