Diet Plans for 2019.
Are You Ready For a Change?
As we ring in the New Year, many of us
make it our resolution to follow a healthier
diet. Here are some things you’ll want to know
before choosing a diet plan that’s best for you:
Vegan Diet: Particularly well-suited for those
diagnosed with known cardiovascular disease (e.g.
prior heart attack), you may want to consider following
a vegan diet if you’ve had heart-related issues.
Recent evidence suggests that a vegan diet is
the most effective at minimizing or reducing heart
failure symptoms. However, it's important to note
that to reduce your risk of heart disease, the diet plan
must be very high in phytonutrients and relatively
low in simple carbohydrates and processed foods.
It is imperative that the focus is on consuming
large amounts of green veggies and nutrient-dense
fruits, and not on eating pasta and drinking soda.
Ketogenic Diets: Ketogenic diets (or keto
diets, for short) should be thought of as long-term
solutions for people with various medical issues
including type 2 diabetes, seizure disorders,
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and some
forms of cancer – particularly a type of brain
cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).
Research shows that practicing a ketogenic
diet can lead to enhanced cognitive function
and long-term weight loss. However, the field of
functional medicine has not yet discovered what
the long-term side effects of continuous Keto
diet adoption may be. Therefore, I recommend
exercising caution when adopting this diet and
encourage you to always consult with a physician.
Paleolithic Diet: This diet is useful for people
with autoimmune or inflammatory conditions
such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease,
irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis,
eczema, psoriasis, Hashimoto's disease, etc. It
is relatively simple to execute compared to other
anti-inflammatory diets (like the Ketogenic diet)
and its long term effects are more well-known.
Paleo diets are extremely anti-inflammatory
because they almost completely eliminate the
consumption of simple carbohydrates and focus
on clean sources of protein intake, such as grass-fed
and finished beef, poultry, lamb and pork, alongside
nutrient-dense veggies and some healthy fats.
Alzheimer’s-Preventative Diet: The
modified Mediterranean diet is ideal for the
prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Mediterranean
diets involve moderate intake of high-quality fats
from clean sources – olive oil, nuts and avocado
– and minimal intake of animal-based saturated
fats, like those found in red meat, butter and
bacon. The diet is also heavy on nutrient-dense
plants like spinach, kale and swiss chard, and
has a fair amount of complex carb intake
from whole grains, sweet potatoes and fruit.
One modification optimizes the perks of a
Mediterranean diet: eliminate gluten and
dairy. My research raises concerns about the
intake of these two proteins, as they can speed
up the process of Amyloid plaque formation
in the brain – the hallmark of Alzheimer's.
Though issues with these two foods vary, to be
highly proactive and protective of your brain
health, the next step after adopting a Mediterranean
diet is to cease gluten and dairy intake.
Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting
causes three powerful changes in your body
that cumulatively lead to weight loss. First, it
decreases the amount of insulin that your
body produces over the course of a day. The
less insulin we have circulating, the more fat we
burn. Second, by narrowing the window during
which you eat, you inherently consume fewer
calories and increase potential for weight loss.
Third, periodic fasting at night has been shown
to decrease the release of C-reactive protein
(CRP) in your blood, a marker of inflammation.
Less CRP release also means a decreased risk
for cardiovascular disease – an added benefit!