By: Mission Healthy Living
March 06, 2019
Healthy diets are a vital part of a person’s overall well-being, along with regular exercise. But there’s no magic diet that show results for everyone or fits every lifestyle. With so many competing diets and studies, it can be hard not only to choose what diet is right for you, but also to understand what’s fact or fiction with newer diets.
Here are the answers to five common questions about popular diets:
What is keto?
“Keto” is short for ketogenic, a diet that involves eating very few carbohydrates to trigger ketosis, a metabolic process in the body that burns fat for energy when carbs are low. In this way, a keto diet attempts to get the body to burn fat more effectively, helping a person lose weight. Often, this low carbohydrate diet is coupled with eating high-fat foods and avoiding sugar almost entirely.
Does “plant-based” mean “vegan”?
While they sound similar—and even overlap in places—plant-based and vegan diets differ in important ways. Someone on a plant-based diet is interested in consuming foods in their whole form (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes) instead of processed. But it doesn’t necessarily eliminate meat consumption. This can make a plant-based diet more attractive to someone who’s used to eating meat or serve as a first step toward veganism. In comparison, a vegan diet avoids any animal products whatsoever. However, there are plenty of snack items that are technically vegan (like cookies and potato chips), that would not fit the criteria for a plant-based diet.
Is paleo really based on what cavemen ate?
Yes. Sometimes referred to as the “caveman diet” or “stone age diet,” paleo is the practice of consuming only those foods available to humans during the Paleolithic era (2.6 million to about 10,500 years ago). That means high-protein, high-fiber foods like lean meats and fish, fruits, vegetables and healthier fats. Our prehistoric ancestors only had simple tools—so paleo excludes farmed and processed foods like grains, dairy, sugars, potato products and packaged goods.
What can you eat on the Mediterranean diet?
While there is no official Mediterranean diet to follow, the basic approach resembles the traditional diets of Italians and Greeks: fruits, vegetables, whole grain pasta and rice, and extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to meat, eating more fish and poultry is key, while red meat is limited—or eliminated altogether. Some practitioners use herbs and spices to flavor their foods instead of salt. And yes, it’s true—the Mediterranean diet involves drinking red wine in moderation (a rarity among popular diets).
How do you do the Whole30 diet?
The Whole30 program is not a diet that goes on continuously. Instead, it removes select groups of food from a diet for 30 days, including added sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy. The program also recommends not weighing in during the 30-day period (aside from the typical before and after milestones), and instead focusing on improvement of the whole body. Since the Whole30 is an official program, you can get more information directly from the source at Whole30.com.