If you have considered trying a new eating plan, you may have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. Adopting the Keto Diet, intermittent fasting, or choosing to avoid all animal products with a vegan diet all have their proponents. So, how can you know which one is the right one for you?
Which Diet Is Right for You?
The Keto Diet
Millions of people are jumping on the keto bandwagon. Fans say it can boost your energy, help you lose weight, and regulate blood sugar levels. Here’s the breakdown of what a ketogenic diet entails:
- No more than 10 percent of your daily calories can come from carbs
- About 70 percent of your daily intake from fat sources
- The remainder of calories should come from protein
By sharply limiting grains and carbohydrates, your body resorts to burning fat for fuel. This causes the body to produce ketones, which can help treat epilepsy, among other things. It is a great way to cut down on extra pounds because, while research shows it is no more effective at cutting fat than eating a balanced, high-carbohydrate diet, it’s much easier to maintain than a high-carbohydrate diet since carbs spike hunger while fat and protein are satiating.
A Vegan Diet
Plant-based eating programs are recommended by most health professionals as one of the best ways to increase overall health and preserve cognitive function. Turning to veganism is the extreme end of plant-based.
Adopting a vegan lifestyle can be difficult at first. However, once you get the hang of it, it is relatively simple as long as you know exactly what is in your meals. Eating out will probably be your biggest challenge here.
You will want to make sure you are consuming enough varied proteins and healthy fats. You should also limit the amount of heavily processed meat replacements you eat as well as “vegan-friendly” snacks made of little more than refined grains and sugars. They offer great taste, but they don’t add a whole lot of nutrients.
People have been fasting in one way or another for millennia, and intermittent fasting has picked up steam in recent years. While there are several ways to accomplish intermittent fasting, they all limit your food intake to a specific window of time. Some popular options are the 5:2 and 18:6 plans.
In a 5:2 diet, you eat normally for five days each week and fast the other two days. The 18:8 plan allows you to eat normally for six hours each day and then fast for the other 18. You will probably feel hungry on either plan, at least at first.
Picking the Right Diet for Your Lifestyle
Your eating habits and goals will largely dictate which of these popular diets is best for you.
If you are looking to shed pounds fast, then a ketogenic diet may be a good solution. Just try to get most of your fats from healthy sources and prefer fresh, pastured or free-range meats to processed ones and pre-packaged “keto-friendly” foods.
For those of you concerned about the environment, eating vegan generally offers a lower carbon footprint. However, it can be difficult to really know about some ingredients in processed foods or at restaurants.
Intermittent fasting allows you to eat what you want, which may make it easier for some people to adopt. Of course, you will have to push through the hunger you initially feel when you get started.