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Diet Wars

This is prime time for all kinds of different diets and their proponents, which is causing confusion and divisions. Let’s take a look at some of the diets on offer:

  1. Low Carb – this usually means low amounts starchy veg and wholegrains. This means little fibre which is essential for the gut microbiome (more and more evidence on the importance of this). Can benefit in losing weight and in diabetes reversal.

  2. Vegan – Beware of the increasing market of ‘plant based foods’ which are often very processed and nutrient low. Can be restrictive leading to poor food choices. An alternative is ‘plant rich diets’ or ‘flexitarian’ diet. Elimination of dairy may be therapeutically used for some.

  3. Paleo – Theory is that this is closest to the diet of our ancestors as ‘hunter gatherers’. However, epigenetic changes mean that we have adapted to our environments and diet so not really possible to be ‘paleo’; food has changed too much. Paleo does cut out ultra processed foods but restrictive of wholefoods

  4. Carnivore diet – no scientific evidence for this. Our large gut is made to process plant foods

  5. Intermittent fasting – good data to show increase in longevity and good for weight loss. Can be easily adapted and integrated with healthy eating to boost benefits. However not suitable for everyone and problematic in people with disordered eating

  6. Mediterranean diet – not the only traditional healthy diet but one of the most studies with good evidence of it’s benefits. Moderate and easy to implement. Plant rich with small amounts meat. EVOO is a powerhouse of phytochemicals with lots of benefits.

Whatever dietary changes you choose, here are some principles to keep in mind:

  1. Food is a blessing to be enjoyed. Slow down and savour it and drop the guilt

  2. There is no one perfect diet and people react differently to different foods

  3. There is a difference between a healthy diet and a THERAPEUTIC DIET

  4. Cut out processed foods and eat more different coloured vegetables

Happy eating!

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