As I thought about what to eat today on this cold day in Toronto, I decided to write about some different diets or ways of eating and some of my thoughts on them. There are a million ways of eating these days, from intermittent fasting to paleo, and it's hard to know what to do!
My bottom line is always to do what feels good in YOUR body! Listen to your body and learn from what it tells you. I've had patients who have gotten rid of their heartburn by going paleo, I have patients who have way better energy levels when they eat vegan, I have patients who lose weight when they start intermittent fasting. There are pros & cons to all ways of eating, but what is most important is to figure out what works for you. There is no one size fits all when it comes to eating. To complicate things further, I also do food sensitivity testing by Rocky Mountain Analytical on some patients when things just aren't making sense - and then we try to fit those results into the kind of eating that feels best in their body. If you want to discuss healthy eating, and what that means to your body - please come in for an appointment and talk to me about it!
pros - it often feels satisfying to eat paleo foods because they tend to be higher in fat.
- it encourages whole food eating, because there's no refined carbs or starches are allowed
- it encourages eating lots of vegetables (except for the starchy ones!)
- it's good for blood sugar stabilization because of the lack of processed sugars
- it contains heart healthy nuts & seeds
cons - you can eat bacon on this diet, which although tasty, is not a healthy choice
- legumes and pulses aren't allowed on this diet, and they can be a fibre rich healthy source of protein
- it eliminates whole food groups, so does not subscribe to my favourite idea of moderation
- dairy is not allowed on this diet, so you have to be more conscious about where you'll get calcium from
pros - if done properly has been shown to reverse heart disease
- with legumes & pulses as a main source of protein, it tends to be a very high fibre diet
- with the lack of animal protein, people usually eat way more fruits & veggies
- it is amazing for the environment!
- it tends to be a very anti-inflammatory diet for your body
cons - it takes a lot of effort and organization to eat a healthy & balanced vegan diet
- most vegan diets have to supplement with Vitamin B12 which is a vitamin mainly found in animal products
- eating so many pulses & legumes can lead to gas & bloating in many people
pros - it can be an easy way to lose weight by keeping your body in a fat burning mode for more hours of the day/night
- it can help boost the immune system
- it gives your digestive system a break
- you can eat from all food groups
cons - some people get really hungry or hangry!
- it can be hard on blood sugar levels, i.e. not good for diabetics
- it can be hard to get all the nutrient dense foods into your body in a shorter time period
- it's not a great idea if you don't have weight to lose
- it's not for you if you take medications or supplements that have to be taken with food in the morning
pros - a well balanced way of eating
- shown to be helpful in preventing heart disease & cancer
- without focus on portion control it will not lead to weight loss
- it contains all food groups
cons - it can be expensive and time consuming to cook the amazing and fresh whole foods