Keto vs. Paleo vs. Plant-Based – What is the Best Diet?
- Posted on: Feb 5 2020
What is the best, healthiest diet for you?
This question is fiercely debated amongst the most knowledgeable nutritionists and physicians, without one clear winner. In this newsletter, I’d like to offer you my thoughts on some of the most popular diets in the United States (and around the world):
1. Standard American Diet (SAD Diet) – Our diet is roundly vilified for being one of the worst in the world. Processed foods, unnecessary chemicals, factory-farmed meat full of antibiotics, dairy packed with hormones, and tons of sugar and salt make this the diet to avoid.
2. Ketogenic Diet – One of the most popular “fad” diets today, is the keto diet the answer to your health problems? Maybe. This is a diet that is high in fat, low in carbs, and moderately low in protein. The goal is to be so carb-light that your body creates ketones which can help your brain function better and aid in weight loss. This diet is being used with impressive results in people with neurologic disorders, like epilepsy, and may even play a part in preventing and reversing dementia. The problem with this diet is the lack of fiber, fruit, and its potential impacts on heart health.
3. Atkins Diet – This diet is high in fat and protein and low in carbs. I consider it a dumbed down version of keto. Years ago, people would follow this diet as a way to rationalize eating a ton of meat and cheese. How terrible! Although it can result in rapid weight loss, it’s very difficult to maintain, and the lack of fiber and phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables is bad for your gut, your heart, your skin, and much more. Avoid!
4. Vegan / Plant-Based Diet – This diet is as much an ethical choice as it is a health choice. The vegan diet contains no animal products at all (unlike vegetarians who may eat eggs and dairy). A low fat, whole foods, vegan/plant-based diet (no unhealthy vegan foods like Captain Crunch cereal) is proven to be the best diet for your heart. It may also be arguably the best diet to prevent cancer. I cover the health benefits of the plant-based diet in several episodes of my podcast with guest Dr. Joel Kahn. You can access them by clicking HERE.
5. Modified Paleo Diet – A lot of my functional medicine colleagues recommend this diet to their patients and have seen remarkable improvements in gut health, autoimmune disease, chronic pain, and more. In general, this diet is low in carbs, gluten-free, dairy-free, and rich in organic vegetables and choice meats (grass fed, free range, wild caught). It also does not contain processed foods. Other names for essentially a modified paleo diet are Dr. Mark Hyman’s Pegan Diet and Dr. Terry Wahls’ anti-autoimmune diet.
Overall, I believe the Vegan/Plant-Based Diet and the Modified Paleo Diet are the best diets for your overall health, depending on how you feel about eating meat and your current state of health. Keep in mind that we all process food in our own individual ways, so there is no one diet that is best for everyone.
Here are the latest episodes of my podcast, The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show. Please SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss a single information-packed show!
Episode #175– How to Fix Your Sugar Brain with Dr. Mike Dow – Do you have a “sugar brain?”
Sugar brain is the term coined by my guest this week, Dr. Mike Dow. It describes the actual physical shrinkage that occurs when you eat too much sugar and other unhealthy foods. Yes, eating too much sugar can actually make your brain smaller!
On this episode, we dive deep into sugar brain and its connections to how you feel, how your brain functions, and your eating habits. For example, did you know that the food you eat can have major effects on anxiety and depression? Or that such acts as obsessive eating, emotional eating, and binge eating can fuel sugar brain? And Dr. Mike explains why he believes a combination of a ketogenic and Mediterranean diet is the best for your overall health, longevity, and avoiding the sugar brain.
Episode #174 – Holistic Pelvic Health – How to Deal with the Changes that Happen “Down There” with Dr. Betsy Greenleaf – Menopause and perimenopause bring with them major changes to the pelvic region, specifically to the vagina. The vaginal walls can thin and atrophy, making intercourse difficult and even painful. There is also an increase in recurrent vaginitis and urinary tract infections. So what causes these changes to occur, and what can you do about them or even prevent them from becoming a problem?
On this episode, I’m joined by the nation’s first female board certified urogynecologist. She’ll give us the latest information on holistic health of the pelvic region, including why changes in pH and bacteria inside the vagina can create major impacts. We’ll discuss why she doesn’t recommend estrogen pills, which topical products she does recommend, and she’ll give us the straight scoop on vaginal rejuvenation lasers. Are they really all that?
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