How to Tell if a Diet is Right for Your Body
There are dozens of diets advertised daily to people looking to make a change in their lives. Expert opinions are always changing about which diets are best, which ones are fads, and which are downright dangerous. However, most people won’t know which diet will work best in their own life until they try it. Besides the obvious way of telling if a diet works for you (whether or not you are losing weight), there are different factors to consider, depending on the diet you are following. The ketogenic diet, Mediterranean diet, and vegan diet all vary in their emphases and how they will positively affect a person’s body.
The ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet that focuses on producing more ketones in your body. Ketones are created in the liver when your body enters ketosis. This generally happens when carbohydrates are strictly reduced. When a body is in ketosis, it burns fat more efficiently and easily, making the ketogenic diet popular among people looking for an effective way to lose excess weight.
Many wonder is the keto diet safe? Ketogenic diets are particularly safe and beneficial for people who are pre-diabetic or who have type 2 diabetes. In fact, one study found that out of 21 participants who had type 2 diabetes, 7 were able to stop using all diabetic medication after following a ketogenic diet. The keto diet has also been found to help with heart disease, cancer risk, PCOS, acne, and other diseases.
Keto is discouraging for some at first because of the lack of energy that many people feel. However, there are a few cues that will tell you if you the ketogenic diet is working and if your body is entering into ketosis. First, you will likely have bad breath due to the lack of sugar and carbohydrates. You may also experience fogginess or moodiness, that eventually passes and gives way to bursts of energy. Additionally, your workouts may become more difficult and feel ineffective for a short time. Luckily, all of these signs will eventually give way to more energy and higher fat burning. If you are looking for a sure way to measure if you are in ketosis, you can test your blood. But if you are seeing the results you want, an official test may not be necessary.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet focuses around the eating habits of cultures surrounding the mediterranean sea. This diet is plentiful in vegetables, fruits, seafood, whole grains, nuts, and fats. Although it may seem counterintuitive, given the amount of fat involved in this diet, researchers have found that the Mediterranean diet aids in reducing the risk of heart disease.
It can be difficult to tell if the Mediterranean diet is working for you or not. Depending on weight loss alone may not be enough, given that this is often not the main desired outcome of the diet. Instead, it is better to measure success based off of LDL levels, also known as your cholesterol. If you notice that your cholesterol has dropped to a healthy level under 130 mg/dl, or an even healthier level under 100 mg/dl, you will know that this diet is doing its job.
While only 3% of Americans are vegan, those who practice veganism will tell you that it is more of a lifestyle, than a diet, but what you eat plays a large role in it. Veganism is the practice of eating no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey. Essentially, the vegan diet strictly prohibits eating any animal products at all. Instead, veganism focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, including a variety of nut milks.
There are often more signs that veganism does not work for you than signs that it does. Because there is no specific desired health outcome out of eating a vegan diet, it is hard to determine if it is right for your body or not. However, most agree that if you do not agree with the vegan mindset, are constantly craving meat, or are looking for meat substitutes frequently, veganism is not for you. If, however, you feel more energized and have a clearer mind, a vegan diet could be what you need.