Trending Diets - Who Takes the Cake
Hashtags aren’t the only thing trending these days. There are a few diets that seem to be taking the nutrition and wellness worlds by storm. Diets such as vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, gluten-free, clean eating, paleo and many more are being taught and encouraged at various gyms, through celebrity endorsements and covering the pages of magazines and blogs. So which one really takes the cake?
The Paleo diet takes out all the modern processed foods and returns dieters to the cave man days. This diet is built on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds. Some benefits are blood sugar stability, clearer skin and better teeth, improved sleep habits and a decrease in allergic reactions.
The downsides of this diet are that the foods tend to be more expensive than most processed foods. Vegetarians might have a difficult time without a protein substitute, and athletes can be a little starved for carbs.
Those looking for flavors from across the pond might enjoy this diet, which is based on traditional Italian and Greek dishes from the 1960s. The diet encourages you to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, fish and olive oil. Poultry, eggs and other dairy can be eaten in moderation. Foods such as red meat, sugar, processed foods and refined oils should be eaten rarely, if at all. The basics of this diet encourage healthy eating, with just a little bit of flavor from the herbs, spices and oils. This diet can help you watch your calcium intake, look out for that second glass of wine and develop a need to flip on a cooking show now and then.
While recommended for those with colitis, the gluten-free movement has expanded to a generous portion of the population. Gluten is a substance found in wheat that’s responsible for the elastic texture of dough. There are a wide range of products that are now being made without gluten, such as cereal, bread, pasta and crackers. Nutrition labels and ingredients lists are key in this diet. Ingredients like barley, bulgur, oats, rye and seitan can indicate gluten.
Clean eating is similar to the Paleo diet. They both cut out processed foods, but Paleo restricts all grains, legumes and dairy products. This diet would be more vegetarian friendly, because it allows for legumes, which provide protein. This can also decrease your grocery bill each month.
Regardless of which diet you think is right for you and your wellness goals, you should always talk to your primary care doctor before making significant diet changes. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, find a doctor near you or call 1-800-BayCare for a physician referral.