Being “on a diet” isn’t particularly fun. Diets often mean restricting ourselves from certain foods in order to achieve better overall health, and finding the right diet to suit individual needs can be a bit overwhelming. With so many different options available, how do we know which ones are legit and which are phony? Or even more important, how do we know which one will actually work based on our own individual needs?
Of course, consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any diet or exercise program. What all of these have in common is an emphasis on eating nutrient-rich foods, eliminating processed food, and learning how to create a healthy relationship with the food we need to eat in order to live. A healthy eating plan paired with a healthy fitness plan, based on your abilities and needs, will yield healthy results. Here’s a quick summary of some of today’s hottest food plans: Paleo, Keto, DASH, Mediterranean, Whole30, MIND, and Raw Food.
Paleo and prehistoric go hand in hand. The paleo method looks at the “hunter-gatherer” diet of humans during the Paleolithic era: fish, nuts, meat, leafy greens, regional vegetables, eggs, and healthy oils. Most of the foods our paleolithic ancestors ate are now extinct, and certain foods available to us now are on the “avoid” list, like dairy, grains, soy, and processed foods. Fruit should be eaten in moderation, as one of the goals is to decrease sugar intake; although fruits that are lower in sugar are OK.
Interest in and movement towards a paleo-style diet have been around since the 1970s, with the diet becoming more and more popular over recent years. People in the fitness world or those with digestive issues have all found some form of relief and benefit from a paleo diet.
We can’t really eat like our paleolithic ancestors because our food supply simply isn’t the same as it was during paleolithic age. And of course, as time has passed and technology improved, so too did the lifestyles and foods of our ancestors. So, while we can’t eat an authentic paleo diet, we can simulate the intention and idea. Consuming more leafy greens and vegetables, eating more protein, and avoiding added sugar and processed foods are all good ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.