This is a health post by Ellie Jo.
Different diets come and go and there seems to be no end to the new and inventive ways that dietitians and health professionals can come up with healthy and original diets to suit everybody no matter their situation or health needs. The world as we know it has never been more health-conscious and since the start of the pandemic more and more people are looking for ways to stay healthy since they can’t go outside as much as they would like in order to exercise.
While you should always seek medical advice before starting any particularly life-altering diet, there’s a wealth of information available on the internet about many diets from slimming and toning to extreme weight loss and muscle gain. Find your TDEE to check your energy expenditure.
The last 10 years have seen a variety of diets, some of which were essentially “fads” but some diets have become almost necessary and seem to be very popular amongst dietitians, health enthusiasts and the public alike. These include:
The keto diet seems to be a healthier version of the notorious Atkins diet and is currently very popular while gluten free contains many health benefits, not just for those who might be allergic and the vegan diet has quickly become a popular choice for those looking to reduce meat consumption.
The keto diet is essentially A healthier reworking of the Atkins diet whereby a very low amount of carbohydrates are consumed and replaced by a high-fat diet. The name derives from the word ketosis which is the state in which the body composes itself as it produces ketones from the fat that is consumed in order to use them for the appropriation of energy rather than that of carbohydrates. This method has the effect of suppressing appetite whereby weight loss is very easy to achieve in a short space of time while adhering to this type of diet.
Sticking to a keto diet can be quite difficult though since there is a large number of prohibited items that one cannot consume in order to maintain an optimal keto diet. Protein powders, for example, which are commonly used in the replacement of food usually cannot be consumed when on a keto diet, however, rice protein powder (here’s a great place to get started) is a relatively new supplement that can be consumed while on this regimen. Many items that are considered healthy such as rice, quinoa and oats are not to be consumed while on a keto diet but rather healthy food items high in natural fat are encouraged such as cheese, eggs and yoghurt.
The gluten-free diet was once seen as a fad diet however those that suffer from Celiac disease can actually die from the intake of gluten which is found in almost every pre-packaged and pre-prepared food containing derivatives of wheat, rye and barley. Coeliac disease is a very serious condition in which a person is highly allergic to gluten and exposure to it can result in anaphylactic shock or death similar to those with a peanut allergy. However, the health benefits of a gluten-free diet have been recognized by many people including dietitians and physicians since gluten intake by even those without celiac disease can cause a number of issues with the human body.
Gluten intolerance is a serious condition that can cause a number of unpleasant issues such as diarrhoea, heartburn and acid reflux and skin conditions such as exacerbating eczema. Those who adhere to a gluten-free diet report losing weight, feeling better mentally and an improvement in physical energy since those with gluten intolerance have been shown to suffer an iron deficiency resulting in anemia from the regular intake of gluten from various sources such as pastries, cakes or wheat-based drinks such as beer.
The past couple of years has seen the vegan diet explode and infiltrate every corner of modern society and culture. The reason for the success of vegan-based diets comes not only from the health benefits of reducing meat consumption but also the growing public awareness of the outdated and sometimes brutal treatment of animals that are to be used within the meat production chain and processed for human consumption. Of course, there are also other extenuating circumstances surrounding the reduction of the consumption of meat, not least those associated with virus and contamination such as salmonella and suspected Covid-19.
Another concern is the expansion of land mass that is to be used for the production of animal feed rather than for the production of fresh vegetables to be consumed by the population of the planet. Currently, approximately 75% of available farmland is used to cultivate the necessary crops used for feeding livestock of which is to be raised for human consumption. However, advances in modern biological technology with companies such as Eat Just means that meat can be grown in a lab under strict lab conditions resulting in the cleanest production conditions possible and can reduce the need of land for livestock by 95%.
As dieticians, nutritionists and doctors alike continue to research new diet methods and learn more about the human body and the effects of what we consume on it, it is reasonable to assume, that just like in the past, more diets will come and go. However, these three diets seem to be some of the healthiest around, especially gluten-free and vegan whereby the consumption of possibly toxic material can contribute to many health conditions suffered by millions all over the world.
The vegan diet especially, aims to ensure the eradication of harmful viruses proliferated and facilitated by the production of potential harmful meat from animals such as pigs and chickens that have been the source of many deadly viruses in the past. It can therefore not be excluded to think that the tragic circumstances in which we now find ourselves as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, might have been avoided were it not for the unsanitary and ancient practice of slaughtering animals in egregious and abhorrent conditions.