It’s impossible to keep up with all of the newest diet trends. As one fades, another takes its place. Then the first one comes back into fashion again. Keto, paleo, the Mediterranean diet – who knows what these are? Not all diet trends are founded on strong scientific research. So, let’s explore which diet trends are legitimate and which are just a passing fad.
The ketogenic (keto) diet’s trademark features are virtually no carbohydrates and high consumption of fat. Is this type of food actually good for you? Many people claim to lose lots of weight and feel fantastic when they are on this diet. Common foods eaten are bacon, avocado, and eggs. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and carrots must be avoided due to their carbohydrate content.
The science behind this diet is that when you consume an extremely low amount of carbs, you are starving yourself of the glucose this provides. Glucose fuels your body and without it, your body starts burning fat for energy. This is what is known as ketosis.
Keto is designed to help your body attain this state of ketosis so that you can burn fat and lose weight. So, is it worth the hype? Many dieticians say not really. You might lose weight and burn fat if you can stick to it. However, it is so restrictive that it is exceptionally hard to stay on this diet. It’s not a sustainable way to eat in the long term, so our ruling is that it’s more of a fad.
The paleo diet is also known as the ‘caveman diet’, as the plan is based on foods that were consumed before processed food took over. Foods commonly eaten on the paleo diet include fish, meat, vegetables, seeds, fruit, and nuts. Essentially, these are anything that would have been able to be hunted or gathered in the past. Foods that you can’t eat on this diet include dairy products, legumes, and grains.
The idea behind paleo is to return to a natural way of eating. Farming has revolutionised how and what we eat, and some people believe that we should be eating only unprocessed foods. The hypothesis is that food practices have changed so quickly that our bodies haven’t been able to adapt.
The paleo diet can help you to lose weight, as you will naturally be eating less saturated fats and carbs coming from processed foods. However, there hasn’t yet been sufficient research done on the diet to prove whether it has greater health benefits than any other healthy diet. That doesn’t necessarily land it into the fad category, however. Whether the paleo diet is fab or a fad remains to be seen.
The Mediterranean diet is certainly a well-known one as it has been around for a while now. When thinking about what people eat in the Mediterranean, your mind may jump to pasta from Italy or lamb from Greece. However, these aren’t staples of the Mediterranean diet. The diet consists of eating mostly vegetables and fruit as well as legumes, nuts, and beans. The foods you should eat less of include meat, chicken, and dairy. These aren’t banned from the diet, just consumed in lower quantities. However, one of the defining features of the Mediterranean diet is that it also requires you to live an active lifestyle and share your meals with others. Most other diets don’t cover these types of factors.
The idea behind the Mediterranean diet is to eat how those in the Mediterranean did back in the 60s. This was before there were a whole lot of processed foods around. Also, the people living in this area had incredibly low rates of chronic disease at the time, so some people have drawn a correlation.
One potential benefit of following this diet includes preventing heart disease. This is due to the low intake of red meat and lack of processed foods. A study on the Mediterranean diet found evidence which suggested that adhering to the diet can reduce blood pressure levels and vascular inflammation markers. This adds plausibility to the idea that the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. So, this diet trend might be more fact than fiction!
Learn to See Beyond Diet Trends
If you want to know more about the effects of different foods on the body, you may be interested in studying Certificate IV in Weight Management. Through this course of study, you will learn:
- how mindset and psychology affect weight management
- the nutritional science behind meal planning
- physiology and anatomy principles for weight management
… and so much more! You will learn to see beyond diet trends and be able to advise others on what foods are good for them and which they should skip. Help others to get healthy and learn more about nutrition through this certificate.
After you have completed this study, you will be able to work as a health coach, weight loss consultant, nutrition coach, or wellness coach.
Contact the College of Health and Fitness today to get your career in nutrition kickstarted.