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3 New Nutritional Diets Worth Trying

Fad diets are a dime a dozen, but some diets are actually worth trying. After all, sometimes a fad diet works for a particular person and they achieve success with it. Does that mean other people shouldn't bother trying that particular diet? No. It just means that some diets work for some people. And lets face it, most dieters fail due to a lack of willpower - not because the diet was necessarily faulty.

Today we will focus on three diets are focused on nutrition.

Wait, aren't all diets focused on nutrition? Nope. Not necessarily. A high protein diet for example might ignore carbs and vegetables and suffer from a shortage of vitamins and minerals, a vegan diet would ignore all animal byproducts, meat, etc and not be getting enough calcium or protein, and a low carbs diet would avoid bread / pasta / etc and the poor dieter ends up feeling exhausted and depressed.

So clearly those types of diets do have something wrong with them, and it is because the dieter isn't getting enough of the things they need. Nutritionally wise everyone should be eating a balanced diet of protein, veggies, carbs, and so forth so that they are getting a good balance of minerals and vitamins and everything else they need.

#1. The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet dates back to the 1920s and is a bit unusual. It is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. It is usually used to treat children with epilepsy, but it also has benefits for the average dieter because of several factors:

  • While it is a low carb diet, because it is a high fat diet the person doesn't end up feeling sluggish and depressed because the extra fat provides all the energy they need.
  • Since there is so few carbs in the diet the liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies (which in turn lower the number and severity of epileptic seizures in children).

The Ketogenic Diet was popular back in the 1920s, but because it also caused constipation it fell out of favour - however in recent years the diet has made a comeback, with advocates working more vegetables into their diet that prevent constipation - things like dates, prunes, raisins, berries, popcorn, beans, dried apricots, figs, broccoli, plums, pears, apples, nuts all act as laxatives to prevent constipation.

Who doesn't like dried apricots?
So really this is more like the "Ketogenic Diet 2.0" as you basically do the Ketogenic Diet, but with added benefit of eating dried apricots / etc to keep yourself regular.

The Classic Ketogenic Diet for children was created by paediatrician Mynie Peterman and had the following rules:
  1. A ratio of one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight in children;
  2. 10–15 g of carbohydrates per day;
  3. The remainder of one's daily calories came from fatty sources.
The modern Ketogenic Diet amends the 3rd rule by adding various foods to prevent constipation - preferably foods that are both high in fat and also act as a laxative. Some of the food will contain some carbs, but it is really about seeking more nutritional balance and a happy colon.

Want to learn more about the Ketogenic Diet? Read this.

#2. The Atkins Nutritional Diet 2.0

Created by Dr Robert Atkins.

You have probably heard of the Atkins Diet before, because it is (was) a popular fad diet during the 2003 to 2005 period. In July 2005, the Atkins Nutritional company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a series of sales declines. The company does still exist, but it is no longer as popular as it once was.

Like the Classic Ketogenic Diet from the 1920s, the Atkins Diet had some problems... and it was frankly very similar to Ketogenic Diet. It was also a high-fat and low carbs diet, but it was nowhere near as balanced as the Ketogenic Diet.

Instead it advised people to consume only 950 calories per day... where normally people should be consuming approx. 1800 to 2200 calories per day depending on their body size, level of exercise, etc.

Also keeping in mind that anything below 1400 calories is widely considered to be a "crash diet" or a "near starvation diet".

Dr Atkins believe that embracing the starvation diet was beneficial and that such a low carb diet helped burn fat because "burning fat takes more calories so you expend more calories" during the fat burning process than if you were burning carbs instead.

So while a crash / starvation diet is good for losing weight, it also saps people's willpower very quickly and makes people depressed. And even if they do lose the weight, many people would later quit the diet and regain the weight because it was like leaving a long fast and their body desperately craved more food.

So clearly the original Atkins Diet wasn't that good of an idea.

Enter the Atkins Nutritional Diet 2.0... and its own set of rules:
  1. High Fat
  2. Low Carbs
  3. 1400 to 1800 calories per day
Gone is the crash diet approach, but it keeps the high fat and low carbs routine. And like before, dieters still need to be counting calories if they are seeking to lose weight by keeping it between 1400 to 1800 calories. Add in lots of protein, and it basically a modified Ketogenic Diet.

#3. The Canadian Food Guide Diet

If you grew up in Canada, you probably have seen this (or a version of it) before. It is basically a government endorsed diet for Canadians, following the principles of food portions and good nutrition.

The food guide calls for Canadians to eat the following per day depending upon their needs:

5 to 12 servings of grain products, wherein 1 slice of bread is equivalent to 1 serving.

5 to 10 servings of vegetables or fruit, wherein 1 apple is equivalent to 1 serving.

2 to 4 servings of milk products for adults per day, wherein 1 serving is equivalent to 1 glass of milk.

2 to 3 servings of meat / protein products per day, wherein 1 serving is roughly equal to roughly 1.5 eggs (it really depends on the size of the egg honestly.)

So basically a person doesn't need to track calories at all in this diet. They only need to track what they are eating in terms of number of servings.

A person seeking to lose weight and eat healthy could simply have, for example:

Breakfast - 2 slices of toast, 1 large egg, 1 apple and a glass of milk.

Lunch - A ham and cheese sandwich composed of 2 slices of bread with 1 serving of ham and 1 serving of cheese. Plus 1 serving of carrot sticks.

Afternoon Snack - 1 serving of grapes.

Supper - 1 serving of pasta, 1 serving of meatballs, 1 serving of cheese grated onto the pasta, plus 2 servings of different veggies: Broccoli and peas for example.

...

So if you have been paying attention, that is 5 grain servings, 5 fruits/veggies, 3 milk products and 3 protein.

Everything a person needs for a balanced diet, while still being able to have energy, lose weight, and enjoy a rare treat - and it can be customized to suit the person's individual needs.

So how many Canadians actually follow this diet?

Almost none of us. But we probably should be following it. Tracking servings is certainly easier than tracking calories.


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