Keto, CICO, IF, Vegan, Paleo… there are so many diet trends / eating philosophies and versions of the ‘optimum’ eating habits it can be hard to keep up. While we’re fans of a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods and listening to your body, we also like to know what the deal is.
We consulted our resident Nutritionist and Chef extraordinaire to give us the quick run down on 5 of the top food philosophies that people are talking about and what they actually are.
Keto and Ketotarian:
Ketosis is a state where the body uses an alternative metabolic pathway to produce energy from fats for energy rather than carbohydrates. This can help to manage blood sugar and weight management. On a keto diet, 70% of your energy comes from fat. Depending on your diet preference these fats can be from animal sources such as ghee, butter or lard, or on a plant-based diet from avocados, nuts and coconut oil. Your carbohydrate intake is low-typically 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. The down side of a keto diet is symptoms such as constipation, bad breath, “keto flu” and possible macro-nutrient deficiency.
CICO stands for “Calories in, Calories out” and is a diet based on you can eat anything as long as your total calorie intake for that day is in deficit to what you burn. Although it sounds like a “have your cake and eat it” type diet- this can lead to macronutrient deficiencies and blood sugar management issues if you are swapping your oats and blueberries for a mars bar. So to get the most out of this diet keep to nutrient rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and healthy fats rather than treat foods.
A vegan diet, that is a diet that excludes all animal products, including honey, dairy, eggs and meat is becoming increasingly popular. Its benefits include lowering cholesterol and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease; as well as having less environmental impacts than a meat based diet. Although a vegan diet can meet all nutrient requirements it does require planning and knowledge to ensure levels of iron, zinc and B12 are met.
This diet is based on eating foods similar to that of what we ate in the paleolithic era including lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This is believed to be more genetically matched to what our body can digest helping weight management, diabetes and heart disease. The down side of this diet is it emphasizes game or wild caught meat or fish which can be expensive. It also omits grains, legumes and dairy which are good sources of macronutrients and fibre.
Intermittent fasting (IF) involves having a longer period of time between meals eg skipping breakfast or fasting for a whole day on water only. The benefit is that you don’t need to count calories, you simply omit a meal, making it easy to follow. Whilst weight loss occurs due to the simple equation of fewer calories in than out, there have been some studies showing that fasting can also activate cellular mechanisms that boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Its is advised that you consult your doctor before starting this diet.
Do you follow a particular eating philosophy?
With any dramatic change in diet or exercise, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional to ensure that it’s a good fit for you. We’re all unique individuals and what works well for one person may not suit another as well. So, you do what’s best for you xx