What’s the Scoop?
With all the new trends and technology, it seems like there are new “hazardous” food discoveries being made more and more often. And when someone discovers something that works for them, they are feverishly passionate about getting everyone on their bandwagon.
There is no denying the healthy benefits of the various different diets that are out there. The positive side to many of them are that they can be a very healthy life change, rather than trying a diet that will only last a month and you will be back to ground zero once you quit. But, let’s break down two of the top trending diets and see what the big deal is.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For about 1 in 10 adults, gluten is indigestible. Some of the theories of gluten intolerance are related to the way food is made today. Gluten is naturally in many foods, but they way breads are made today give less time for gluten to be broken up in the leavening process as well as an increase in concentrated gluten.
Celiac disease affects about 1% of the population and gluten has the potential to cause diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, depression, abdominal pain and other uncomfortable conditions. Some people are only affected by a gluten sensitivity and about 90% of adults aren’t affected by gluten at all, but many people have found that by eliminating gluten they have increased energy, healthy weight loss, better digestion etc…
For gluten-free diets, you need to avoid three grains: wheat, barley and rye. Items such as rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat are all safe!
The Caveman Diet
Paleo, short for Paleolithic is exactly as it sounds. The lifestyle is based on eating like the “cavemen” ate. Some of the benefits of this diet are said to be increased energy and libido, slowing or reversal of autoimmune disease progression, improvement of acne, reduce heart disease risk etc…
An article in Huffington Post described their opinion on the negative aspects of the Paleo lifestyle. “The assertion is simple: diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease are illnesses “of civilization” and so, to combat the ill effects of the modern diet, we should return to a pre-civilization, hunter-gatherer diet of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. That means all gains from the agrarian revolution — grains, dairy, legumes, salt and sugars — are off the menu…Although in theory this may seem like a sensible diet, particularly when removing sugar and salt, it has eliminated several food groups like dairy and grains, which provide essential nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus in dairy and B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants in grains,” says Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Legumes also provide a great protein source with little fat and lower in calories while providing essential nutrients and fiber.”
This infographic from the Greatist is a cute breakdown of the Paleo diet for you!
Both diets can tricky because they are often more beneficial if you start making your own food. Many store bought gluten-free foods or paleo friendly meals have twice the calories and less fiber and other nutrients you need, so it’s important to pay attention to what you are buying and be intentional with the meals you create.
In the end, the most important thing is to do what works for you. One of the best ways to see if any of these specialty diets is effective is to try it for a week or two and see if you feel different. If you notice a positive change, physically, internally and mentally…stick to it! It may be worth it. Or, perhaps the change wasn’t significant enough for you to make the switch.
If you are interested in trying out one of these diets, here are 5 delicious blogs full of recipes for you to get a taste of the trend!
Tell us your opinions on the matter on Twitter and Facebook!