A healthy lifestyle starts with choosing the right diet for your nutritional needs. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for your body and mind.
Nothing difficult here.
Yet with the choice of diets out there – keto, vegetarian, paleo, pescatarian and more – it’s not easy to decide on the one that’s right for you. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which way of eating is best suited to your needs and tastes – no pun intended.
We’re here to help. From keto to vegetarian and from paleo to pescatarian, here’s a look at what each of these diets entails and how they can help you live a healthier, tastier life.
The ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat approach. Originally developed as an effective treatment for epilepsy, it’s been found to help people with obesity and other weight-related issues such as Type 2 diabetes. The keto diet involves reducing carbohydrates, so that the body enters ketosis – a metabolic state where it uses stored fat instead of carbs to produce energy. Many keto followers also limit their intake of protein in order to keep ketone levels high.
Vegetarianism is another dietary choice popular with health enthusiasts. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegetarians emphasize the consumption of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, which are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Besides the potential health benefits of this type of diet, such as improved heart health, vegetarianism may also reduce exposure to food-borne illnesses caused by contaminated meats or fish.
Paleolithic diets are based on the belief that modern humans should eat what our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era – a period lasting from around 2.5 million years ago until the agricultural revolution, when, some 10 000 years ago, humans began consuming grains and dairy products more regularly than before. As such, paleo diets are focused on eating whole unprocessed foods like grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, nuts and seeds, and avoiding the processed foods and added sugars that have become commonplace in modern diets.
Pescatarians follow a partial vegetarian diet that includes fish but eliminates red meat and poultry, although it may still include eggs and dairy, depending on personal preference. This type of diet can provide adequate amounts of the essential omega-3 fatty acids found mostly in seafood, which makes it beneficial for overall heart health, while offering the added benefit of providing other essential vitamins and minerals like iron and vitamins B12 and D, all needed for the proper functioning of the human body.
Keto diets, vegetarianism, and paleo lifestyles all offer unique benefits that can promote good health and wellness along with quality nutrition. Ultimately, when it comes to choosing the right dietary plan, it boils down to understanding what works best for you and your individual needs.
Don’t Skimp on the Research
By seeking out information in authoritative sources, whether in book form or online, followers of keto will find numerous meal plans and delicious recipes that help boost energy levels while sticking to the keto guidelines; vegetarians can learn about ways to obtain key nutrients without resorting to eating meat; and paleo fans will gain insight into why some dairy products should be avoided.
Look for scientific research that supports each diet’s ability to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health, mental clarity, and weight management. Healthy skepticism is good, so seek out information on why certain dietary restrictions may be detrimental (or beneficial) depending on individual circumstances.
There’s no single approach that works for everyone, which is why nutrition plans need to be tailored on the basis of factors such as age, gender, activity levels, medical history, and lifestyle preferences. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle overall, considering the options described above is a good first step on the road to understanding what will work best for you.