Should you follow the Paleo diet?


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Should you follow the Paleo diet?

Jul 17, 2017 0 comments

One of the most common questions I get asked as a nutrition coach is what I think of a certain popular diet.

Generally speaking, as long as a diet provides proper nutrition and enough calories for your body’s needs, and is centered on real (NOT processed) foods if it’s something that works for you, great.

Now, the latest buzz in the diet world is…

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet centers on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by our caveman ancestors, consisting mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits, and excluding dairy, legumes, sugars, starches (except for an occasional potato or yam), grain products and all forms of processed food. 

A lot of people have enjoyed tremendous benefits from the Paleo Diet, but at the same time, just as many others feel fine eating reasonable amounts of grains (not to excess and NOT refined) or drinking milk, which provides nutritional benefits of their own.

Here are some other diets that some people have sworn by, yet others have sworn at!:

The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet is based on hormonal responses that are generated by eating certain types of foods and stresses proteins and healthy fats.  It limits high-glycemic carbohydrates like grains, pasta, breads, rice and other starches, as well as proteins rich in arachidonic acid like egg yolks, fatty red meats, and organ meats.

Over the long term, this diet can be acid-forming and contribute to constipation if not enough vegetables are eaten.

The Atkins Diet

Atkins is similar to the Zone Diet—high in protein and fat and low carbohydrate (mainly vegetables and occasional fruit).  Constipation can be an issue during the early phases of the diet when carbohydrate consumption is extremely limited.

The Blood Type Diet

The Blood Type Diet is based on the theory that certain types of proteins (lectins) in foods will either be accepted or rejected by each of the blood types, and each blood type has certain foods that should be avoided.

The same reasoning applies to securing blood for a transfusion.  You can’t receive transfused blood with a blood type different from yours because your body will reject the lectins in the “mismatched” blood to the point where it can actually kill you.

This diet has had mixed results with some people feeling great, others having bad reactions, and some seeing no change at all.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet stresses fresh, local foods in season and includes meat, fish, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits, with the fat of choice being olive oil.

It has pretty consistently been touted as a very healthy diet, and certainly, the variety of foods in their freshest states contributes to that.

Vegetarian Diet

Most vegetarians either completely avoid or severely restrict their intake of animal products.  Some eat fish and/or poultry, but no red meat.  Other have non-flesh proteins like eggs and dairy.

The strictest level of vegetarianism (vegan) avoids all animal-derived products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and even honey.

With any type of vegetarianism, two of the main concerns are getting adequate protein and a possible vitamin B12 deficiency.  It requires good planning to ensure nutritional needs are met.

Raw Food Diet

This involves eating foods that are uncooked—sometimes including meat and fish.  Grains and beans must be sprouted before eating.

People living in warmer climates do better on this diet than those in sub-freezing temperatures, as there is less warmth generated from eating raw plant foods. 

The Ornish Diet

This is a very high plant- and grain-based diet, with almost no animal foods, and fats are limited to 10 percent of total intake or less. 

Inadequate fat intake is the primary concern here—fats are crucial to the nervous system (including your brain), and are necessary to make hormones, so endocrine disruptions can be an issue.

Which one is BEST?

The answer to that question is: It depends on what’s called your biochemical individuality.

Even though we humans are all put together very similarly, our bodies are also uniquely different—some of us require more of certain nutrients or types of foods than others.

That’s why NO ONE DIET is 100 percent perfect for everyone across the board.

The best diet for you is the one that makes you feel good, have enough energy, and control your weight.

As long as it provides a variety of nutrients, emphasizes real foods and limits processed, refined and fast foods, you’re on the right track.

What CAN help just about everyone

Having the best diet that works for you is only half of the nutrition picture.

The other half is making sure that your digestion is efficient and your gut wall is healthy, so you’re absorbing and assimilating the nutrients you’re taking in, as well as curbing gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation.

Here’s how to accomplish these two important goals:

1- Make your meals easier to digest

The Great Taste No Pain health system can guide you on how to construct meals that are much easier for your system to digest.

Great Taste No Pain is NOT a diet—it is based in the dietary science of food combining which recognizes that different foods require different types of enzymes to be broken down…and when opposing enzymes (acid and alkaline) are present in the stomach together, they can weaken and neutralize each other…

Throwing your digestion out the window!

Great Taste No Pain can be used alongside virtually ANY kind of diet!  There are just a few meal-structuring points to remember, and what a difference it can make in how you feel after eating when you help your digestion get off to a good start!

2- Supplement with probiotics

No matter what kind of diet you have, strong gut health is a MUST.

But since there are so many factors around us that can disrupt your friendly flora balance (including medications, tap water, smoking, stress, toxins and GMO foods) a full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield is essential for most people. 

Super Shield gives your gut a welcome daily boost of friendly, helpful flora that can help encourage sound digestion and nutrient absorption, and also support your immune system!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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