Help! Which “Diet” Is Right For Me?

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Gluten Free, Dairy free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Whole Food, Raw, Paleo, Whole30

The Number of different “Diets” can be overwhelming. Many people wonder “which diet is right for me”?  When people start trying to be and feel healthier they start by reading books, searching online, asking friends or their doctor. The amount of information is staggering. Just type any one of the types of diets into google and you will get thousands if not millions of results. When I first started this journey the thing I found most difficult is that many people believe that their choice of diet is the very best. They are convincing and they can show great results from being on that diet. But then when I would try it, it didn’t work for me. At least not completely or with the same results. Have you had that happen? Many people have.

I am a firm believer that no one diet or lifestyle is right for everyone. By diet I mean a way of eating not a diet just to loose weight. Most of us grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). SAD is filled with refined sugars, processed foods, refined grains, fast food, frozen meals, and bad fats. Check out this great easy to read article on SAD. Eating this way has caused us to become the most overweight and unhealthy country! So many people are trying to change. They are looking for a better way to eat and take care of their bodies.

In this post I want to take a brief look at the different “healthy” diet/lifestyles. I want to give you a little information on each of them so that you can decide which you would like to try or incorporate into you life. For me a combination has worked well. I started with vegetarian and wholes foods 25 years ago, went gluten and dairy free, tried paleo and raw, then landed somewhere in the middle of all of them. I discuss this more on my Welcome page. So lets take a look at some of the different types of diets out there. My descriptions are meant to be basic.

Vegetarian: A vegetarian diet consists of eating meat free. No poultry, fish, beef, pork or any other animal flesh. It does allow for other animal products like eggs and milk.  On this diet people also eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. It also allows for many processed foods.

Vegan: A vegan diet takes the vegetarian diet further. Along with abstaining from meat, vegans to not eat any animal products. No eggs, milk, or even honey. The vegan diet is very much a lifestyle for most people that eat this way. Besides not eating animal products, most vegans also do not use any in their daily lives. They stay away from leather products and wool. They do eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains and legumes. This diet still allows for quite a bit of processed foods including vegetable and legume based meat and cheese replacements.

Raw: A raw diet goes even further than the vegan diet. People who consume a raw diet eat only uncooked unprocessed vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Sometimes you will see or hear someone say they are raw vegan. This way of eating is also a lifestyle. Some raw vegans also eat very low fat and steer clear of oils, nuts and high fat veggies like avocados.

Gluten Free: A gluten free diet means you do not eat anything with gluten in it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. People who eat this way have to be very careful with processed foods. There is gluten hidden everywhere. Wheat, rye and barley are all avoided. For people with celiacs disease they even need to stay away from foods processed in a factory that also processed wheat. Those foods can have cross-contamination. People sometimes say that gluten free is a fad diet. But for people with celiac or gluten sensitivity this is not a fad! It is a medical necessity. People that are gluten free sometimes eat the SAD diet just without gluten.

Whole Foods Diet: This diet is based on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Usually people who eat a whole foods diet limit the amount of meat and animal products and when they do eat them they tend toward organic. People who eat this way avoid processed foods, refined sugars and bleached flour and flour products. Instead they eat brown rice, whole wheat, and other whole unprocessed grains.

Paleo: Paleo is a newer way of eating that is actually old. It is described as eating like a cave man. This diet consists of lots of meat, dairy, eggs , nuts and vegetables. On the paleo diet people avoid all grains, legumes, processed foods and processed sugars. It also limits the amount of fruits a person eats. This is a high protein, high fat diet. There is an emphasis on grass fed, cage free animals, unpasteurized and unprocessed foods.  This is a super popular way of eating right now.

Whole30: The whole30 is a more temporary diet , a challenge. Most people do it for 30 days. it is much like paleo in that it is high protein, low carb. On this diet people do not eat any grains, legumes, sugars, dairy or alcohol. There is no substituting of those items like in other diets, like no coconut flour pancakes. People tend to use this diet to detox off sugars and carbs. To reset and start healthier eating. People tend to go into a paleo or whole foods diet after the 30 days are up.

So there you have it. A brief explanation of some of the diets and lifestyles we hear about when we want to get healthy. These descriptions are not, by far, a full accounting of how to eat on each of these diets. I have some links on my resource page to some good websites that describe each of these diets in much more detail. Here at Kat’s Gluten free Kitchen you will find recipes that fit into each of the categories. All my recipes are always fully Gluten Free! I try to give alternative when possible for dairy free versions and vegan versions of baked goods. You will also be seeing raw, paleo, vegetarian and vegan recipes. Eat what makes you feel good and what makes you feel the healthiest. Find what works right for you. We are all different and our bodies all need different foods to feel our best. Take what works and leave what doesn’t. It is ok to follow your own path.


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