Every diet works but not every diet will work for you! Read on to find out what makes or breaks a diet and how to find out which diet will work for you!
Virtual show of hands: who has seen the plethora before-and-after photos from those who lost 60 or more pounds by following the Keto diet? Who has seen the Instagram photos of protein-packed plates and success stories from those who eat Paleo? And who has struggled to lose weight on both of these diets? It’s because every diet works but every diet may not work for you.
Are All Diets Created Equal?
Health and fitness experts differ when it comes to the “right” diet for weight loss. Some swear by the predominantly fat-eating focused Keto diet. Others claim that eating like our paleolithic ancestors with the Paleo diet is the way to lose weight. Some swear we should all eat vegan or vegetarian, while others shout the weight loss success stories on the rooftops by doing Intermittent Fasting. The truth is: all of these diets are beneficial and can help people lose weight. But without knowing more about your own body’s genetic makeup and dietary needs, you could be doing more damage than good.
Why Some Diets Work For Some and Not For Others
Let’s talk about Keto. A healthy ketogenic diet is very similar to the Atkins diet, which is a very low carb diet. It consists of eating nearly 75% of your daily caloric intake in fats, 10-30% in proteins, and no more than 5% in carbs. This is great and can be beneficial for weight loss but if your body does not break down fats properly, then all you are doing is overloading your system with fats that your body cannot do anything with. According to a 2018 study, a high fat Western diet may promote the development of gut bacteria that can cause a person to absorb more fat, potentially leading to weight gain. Another factor is that those who suffer from diseases that affect the liver or digestive system have a difficult time digesting these fats.
How about Paleo? The “caveman” diet consists of eating meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats and oils. All of these foods are healthy, as long as, for example, you are not allergic to eggs, have a food sensitivity to nuts and seeds, etc. Eggs, nuts, and fish are all listed on the top 10 most allergenic foods, so if you are consuming these daily as your primary source of nutrients, you could be putting your body into a constant state of allergic response. And if you are someone who suffers with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis or lupus, eating large quantities of certain vegetables like nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, white potatoes, and peppers) can cause a nearly debilitating flare up in the body’s joints and digestive tract.
What Diet Is Best For You?
In order to determine the best diet for you and your specific goals, you need to take a deeper dive into your own health. One of the ways you can learn more about you, your health needs and your specific dietary recommendations is to know your blood type. Yes, each blood type is associated with specific foods that should—or should not—be eaten. It’s called the Blood Type diet. For example, based on the Blood Type diet, A blood types should eat more of a vegetarian diet while O types can handle much more meat.
The second way to take a deeper dive into your own health and nutrition needs is through DNA testing. There are DNA tests that reveal everything from which vitamins your body does not naturally produce to which foods you may have sensitivities to. These cost money but can give you the most accurate information about you specifically, since everyone’s DNA (and therefore health and nutrition needs) is completely unique.
The Only One-Size-Fits-All Diet For Everyone
Yes, there is a diet that can help everyone. It can, and should be, the foundation to every diet and sustainable health program. That is the anti-inflammatory diet, elimination diet. This gives you the ability to get your body “back to baseline” by allowing inflammation (which is the root cause of many, many illnesses and even diseases) to leave our body. After 30 days of eating an anti-inflammatory diet, you are then able to self-test food sensitivities and reactions, therefore creating the optimal nutrition program for your body, your DNA, your blood type and your needs.
This 30-day program includes eating only: turkey, chicken and duck (but no eggs), fish (no shellfish), all veggies except for nightshades (see above for the list), fruit (no bananas), healthy oils, and lots of water. You eliminate all red meat (including pork and lamb), dairy, eggs, sugar, gluten, corn, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds (including nut milks), caffeine, alcohol, vinegars, dried fruit and bananas. After the 30 days, you reintroduce each food group one at a time in four-day increments. Since these foods have been out of your body for an extended period of time, you will notice an allergy response if you have one. Then you can start building your ideal diet that is perfect for your genetic make-up.
We all have the ability to create and sustain health in ourselves. But it starts with knowing a little more about who we are, what we need, and then building a nutrition plan to help us get there.