A nutritionist has issued her verdict on five of the most popular diets to reveal which ones really keep you healthy.
Kate Llewellyn Waters, award-winning London-based nutritionist and author of The Immunity Cookbook, breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of the vegan, ketogenic, alkaline, and Mediterranean diets.
They’re all among the most tagged diets on Instagram, according to cake company Jack and Beyond, which gives an indication of just how popular they are.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Kate explained why Mediterranean diets live up to the hype – and why it’s best to avoid keto…
The keto diet – or keto diet – is a diet that is low in carbohydrates, sufficient in protein, and high in fat. Because of the restriction of carbohydrate intake, the diet causes the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates, through a process called “ketosis.”
The nutrition expert said the keto diet, which has had the most hashtags on Instagram, is a high-fat diet where followers are at risk of eating a lot of red meat and processed foods.
“The keto diet is a diet that is high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, in which many nutritious foods, such as whole grains, legumes, and some fruits are avoided,” Kate Llewellyn Waters told FEMAIL.
Kate Llewellyn Waters is an award-winning nutritionist and author of The Immunity Cookbook
she said there Here are some positive research that highlights the benefits of a ketogenic diet to help manage diabetes and reduce insulin resistance.
However, it is not universally popular, with some finding it too restrictive.
She explained: ‘One of the main concerns with this diet is that many individuals who follow this plan tend to eat a lot of red meat and processed foods while limiting healthy vegetables and fruits.
While the diet is very restrictive and may be difficult to maintain in the long term for most individuals, the keto diet works for some people.
However, a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that the keto diet was particularly unsafe for those with kidney disease, women who might become pregnant, or women who might become pregnant.
The researchers also found that the diet can lead to long-term health conditions, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease or cancer for most individuals.
Also known as the “cavemen diet,” paleo’s basic premise is that if cavemen don’t eat food, you shouldn’t eat it either. Followers give up foods like Cereals, beans, legumes and dairy products.
Instead, they focus on eating large amounts of unprocessed meat, fish, and eggs, and limited amounts of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
The paleo diet, which is often referred to as the “caveman” diet, is. Based on the premise that if cavemen don’t eat food, you shouldn’t eat it either
According to Kate: “Because this is a high-protein diet with lots of fiber from vegetables and fruits, you should feel quite full and satiated, but because certain foods like dairy and whole grains are excluded, it can be very restrictive. It is difficult to sustain in the long term for many individuals.
Also, due to the lack of dairy products, you need to make sure you get enough calcium in your diet – canned sardines or salmon (i.e. canned fish with bones), and dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens are great dairy alternatives when you’re looking to Increase your calcium intake.
Additionally, watch your intake of protein and saturated fats, as they can often be eaten at much higher than recommended levels when following this diet, which can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney problems, and certain types of cancer.
It concluded, “Several studies indicate that this diet can lead to significant weight loss and improved health.”
Veganism is a philosophy that rejects the use of animals. Vegetarians do not eat animals or their secretions (including milk, eggs, and honey), and they do not use animal products such as wool.
Those who follow the nutritional component only are considered vegetarians and not vegans. However, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
A vegan diet (or a vegan diet) excludes all animal products and, according to Kate, can be “healthy, nutritionally appropriate and sustainable”
Kate said: “The vegan diet eliminates all animal foods including eggs and dairy, and the focus is on plant-based eating.
Since it is a high-fiber diet due to a high intake of whole grains and vegetables, it can be very filling and filling, as well as low in calories, which can help people lose weight.
In addition to fiber, vegetables are packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (powerful plant compounds) that can be very beneficial for health.
As long as a vegan diet is well-planned and adequate in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, a vegan diet can be healthy, nutritionally appropriate, and sustainable.
The alkaline diet is based on the premise that your diet affects the level of pH (acidity or alkalinity) in your body – an idea that some dispute.
The diet divides foods into three categories; Acidic (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol), neutral: natural (fats, starches, sugars), alkaline (fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables). Followers are supposed to focus the majority of their intake on alkaline foods.
An alkaline diet focuses on eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and healthy plant foods while avoiding processed foods
Kate said: ‘This diet is completely healthy as the focus is on eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and healthy plant foods while avoiding processed foods. Most people when they eat these healthy types of foods, compared to highly processed foods, lose weight because you will likely be consuming fewer calories.
However, the belief that the diet promotes health in the general population due to its alkalizing effects has not been confirmed by any large-scale reliable human studies.
An alkaline diet may benefit health and aid weight loss since it is based on whole foods and avoided processed foods, but there is no reliable data to suggest that it has anything to do with pH levels.
This is essentially a type of vegan diet, which contains limited processed foods, and vegan diets that are low in refined sugar have been shown to have many health benefits including weight loss.
While the Mediterranean diet can vary by region, it is generally considered to be rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It is usually low in meat and dairy foods.
Kate described the Mediterranean diet as “very balanced”, containing a good amount of fiber and low in processed foods.
According to Kate: “The Mediterranean diet is very nutritionally balanced and includes lots of different foods, which is key because variety is so important to gut health and overall health.
It’s an eating style rather than a structured, rule-oriented “diet,” meaning there are no exact guidelines for portion sizes or daily energy intake recommendations.
However, weight loss may occur after following this diet as you reduce your intake of processed foods, which are often very high in sugar, fats and chemical additives as well as calories, and increase your intake of whole foods that are nutritious and full of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Fiber is often overlooked but it’s so important because it helps us feel full, making us less likely to reach for sugary snacks between meals.
It also greatly benefits gut health, which is associated with improved weight loss results.