This time of year, makes so many people re-evaluate what they are going to change for the New Year. So, I figured it would be perfect timing to review the 5 American Food Tribes that everyone seems to be looking into. Which food tribe do you belong to? Maybe you are thinking about joining the members of a few different tribes and you need some help making a decision. Never fear, would-be food tribe member. I am here to help. Here is a quick look at 5 of the most popular diet plans in America. Which tribe will you join?
The Keto Diet
Eating fat is a good thing? When did this happen?
If the idea of eating fatty foods makes your mouth water, the ketogenic diet might be for you. You will be consuming large amounts of fats, moderate levels of protein and very few carbohydrates. The keto diet is so named because it puts your body in a state of ketosis where you burn fat for energy.
Eat fat to burn fat? This keeps sounding better and better.
It was developed in the 1920s for treating epilepsy. Fast-forward to the 21st century and going keto is all the rage. You get your body to burn fat by strictly limiting the amount of carbohydrates you consume. You need something for energy, and carbohydrates are a favorite fuel of the human body. If there aren’t any lying around, fat makes a wonderful energy replacement.
Each meal you eat plenty of healthy fat. You add a modest amount of protein and few to no carbohydrates. As a fat burner, this is a very efficient diet plan.
Some dietitians and nutritionists have a problem with eating keto because it is rather restrictive. The concern is that not enough nutrients and minerals are consumed.
There is also a problem with sustainability for a lot of people. Eating fewer than 50 or even 25 grams of carbs each day is just not doable for many folks. Still, if weight loss is your primary goal, the 75% fats/20% protein/5% carbs ratio of the keto diet might be for you.
Speaking of restrictive and hard to sustain especially where local, fresh and organic produce isn’t grown year around … introducing the Whole30 diet. If you really want to test your willpower, this is the plan for you. The idea is to rewire your desire for certain foods.
Ready to get started? No problem. All you have to do is remove all alcohol, beans and legumes from your diet, as well as dairy products, all grains and sugar. AND, you will also be eating food that has no more than two or three ingredients.
If this sounds tough, it really can be for a lot of folks. On the plus side, you don’t have to count calories or carbohydrates and measure or record your food intake. All you have to do is follow certain strict guidelines.
On the downside for the busy folks, you’re going to be cooking nearly all of your meals at home. This is a very difficult plan to follow if you eat out. On the upside, it has been proven to offer significant health benefits like more energy and noticeable weight loss. After 30 days (thus the 30 in the name) you slowly begin to add certain healthy foods to your diet.
The creators of the Whole30 diet say that after you cleanse your body of unhealthy food for 30 days, you won’t crave certain unhealthy food items like sugar, white flour and highly processed foods. Melissa Hartwig and her ex-husband Dallas Hartwig are the founders of the plan that they say can be the start of a new and healthy relationship with food.
Vegans are hard-core vegetarians. What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? A vegan will eat no animal products whatsoever. A vegetarian doesn’t eat animals, but will often eat food products that come from an animal, like dairy products or eggs.
If you don’t like to follow a lot of rules, you might want to try the healthy vegan lifestyle. There is just one rule – don’t eat animals.
This also means not eating products that come from animals. Many vegans decide to eat this way not only for the significant health benefits, but also for environmental and moral reasons. Growing and harvesting animals for food sources is harmful for the environment, and the animals are often treated very poorly. Many vegans will not only avoid animal food sources, but will not wear clothes made from animals.
So, what is the upside of being a vegan as far as your health is concerned?
Going vegan will get a wide variety of essential nutrients and vitamins into your body. This healthy way of eating significantly lowers your risk of developing heart disease, it improves your digestion and the function of your kidneys, and can drop blood sugar levels to a safe range. It is also great for weight loss and can help you avoid cancer. The big downside is that vegans don’t always get the essential fatty acids that our cells need to function and thrive. Also, vegans should watch their protein intake. Some vegans find they don’t get enough protein and calcium, vitamin B-12 and fatty acids. Supplementation can help in these regards.
What are the health benefits of fasting? You can maintain a healthy blood sugar level, fight inflammation and improve your heart health. Many studies show that a regular fasting practice lowers your risk of neurologically degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. You can also lose weight and reduce your chances of developing cancer or becoming a type II diabetic.
How do you fast? A popular method is to confine all your eating to an 8-hour window each day typically called intermittent fasting. You go 16 continuous hours without eating. You may also decide to fast for an entire day every now and then.
Another popular fasting variation is to choose two days a week and eat no more than 500 or 600 calories of food on those days. Fasting has been used for thousands of years to improve spirituality, focus and physical health. You can fast while you are the member of any food tribe and experiment with methods for the results.
Low Carb Diets
The keto diet certainly qualifies as low-carb. Diets that restrict carbohydrate intake have shown health benefits like quick weight loss and a boost in physical performance. You can realize better digestion, clearer skin and a reduced risk of developing disease or illness. Some other low-carb plans include the Atkins diet, Paleo diet and South Beach diet. The Whole30 plan also reduces the number of carbs you eat rather dramatically.
Any of those diets can lead to positive health benefits as long as you are careful. You want to eat lots of whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat raw food if you can. Aim for less than 50 grams of carbs each day for fast weight loss. When you start to see your weight approaching where you want it to be, boost your carb intake to between 50 and 100 grams. Weight maintenance usually happens while you eat 100 to 150 grams of carbs daily.
The key to any smart diet plan is to eat predominantly plant-based foods. The most long–term success you will see for your overall health and wellness is always going to center around eating fewer processed foods and more plant-based foods.
Do one of these food tribes stand out to you or have you been eating a particular way to improve your health? I would love to hear which one in the comments below. If you want help changing from the Standard American Diet to a Clean Eating Lifestyle start now by downloading my top FREE 15 Paleo-Recipes!
Wishing you well,
Hi! I'm Dr. Jessica
I’m Dr. Jessica Payne, Medical Intuitive, Doctor of Natural Medicine, and your go-to guide for living your life naturally…More
Check Out My Healthy Living Jumpstart
This program was born out of the need of my clients/friends/fellow strong mama's. Knowledge is power when it comes to your family's health. I provide that here!
My Top "15 Paleo Recipes That Never Fail"
These are my go-to Paleo Recipes that my family loves. Download them now for FREE. No mama should have to take this journey alone, Download now and we can do this together!!
How to Feast Holiday-Healthy: Family Favorite Recipes (and Desserts!) Oh, how I LOVE the holidays! The decorating, the food, friends, and family get-togethers. I love it all…except for one thing: The number of children and adults who come through my practice...
5 Things Only Working Moms Will Understand If you’re a working mom like me, you’ve probably heard it all. “Why don't you stay at home and take care of your kids? You can always pursue your career later.” “Aren't you concerned you will miss important...
10 Natural Ways to Protect and Boost Your Immune System Having a strong immune system can help you avoid contracting many illnesses and common colds, or at least reduce the time you must endure them. Who likes being home sick, right? Here’s the scoop:...