So. many. Diets. Paleo, keto, gluten free, Adktins, south beach… the list is endless these days! And while you may be tempted to jump on a diet trend bandwagon, you should do your research first. There are some very misleading claims about some popular diet trends. I wanted to debunk a couple of the biggest ones on the market these days with some facts.
First let’s talk Juice Cleanses. It always sounds like good idea, who doesn’t want to be “cleaned out” every once in awhile, but the whole juice cleanse thing isn’t really all that necessary. Detoxing is something you would think you might need from time to time, but in fact your body is equipped with the proper organs and enzymes to do just that (that IS what your liver and kidneys are for after all). And while sometimes it might seem like you need extra help to get rid of all the vacation cocktails you had for a solid week, you can do all of that without the juice. Juice, while it is full of vitamins and minerals, is really a TON of sugar, even if it is cold pressed or fresh. And cold pressed juice is devoid of all fiber (it was taken out during the juicing process) so while you are getting the vitamins and minerals from the fruits and veggies themselves, you are getting a ton of sugar at the same time. And while this fructose does have its place (a post workout juice might not be bad thing after you have had a good sweat), this isn’t something you want to drink ALL day for several days. If you are looking for a cleanse, do it the right way. Cut out alcohol, sugar, dairy and preceded foods and drink a TON of water. Doing this for a week should be enough to clean out your system and get it going right again.
The other huge craze is the Paleo diet. Many people are on the paleo bandwagon, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the facts about this diet are a little misleading. Paleo junkies are all about “eating like our ancestors” and going back to how people ate during the Paleolithic era (hence the name), which was hunting and following big game for meat, so their diet was mainly protein and high fat (low carb), so if you’re eating paleo you are eating a lot of protein (meat), fat and veggies, no grains, dairy or processed food. Truth is, our ancestors were hunters and gatherers who did eat whatever they found in the wild, fruits, nuts, berries, grasses, etc. and many Paleo preachers will tell you that Paleo is eating mostly meat; in reality,our ancestors actually ate mostly plants! They would hunt for days and days with no meat while they followed herds but would eat plants while they waited. There are even studies now that show that ancient peoples DID in fact eat grains! In addition, while they may not have had access to the same grains and legumes we do today, their bodies and the grains they were eating were biologically different. Our bodies have evolved since 2 million years ago (believe it or not…) and do not metabolize the same way as our ancestors. Our generation struggles with heart disease and high cholesterol because of high fat foods (trans fat and saturated fats are everywhere) and genetically modified foods, something our ancestors from the Paleo times didn’t have. They grains they were eating were untouched by humans and were in their purest form. So while parts of the Paleo diet are correct (we do need to eat less processed foods and more whole foods), a high fat diet, high protein as they suggest is not right for everyone. Those body types who have a genetic predisposition for heart disease and high cholesterol are just asking for a heart attack if they choose to eat this high fat, high protein lifestyle. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt; as long as you stick to WHOLE foods and stay away from processed foods you are living the right way and your body will thank you!