You don’t need us to point out just how many diets there are out there but here at GLAMOUR HQ, we don’t advocate dieting for weight lost, just to ensure you feel at your absolute best. From (vegan and FODMAP to flexitarian, 18-6 and 5-2 to name just a few), it’s next to impossible to decipher which diet is most beneficial to health without having a degree in dietetics.
Alongside researching different regimes, we often find the best way to find out which one to adhere to is to try them out, and see which one you feel your best following.
One of the most popular wellness plans right now is the keto diet – but unfortunately it’s not exactly the easiest to understand. Essentially, it involves cutting down on carbohydrates and replacing them with fats. The idea behind this is that the lack of carbs puts the body into a metabolic state of ketosis, where it becomes incredibly efficient at using fats for energy. Advocates believe that when the body reaches this state, fats are also turned into ketones in the liver, which supplies energy to the brain.
“The state of ketosis is renowned for its ability to source calories from protein and fats, as opposed to carbohydrates and sugars, in a bid to elevate weight loss and boost energy, and has been credited for aiding a range of health problems,” explains Geeta Sidhu-Robb, nutritionist and founder of Nosh Detox.
However, Geeta goes on to explain that the keto theory it is not without its criticism, especially when used in the long term. “The ketogenic diet will see its best rewards when implemented between one and two weeks at a time. It certainly shouldn’t be a long duration diet method,” she says.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently issued a landmark review concluding that a diet high in fibre present in complex carbohydrates was in fact healthier than a low-carb diet – advice which is inconsistent with the keto diet.
However, fibre can be attended from sources other than complex carbohydrates, like vegetables and fruit. If you are considering following the keto diet, you may want to focus on incorporating as many vegetables as possible to make sure you take in adequate fibre.
There’s also the issue of different types of fat. It’s widely accepted that there are good (unsaturated) fats and bad (saturated) fats. Sources of unsaturated fats include nuts, avocados and fatty fish, while sources of saturated fats include animal-based dairy like butter and cream and fatty cuts of meat.
Geeta advocates a vegan version of the keto diet to avoid relying on saturated animal fats; “Vegan variations of the keto diet are much healthier options as you still reap the weight and health rewards of a keto diet but avoid the harmful fats in meat, which are hard to avoid when you consider the fact that carbohydrates are almost completely disregarded.”
Thinking of going vegan? Here’s five things you should know before you decide.