Paleo? All organic? Weight Watchers? Gluten Free? I could go on and on.
I was at a fitness convention this past weekend and went to an enlightening course titled “Making Sense of Current Food Trends.” As I took my seat I took it upon myself to do some people watching. The woman next to me was eating a zone bar and putting the calorie content into her My Fitness Pal app. The women in front of me was wearing a shakeology shirt. I immediately thought this course was perfect for these women especially. And he did make a point to rip apart almost every shake and bar on the market.
The instructor was vegan. Which if I were to follow any diet plan, it would be vegan. But it is incredibly difficult and I would cheat constantly, so I don’t consider myself vegan. In fact, I realized don’t fall into any category or any official diet plans. I knew this presentation might be somewhat biased because he was vegan, but nonetheless, he brought some good points backed by solid research to the table. Such as the only diet scientifically linked to a reduction of obesity, a reduction of cancer, and a reduction of heart disease is vegan. But most Americans are not vegan, in fact they are far from it.
The standard American diet consists of:
- 7% vegetables and fruit
- 51% refined foods
- 42% dairy/animal
The average diet of the cultures that live the longest consists of:
- 1900 calories/day
- 90-99% plants
- 0 sugar
- 0 processed foods
…and they have 0 incidence of obesity
So do you notice some substantial differences in these 2 diets? Americans are remarkably deficient in vegetables and fruits and are NOT protein deficient in any way. But for some reason, people feel that we need to market things as having high protein. Take Greek yogurt for example. Even most trainers sitting in the lecture said they eat Greek yogurt to get more protein. Why do we need more protein? We typically don’t! The recommended daily amount of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. New research shows that American women take in about 70 grams and men about 102 grams. But if you feel that you are protein deficient, you can get your protein from many nutrient dense foods other than meat products. Some examples include:
- Green peas
- Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli)
- Seeds (sesame, sunflower, poppy, chia seeds)
I put nuts or seeds in my daily lunch salad. I try to eat leafy greens every day. I am still struggling to eliminate cheese out of my diet. Therefore, I most likely won’t ever be vegan. But if I would and could follow one diet plan, it would be vegan because it is backed up by scientific research unlike most other diet plans out there including gluten free, paleo, and organic. The above info was just a very small example of some of the enlightening things he brought to present. If you want to hear anything about other diet plans, holler at me!
(Note: I am not a nutritionist or a dietician. Please discuss any diet changes with your MD.)