Paleo, Keto or raw food? All you need to know which diet suits you the most
Do terms like keto, paleo and other diet fads confuse you? Hollywood star Halle Berry swears by keto, Blake Lively loves her juice cleanses. But you have no idea what would be good for your weight loss plans. The thing about fad diets is that they all come with tall claims (promise of quick weight loss), but do they help you lose weight or stay fit? We quiz two nutritionists to find out the pros and cons behind four popular fad diets.
Paleo diet: This diet urges followers to go back to the way our ancestors used to eat during the Paleolithic era. It involves eating lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, basically food that people used to hunt for.
Pros: Focus on whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits can be considered a clean diet. “Adopting a clean diet can keep your gut healthy. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits,” says Kejal Sheth, nutritionist and founder of Nutrivity.in, an online healthy lifestyle and weight-loss consultancy.
Apart from that, people who are intolerant to grains feel better when on this diet. “Paleo diet doesn’t contain any processed foods, very less saturated fats and sodium, so it’s a good choice for cardiovascular diseases and even for diabetics due to lower glycemic index foods,” says Parshant Wadhawan, consulting nutritionist, Viiking Trance fitness by Sachiin Joshi. Paleo diet is also good for fat loss and it helps increase insulin sensitivity, he adds.
Cons: Paleo diet can be an expensive affair since it focusses on consumption of lean meats, fish, among other things. The diet also leaves out an important food group – legumes or grains, which are a good source of soluble fiber. “It can also be a very restrictive diet for vegetarians,” adds Wadhawan.
Ketogenic diet: Often referred to as the keto diet, this diet involves drastically reducing the consumption of carbs and replacing it with fats.
Pros: The diet induces weight loss as it works harder to turn fat into energy. “It helps tackle skin issues such as acne, as it limits intake of refined carbs,” says Sheth.
According to Wadhawan, the diet is a good option for those suffering from diabetes as it contains very little carbs. “It has also shown promising results for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson, epilepsy, autism, bipolar and schizophrenia,” he adds.
Cons: The high fat content of this diet can lead to higher levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) aka bad cholesterol in the body. This also means that a well-informed dietician needs to monitor this diet. “People may end up picking the wrong kinds of fats, which may not be healthy,” says Sheth.
Juice Cleanse: A popular diet with many Hollywood celebrities like Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow, juice cleanse involves drinking only cold-pressed juices through the day for a certain period of time.
Pros: A juice cleanse can greatly benefit the health of your skin as your body is taking in a lot of vitamins and minerals (with antioxidant benefits) all at once. “A juice cleanse when followed strictly can give good rest to the digestive tract and helps detox by flushing out toxins,” says Wadhawan.
Cons: “Fruits are high in fructose, which can increase blood sugar levels rapidly. If followed over extended periods, a juice cleanse can cause protein and mineral deficiency,” says Sheth.
Apart from these missing nutrients, juice lacks fiber. This may cause digestive problems, gas and other gastric issues like inflammation. “This diet is the classic example of yo-yo diet. The weight loss experienced is not permanent,” adds Sheth.
Raw food diet: In this diet, people are encouraged to eat raw forms of foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Pros: Naturally this diet has high content of fiber, which helps improve the lipid profile. “It also helps lower inflammation in the body and improves digestion,” Sheth says. Following this diet could also result in clearer skin.
Cons: Be prepared for higher number of bathroom visits, bloating and gas. “This diet also lacks zinc, B12, deficiencies of which can lead to serious health conditions in the long run,” says Wadhawan.
So, what’s the best diet to lose weight you ask? A diet that is sustainable for a lifetime is the ideal one. Everything consumed in moderation, clean eating and exercise to keep you fit are tried and tested ways to lose weight.
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