With so many choices it can get confusing to pick the right diet or nutrition plan. Are you curious about paleo, primal, keto, or one of the many other diets? I know you have heard me talk about bio-individuality before, but what exactly does that mean?
There is no one size fits all or perfect diet for everyone. This is the concept of bio-individuality of nutrition. Every individual needs to find the right types of whole foods that can restore balance to the body and promote optimal health. I want to discuss a few “diets” that are popular, many of which are also able to heal certain ailments. Many of the diets are complex, so I will give a brief overview of a few of them. If you are interested in additional information on a specific diet I can provide you with additional resources. What I want you to take away is knowledge on these different ways of eating. A one size fit all diet is not the answer to optimal wellness; finding a nutrition plan that is individual to your needs is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Do your research on different ways of eating, don’t just pick a diet because it worked for your best friend or neighbor. One specific way might work for you but a combination of several “diets” may work better. Trial and error will help you find YOUR plan. Once you find a nutrition plan that works for you I guarantee you will feel amazing.
Paleo: The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet. The basic idea behind it is that if cavemen didn’t eat it, neither should you. There is a little more to it than that. When following the paleo diet, you can eat anything that can be hunted and/or gathered back in Paleolithic era. On the paleo diet you will focus on eating meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. You should avoid processed foods, grains, legumes, soy, dairy and refined sugar.
Primal: The primal diet is very similar to the paleo diet and foods such as grains, soy, refined sugars, processed foods and vegetable oils should be avoided. The main difference between paleo and primal is that the primal diet allows the consumption of raw and/or full fat dairy products.
Ketogenic (Keto): The keto diet is a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet. On the diet you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, and replace it with fat and eat a moderate amount of protein. The low carbohydrate, high fat consumption puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which allows your body to efficiently burn fat for energy. Individuals with several health conditions including diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s have benefited from the Keto diet.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): The SCD was originally created to treat celiac disease. It is essentially a gluten free, grain free, lactose free, and refined sugar free diet. The diet limits the use of complex carbohydrates, disaccharides and polysaccharides, which are difficult to digest. The diet is used to naturally break the cycle of bacteria and yeast overgrowth by eliminating the foods that the bacteria and yeast feed on. On the SCD diet you are not allowed sugars such as lactose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, molasses, maltose, isomaltose, fructooligosaccharides or any processes sugar. Here is a link for a comprehensive list of foods that are allowed and not allowed when following the SCD diet.
GAPS: The GAPS diet is commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and autoimmune disease. It was inspired by the SCD diet. When following the GAPS diet you should eliminate processed foods, all grains, processed sugar, starchy carbs and potatoes, artificial chemicals and preservatives and conventional meat and dairy. Key foods when following GAPs are bone broth, steamed vegetables (non-starchy), organic wild meats, wild caught fish, egg yolks, fruit, avocado, healthy fats (coconut oil, ghee, olive oil), sprouted nut butters, probiotic rich foods and sea salt. The GAPS diet has many health benefits.
Autoimmune Protocol (AIP): The AIP is a diet that is designed to heal the immune system and the gut lining. AIP helps alleviate inflammation in the gut and the body. The diet eliminates foods that have been shown to cause leaky gut. Foods that should be avoided on AIP diet are all grains, legumes, all dairy, nuts and seeds, eggs, nightshades, refined seed oils, processed foods, sugars, starches, fruits, and yeasts. AIP is best used in cases of extreme autoimmunity.
Low FODMAP: The low FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet. It limits the intake of FODMAPs, which stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. FODMAPs are mainly found in dairy, legumes, many fruits and vegetables. The primary use of the low FODMAPs diet is to relieve digestive discomfort. It is restrictive and designed to be temporary with a period of elimination followed by a period of reintroduction of foods.
These are just a few of the most common diets that I encounter as a nutritionist working with my clientele. Most of my clients are on a combination of several of the above “diets”. I work with several clients with autoimmune diseases and not all of them are on a strict autoimmune protocol. We have worked to find the best nutrition plan for their individual needs. A nutrition plan does not, and should not, feel restricting for long term. When using nutrition as a tool for optimal health, it is a journey. You will discover things about your health along the way, it will not all happen at once. If you are interested in working with me to find the best nutrition plan for your individual needs send me a message and we can schedule a free 15 minute consultation.