What is the best diet to eat?
The best diet to eat depends on a lot of different factors. I might recommend a certain diet based on the symptoms a person has, a diagnosis for a certain condition or a number of other factors. I might recommend a more restrictive diet for a period of time to help reduce symptoms and then transition a person to a less restrictive diet. A lot of different conditions can be linked to gut health, so being on a diet that can help to heal the gut might be recommended for a lot of people. During this gut healing period, the diet may be more restrictive and eliminate certain foods that might be able to be re-introduced after the gut returns to a healthier state. While there are too many diets out there to go through all of them, I want to talk about a few that we commonly recommend here at Boost.
An autoimmune protocol diet removes any foods that have been shown to cause inflammation. The research on this diet is still emerging, but it all looks very promising in helping to reduce symptoms of autoimmune disease such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and others. There is research that suggests that certain foods can cause “leaky gut,” which is increased intestinal permeability, a condition that might trigger autoimmune diseases. Eliminating foods that can lead to “leaky gut” can help to reduce inflammation and reduce the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. During the diet, foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables, eggs, and dairy are eliminated, and fresh, nutrient dense foods are eaten. After a length of time, foods can be re-introduced one at a time and symptoms can be monitored to see which foods might be triggers for a person.
We really recommend The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers for a full explanation of this diet and plenty of tasty recipes to implement it with.
A paleo diet one that is similar to the way we would have eaten during the paleolithic era. It includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and limits grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and processed foods.
The thought and science behind the paleo diet is to eat the way we would have before modern farming introduced grains and dairy products into our diets. Many argue that this change in diet is not in line what our genetics and what our bodies were designed to eat. It is because of this that experts believe our diets are contributing to heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
There is still a lot of research being done on paleo diets, but evidence suggests that it may improve health and metabolism over the national nutrition guidelines. While more research needs to be done for specific health outcomes, there is no question that cutting out processed foods and sugar will help to reduce inflammation and improve health. Grains, dairy and legumes might also lead to inflammation in the body, so reducing these can help to improve a lot of health outcomes.
A Mediterranean diet is commonly ranked as one of the healthiest diets that you can follow. There are numerous research studies about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, showing it may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is typical of the countries near the Mediterranean sea like Italy, France, Spain and Greece. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.
A Mediterranean diet includes:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate portions of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
- Eating meals with family and friends
- Enjoying a glass of red wine
- Being physically active
The Mediterranean diet is really a lifestyle of healthy habits. There is a lot of evidence that eating with family and friends and taking the time to sit down for a meal may improve digestion and nutrient absorption as opposed to eating on the run or while in front of your computer. Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle as well.
Those are just three diets that we might recommend. We might also recommend a combination of diets or one for a short period of time and a transition to a different one. All nutrition plans are individualized to each person and their goals and health concerns.
Have questions about which diet might be the best for you? Get in touch with Boost nutritionist Julie Cornelius, MS to talk more!
Also, if you are interested in nutrition, we are running a special for Nutrition and Health Coaching for the New Year! Click here to find out more.