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Which diet is best for me?
From mediterranean to keto, fasting to paleo. They’re all great, but the best diet is the one you create for yourself.
Which diet is best for me?
To find a diet that works for you, it’s important to find one that is realistically achievable and sustainable. Diets work with real food, common sense, and healthy choices that see results.
Here at Purition, we know a thing or two about the importance of what you eat. In fact, our core philosophy is to make delicious food products that work with any dietary lifestyle that focuses on great nutrition. This is where we come in, as our Purition products are made of just that - the good stuff.
So, read on to learn the key factors of some of the more well-known diets, and what’s involved, so you can work out what will work best for you (along with some delicious recipes and inspiration from us, too!)
Common diet types
It’s important to remember that in order to get the most out of your diet, make sure it works for you! You want to find it easy, after all. If you enjoy eating meat, find one that allows for this. If you exercise regularly and need that extra protein to get you through the day, find a diet that facilitates this.
People often find there is little success in adapting your lifestyle to suit the diet. Purition like to think of it the other way around. Adapt and tailor a diet that suits your lifestyle. Trust us when we say – this is achievable!
This diet is widely recognised as the healthiest diet in the world. Here are the features of a Mediterranean Diet:
- No bread, croissants, pasta, pizza (starchy foods with wheat and dough)
- Focused on whole foods like meat, fish, green leafy and colourful vegetables
- Includes seeds and nuts that are often eaten raw or cooked simply, with no refining or processing
Pros of a Mediterranean diet
- Covers all main food groups
- High in healthy fats
- No processed food, sugar and starch
- Provides a good source of vitamins and minerals
- Plenty of variety and flavours
- Easier to stick to in the long term, allowing for little indulgences such as dark chocolate or red wine
Cons of a Mediterranean diet
- It is based on real foods, so will be a potentially more expensive diet choice
- Portion control is important with this diet, so it can be more time consuming (preparation, etc).
The paleo diet mainly consists of protein, healthy fats and real food. It was originally devised on the principles of eating only what our ancestors (our friends in the Palaeolithic era) would have eaten.
This makes it a pretty easy diet to follow. The reason this diet works is that it’s a simple idea that focuses on real food and whole foods. Essentially this means single ingredients that have been reared or grown outdoors in nature, on a natural diet. Think meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, season fruit, seeds and nuts.
The concept of paleo and primal rules out foods that cannot be eaten without processing. This means processed foods that contain the following are off the menu:
- Food containing wheat, such as bread, pasta, or pizza
- Foods containing any added sugar
- Vegetable oils
Top tip: Processing methods that are generally acceptable are chopping, grinding, freezing, cooking, pickling, canning and cooking. This is because these processes do not remove any natural fibre, vitamins or minerals.
Features of a paleo diet
- Unprocessed foods
- Real food
- Single ingredients that can be eaten without processing
Why people may choose a paleo diet
- It’s a very easy concept to follow (if our ancestors couldn’t eat it, neither should you)
Pros of the paleo diet
- No additives, preservatives or chemicals
- High in healthy fats and protein
- Complete absence of processed food, sugar and starch
- Good source of vitamins and minerals
Cons of the paleo diet
- There is less variety, leading to a potential to overeat certain approved foods
- It can be difficult to follow with more limited food choices
- Can be socially restrictive
- Ingredients can be expensive
- No legumes or beans means there are less options for vegetarians
- With no dairy, it can be restrictive for dairy lovers. Primal, on the other hand, is slightly less rigid and permits some dairy products.
Are there any risks to the paleo diet?
Paleo is a theory, but that does not make it bad or irrelevant, it’s a simple ideal of eating more naturally. There is a common misconception that the paleo diet is all about meat, when in fact it is not. As with any diet though, it is worth checking with your doctor if you are unsure if the Paleo diet will work with your lifestyle.
We all know the caricature of the cave man and his club or spear charge a woolly mammoth. However, our distant ancestors were more than likely hunter gatherers who gathered most of their food from plants found in nature, like seeds and nuts, tubers, seasonal fruit and honey.
This diet is a diet that mainly focuses on healthy fats, followed by protein, and lastly carbs. The ratio is as follows:
- 60/70% of your diet consists of calories from fats
- 20/25% of your diet consists of proteins
- 5-10 % of your diet from carbohydrates
Why people may choose a keto diet
- Shown to be more effective than a low calorie and low fat diet.
- Grown in popularity with celebrities, and a number of health professionals who have seen results.
- A huge online following and fast results have been recorded.
It stands to reason, then, that many others are following suit to find out what keto is all about. People are interested in the keto diet because of how it achieves results – by reducing your appetite. This is achieved through low carb consumption and high fat intake. What’s more, there are reports that the keto diet can help cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar levels.
Pros of the keto diet
- Many who follow this diet have seen results
Pros of the keto diet
- It can be difficult to follow
- It can be seen by those with limited nutritional knowledge as dangerous
- Those who favour low-cal or low-fat diets say that a high fat diet is dangerous, however, science does not support this stance.
Don’t forget though, that focusing on processed foods is a bad idea and won’t get you the results you want. So, if you opt for the keto diet, don’t forget to keep your diet healthy with real, unprocessed foods.
If you follow a vegetarian diet, you cut out all meat completely.
Why people may choose a vegetarian diet
- The main reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet may be due to ethical reasons, environmental concerns, or simply a lifestyle choice for health reasons.
Pros of a vegetarian diet
- It is widely seen as a healthy diet as it focuses on the consumption of vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, which are collectively lower in calories but still filling.
- It’s a widely popular diet, so it isn’t restrictive when it comes to eating out or supermarket products.
Cons of a vegetarian diet
- The lack of animal-based foods can mean your correct protein intake is more of a challenge (this is where Purition comes in!)
