There are so many “diets” out there who can keep up? Am I supposed to eat eggs or not eat eggs? This week I am vegan but then an hour later I crave steak, forget I am vegan and head out to burgers with the girls! Oh, Paleo sounds good, oh darn it, I had beans in my chili and now I am not Paleo anymore. Who can keep up? Well, here’s your guide to our most common fad diets and the things you’ll get out of each one.
Is there a cookie cutter plan out there that is a one size fits all? No. I highly stress eating for you and you only. What your body specifically needs is not what someone else’s body needs. Your needs will be based on medication usage, activity level and type of activity, food allergies and sensitivities, religion, preference, food likes and dislikes, and convenience.
Here’s our guide to help you figure out what might work best for you:
Diet #1 Vegetarian-Reasons for following a vegetarian diet are varied but include health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Yet some vegetarians rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. And they may not eat enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, thus missing out on the nutrients they provide.
However, with a lot of planning, a vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them all.
-Types of vegetarian diets
When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude:
- Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.
- Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
- Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.
- Pollotarian diets exclude meat, dairy and fish, but allow poultry.
- Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.
Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.
Pro’s to vegetarian: Eating easier to digest foods, eating a rainbow of foods, if done correctly very preventative to certain diseases
Con’s to vegetarian: If not done correctly, a higher sugar intake of foods (due to eating mainly all carbohydrates), risk being B12 deficient, risk being anemic, if not focusing on eating a pairing of foods or a lot of vegetables one would risk not having enough nutrition, especially if very active.
Diet #2 Atkins-The Atkins diet was originally promoted by a physician named Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about the diet in 1972.
Since then, the Atkins diet has been popular all over the world and many more books have been written about it.
Unlike vegetarian, Atkins is low in carbohydrates and very high in fat and protein. The main reason low-carb diets can be effective for weight loss, is when people reduce carbohydrate intake and eat more protein, their appetite goes down and they end up automatically eating fewer calories without having to think about it.
Pro’s to Atkins Diet-Due to a higher fat and protein ratio to carbohydrate one will be fuller longer and may not over eat as much.
Con’s to Atkins Diet-Your brain only uses glucose for fuel having a diet low in carbohydrates we risk starving our brains of fuel.
Diet #3-Paleo-This style of eating has one eat a wide variety of proteins from as many animal sources as possible. One need not and should not avoid fatty cuts of meat, particularly if consuming pastured sources. An often-overlooked piece of the paleo diet in popular culture is an over-reliance on standard cuts of meat, at the expense of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources. The paleo diet has a standard saying of “Eat like a cave man.” When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything you could hunt or gather way back in the day, things like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, seasonal veggies, and seeds.
Pro’s to Paleo: Very low risk of developing diabetes, can keep one full and satisfied for weight loss, easy to prepare foods, can aid in bringing inflammation down because of eliminating processed foods.
Con’s to Paleo: Long term paleo eating can cause an acidic effect on the body. Eating primarily only acidic foods can cause your pH balance in the blood to be off. When this happens, your body has to pull calcium out of your bones to neutralize the pH balance. For people who have or have a family history of osteoporosis or osteopenia you may want to rethink Paleo.
Diet #4 Keto Diet-A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF). Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. According to the website ruled.me, we don’t force our body into a metabolic state through starvation of calories, but starvation of carbohydrates (paragraph 5). Try to remember that keto is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. Your nutrient intake should be something around 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate (paragraph 28).
Pro’s of Keto Diet: Quick weight loss, forces the body to use fat storage as energy, keeps the body in a neutral pH balance
Con’s of Keto Diet: Hard to sustain long term, effects of the ketogenic diet are eating a wrong ratio of high fat foods and minimal carbohydrates. When your body consumes large amounts of unhealthy fat, we risk heart diseases.
Diet #5 Eating For Health-Eating for Health is a system—not a diet—developed by Dr. Ed Bauman, as an alternative to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) dietary recommendations and other one-size-fits-all dietary approaches. It seeks to strategically develop food plans for people rather than having them eat according to a food model that has worked for some but not all people. According to Dr. Bauman, this food model features fresh, whole foods that align with people’s needs, preferences, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, with attention paid to changes in seasons, situations, aging, and health challenges.
Pro’s of Eating for Health: It is customized to the likes and needs of the individual, it treats the whole person not a just one component, it can help to alleviate symptoms, illness, and disease.
Con’s of Eating for Health: Weight loss can be slow because it does not restrict calories verses eating for health not weight loss, although some recipes can be simple, it does require one to prepare and plan what they are going to eat.
As a holistic nutritionist, my approach will always be to help guide a person to complete health. I never believe in restricting calories, only eating one type of food, or not having a proper ratio of macronutrients for that specific person. I support Eating For Health and the “eating the rainbow” approach. I think it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods so you don’t risk running deficient in any vitamins or minerals. Eating what you need for your specific body is most important.
We hope this helps guide you a little on the most recent ways trending out there to eat. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!
“Eating for Health®.” Bauman College, www.baumancollege.org/eating-for-health/.
“The Vegan Diet – A Complete Guide for Beginners.” Healthline, Healthline Media,
“What Is the Ketogenic Diet? A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide.” Ruled Me, 13 Jan. 2018,