Paleo, Slow-Carb, Ketogenic, Vegetarian, Vegan, What Do We All Agree On?

What we eat is very personal. We’ve grown up eating what our parents, our friends and society said we should. Eating is a social activity for us and what we eat can even tell people who we are. As we learn more, or simply evolve or devolve our tastes, we build an emotional attachment to what we eat. Among the phenomena I observed soon after I embarked on a journey to learn more about nutrition and lifestyle is that given our emotional attachment to what we eat many tend to get defensive quickly. There are different camps of individuals who not only try to defend their ideas about diet, but attack others. I wanted to take a close look on what unites us as opposed to what divides us.

Of course, I’m human like anyone else and I have my own thoughts, feelings, opinions on what is the “real” data, but that’s not where I wanted to go here. Instead, I want to talk about what all of the modern diets agree on. I have immersed myself in the Slow-Card Diet, the Paleo Diet, Vegetarianism and I am now a Vegan. I have only read about the Ketogenic diet and I’m going to include what I know about it here. These are what we can agree on.

Drink Water and Exercise

Let’s start with the obvious. We can all agree that we need to get off our asses, move and drink water! Great, now we have momentum!

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Brace yourself. The main tenet of ALL of these diets is to eat more fruits and vegetables. They all espouse eating whole, natural foods.

Don’t Eat Junk Food

Lose the fast food, chips, french fries, anything deep fried, candy bars, Twinkies and the like. Soda, even/specially diet soda, is the modern day equivalent to smoking. We all know this is garbage and all of these diets agree that cutting these out will improve your health.

Don’t Eat Processed Foods

Very close to the above lose the hot dogs, the white breads, and most importantly sugar! There are no sweeteners with nutritional benefits. Also, if there are ingredients that you don’t truly know, then chances are it’s not good for you.

Good Fats

All of these diets do endorse the “good” fats derived from nuts and avocado. This topic is a slippery slope when you go deeper, but all of these diets agree that getting the good fats in you is healthy.

Don’t Eat Too Much Protein

I was surprised to read this as a part of the Paleo diet, but there is such a thing as too much protein. A standard recommendation is that 10%-12% of our diet be protein.

No Dairy

With the exception of Keto which has some allowances, all of these diets recommend keeping the dairy to a minimum or none at all.

If you’re looking to eat a healthier diet, but aren’t sure what road to take this may help. We all know what to get in our system and we know what to avoid. Of course, I couldn’t not recommend a whole food, plant based diet as being optimum for health and wellbeing given I have tried some of them and at 45 years I feel like I’m 25 and have the numbers to prove it, but this may not be for everyone. Good luck on your journey.

A great source for the latest on nutrition is available for free at NutritionFacts.org.

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