Some of these diets for health and weight loss may be new to you but they all have something in common – they eliminate grains.
- PALEO DIET – A modern nutritional approach sometimes called the Stone Age diet or Caveman diet. The diet advocates eating a diet with plenty of unprocessed, meat and fish, non starchy vegetables and fruit and avoiding dairy products, grains, legumes, processed oils and refined sugar. Most people that try this diet feel much healthier in a short space of time, lose weight, have more energy and previously ill health and chronic aches and pains frequently disappear. The original premise of the Paleo diet was that we should return to the way we would have eaten in the Palaeolithic era but now most health and nutrition experts use the diet as a base for people who need to omit grains and dairy for health reasons and avoid sugar, processed foods and carbohydrates to loose weight and prevent chronic disease. this then becomes their own “Personalised Paleo diet” and they may be able to add in grains like rice and alternatives to wheat, rye and barley that have zero or less gluten. If you stick to a strict Paleo diet you will lose a lot of weight relatively easily and there is an endless supply of ideas, information and recipes on the internet. Whenever you leave out whole food groups you need to make sure that you get all the nutrients you need and with this regime you need to have healthy fats: coconut oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil but avoid trans-fats and too much Omega 6 fats. You also need to get enough vitamin B complex daily from red meat, organ meat, sunflower seeds, dried seaweed, liver pate, fresh oily fish, canned sardines, scallops and prawns.
- The PALEO KETOGENIC DIET– if you follow the full Paleo diet with no carbohydrates then it is a ketogenic diet which means that the body has to rely on fat for energy as opposed to a carb.-heavy western diet where the main source of energy is glucose, as carbs. are broken down into sugars whether they are grains, flours, sugar or alcohol. A Ketogenic diet will make you lose weight because it is easy for the body to burn the fat stored in the body when glucose is not so readily available. It can also heal some of the longer-term damage that has been brought on by the western diet as in insulin resistance. Appetite is also suppressed due to regulation of blood sugar levels. It has also been found beneficial for some neurological disorders like Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimers. Type 1 diabetics should monitor their insulin levels carefully and be monitored by their Doctor. It may not be good for anyone that does high intensity training or workouts as they will quickly exhaust the glycogen stored in their muscle tissue and become fatigued. They would need to match their exercise with additional sources of carbs. like sweet potato, banana, nuts or almond butter.
- The MEDITERRANEAN KETOGENIC DIET- consists of a higher proportion of fish as the main protein, olive oil and plenty of non-starchy vegetables plus a glass of red wine daily. This diet is very high in healthy fats and high in micronutrients with the antioxidant effect of the Resveratrol in red wine. In studies blood pressure improved, as did blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet is already high in magnesium but it would be even more necessary to take enough Vitamin B complex, probably as a supplement, to help avoid heart problems.
- The PALEO AUTOIMMUNE PROTOCOL – works on the the assumption that certain foods that can have an inflammatory effect in addition to the foods already eliminated (breads, potatoes, beans and dairy) should be eliminated if you have conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis. These are tomatoes, Aubergine (egg plant) peppers, chillies and the spices derived from them, nuts, seeds and eggs and they should be eliminated for about a month. If you have seen some improvement you should continue and then test each food, one at a time to see if any are triggers. This is not an easy process and I strongly recommend that you do it slowly and keep a food diary. Zinc, Vitamin D and the other supplements recommended above would be advisable due to the restrictive diet.
- THE FODMAP DIET – This a diet that originated in Australia for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The diet eliminates fermentable carbohydrates such as Apples, pears, peaches, mango, sugar-snap peas, watermelon, tinned fruit, milk, ice cream, yogurt,and cheese, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, onions, cereals, legumes, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms and all artificial sweeteners, to name just a few. Although this diet has been found to eliminate some of the symptoms of IBS in about 70% of people, it is highly restrictive and anyone with IBS should be looking at the possibilities of Dysbiosis, Candida, and leaky gut and treating it accordingly. See previous Posts.
- SCD Diet – the Specific carbohydrate diet designed to fix a Leaky gut and Candida infections. The diet eliminates sugars, starches and grains to starve out any yeast overgrowth. Good supplements like multivitamin, high amounts of Vitamin D and essential fish oils plus a Probiotic and Digestive enzymes like bromelain and papain to help digestion and calm inflammation.
All these diets have something in common and that is that they eliminate foods that are toxic and inflammatory in our bodies and that cause us problems with digestion and health.
- Cereal grains
- Omega-6 processed seed oils (corn, safflower, soya bean etc.)
- Processed soy products, milk, protein and flour.
So my advise is whether you have chronic disease or not – leave these out and introduce plenty of oily fish, fish, non-starchy vegetables and fruits, good quality meats, Olive oil and some fermented foods and a good Probiotic. Add in some starchy vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, carrots and occasional bananas, dates, figs and Brown Basmati rice when you can tolerate them and also to stabilise your weight when you have lost what you needed to. Avoid substituting “Free From” foods and Gluten free foods as much as possible because for every ingredient they take out they seem to add in 10! If you would like some alcohol then it is best to have dry wine or cider and to avoid grain spirits and mixers but beware that alcohol tolerance usually decreases when you are on a Ketogenic diet.
Other Ketogenic diets for weight loss rather than health are The Atkins Diet and the Dukan Diet and the same supplement recommendations apply to those. I personally do not agree with extreme low carb diets for more than 1-2 weeks and during that time it is important to not have alcohol as you are already putting stress on your liver and blood sugar regulating mechanism. A moderately low carb high nutrition approach will give long lasting results.