Are there any risks associated with the vegetarian diet?
The only risk is that, in replacement of meat-based products, your diet becomes unhealthy. For example, if you replace meat-based products with high fat, sugary foods such as crisps or chocolate, you won’t see the results you might wish for. As with any diet, a vegetarian diet still requires discipline and healthy eating. Just because you have cut out meat, that doesn’t mean instant results!
Vegan diet (plant-based)
A vegan diet is similar to a vegetarian diet in that you do not eat meat from any animal. It takes this one step further to include animal bi-products, so you can’t eat eggs, milk and honey, for example. This means your diet is completely plant based. Those who choose to implement a vegan diet usually have a diet that focuses on high protein plants such as legumes and soya.
Why people may choose a vegan diet
There are various reasons why people might choose a vegan diet. These could be environmental, ethical, health associated, or just to give it a go. Veganuary is coming up after all, or maybe they watched Game changers on Netflix.
Pros of a vegan diet
- It can provide the ultimate feel good factor when it comes to your diet, as you are doing your bit.
- Encourages you to try new foods and be more explorative.
Cons of a vegan diet
- There’s lots of cooking involved in a vegan diet and preparing foods in advance for a sustainable, healthy meal.
- It’s seen by some as the ultimate ‘restriction’ diet, as you are cutting out various foods. It’s important to be mindful of certain nutrients like B vitamins and iron.
- Your choices can be even more restrictive if you have chosen to be vegan for environmental reasons.
- Can be socially restricting.
Are there any risks assosicated with a vegan diet?
The only real risk here is that you change your eating habits to feel full and opt for starch vegetables and sugary foods, which can cause health issues over time. The worst health combination is fat and carbohydrate, although healthy fats from whole foods aren’t a problem.
Another diet that has become more topical in recent years is a dairy free diet.
If you suffer from lactose intolerance, then you will likely have a diet that is as free from dairy as possible. You will restrict your consumption of food products containing lactose to a bare minimum. Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products and can be found in milk, yoghurt, butter, cream, ice cream and cheese.
If you are lactose intolerant, or simply choose to go dairy free, then make sure you find alternatives that see you get the right nutrition. Dairy products contain calcium, protein and vitamins, while the lactose plays its part in helping your body absorb minerals such as magnesium and zinc. For this reason you should aim to make sure you get these nutrients from other sources. This can include lactose-free options such as:
- Lactose-free cow’s milk
- Soya milk, yoghurts and cheese
- Rice, nut, hazelnut, almond coconut milk
A gluten free diet is a diet people follow if they have an intolerance to gluten. Some may opt to go gluten free for other health reasons too. People who are gluten sensitive may have coeliac disease, which means you can have an adverse reaction to gluten. Gluten is a group of proteins found in the starch of various cereal grains.
There are plenty of foods that are high in gluten. These include:
Not to worry though, as there are plenty of various alternatives that ensure you get the right nutrition. There are a growing number of gluten free food products available in supermarkets and on restaurant menus. For example, instead of eating pasta opt for gluten free pasta, or rice and quinoa are gluten free, and there are many gluten free bread options nowadays, too.
We regularly batch test at our headquarters in Shrewsbury where every Purition product is made, and our products are always under 5ppm (parts per million). The EU legal definition is 20ppm so with Purition, you’re way under and good to go. You can click here to find out more.
Below we briefly touch on other diets you may consider, and the main takeaways of these.
Standard Western diet
The worst diet you can be on is the standard western diet. This is because it leads to gradual weight gain, obesity and poor long-term health outcomes, which is being experienced by tens of millions across western worlds. The problem? The overconsumption of highly processed foods, vegetable oils, added sugars and refined carbohydrates.
The best thing you can do is find your own diet, one that works for you on your worst day, to ensure you are not steadily gaining weight. Weight gain as we age is a normal process, but it is a feature of a typical western diet for the above reasons.
Low fat diet
- Traditionally promotes highly processed products like spreads instead of butter
Cons of this diet
- Can be restrictive
- Little evidence of health benefits
- Short term weight loss is not always the answer
- Low fat food often contain lots of sugar i.e. low-fat yoghurts
Low calorie diet
- Works on the understanding that you eat less and exercise more
Cons of this diet
- Portion control takes time – everything must be weighed and measured.
- Can be difficult to follow
- Dieting is more about the biology behind the food not the maths
Meal replacement diet
- 600-800 calories 3-5 meal replacement shakes per day
Cons of this diet
- Dangerously low in calories
- An unsociable choice
- Very restrictive, and sees you enjoy food much less
- Can cause real issues when you stop
Adding Purition to your diet
As we have touched on before, Purition can be a great addition to any diet. Purition is not restrictive as it is low in calories, packed with protein, and only contains real ingredients. There’s no junk food and no sweeteners, and with diary free and vegan options available, most diets are considered.
Be mindful though, that Purition is best enjoyed as a small meal as part of a wider healthy diet. When enjoyed this way, you can have Purition as part of your day to day and take in all the nutritional goodness you need.
What makes Purition different is that we provide a way to enjoy great tasting alternatives that don’t have to be unhealthy, processed meal replacement shakes.
Asking yourself what diet is best for you is likely to be a question that you ask yourself a lot. The key thing to remember here is that the food choices we make every day have a huge impact on our overall health and lifestyle.
Your diet is what you make of it. If the above has got you inspired, then get going and see how a certain diet works for you. What’s more, see how the addition of Purition can add nutrition, flavour and variety to your diet. At Purition we’ve worked hard to make our product accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
New to Purition? Tips for newbies
How to use Purition for weight loss
Healthy eating: Form the foundation
What you should do next...
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