How to Determine the Best Diet for You and Your Family
Health begins in the mouth and the ideal diet will keep you healthy, happy and full of energy! Many people think there may be one ideal diet, but everyone has different needs. Some may be more or less prone to certain health conditions and have different lifestyles and overall needs. The real key to determining the best diet is figuring out what works!
Whatever diet you follow, make sure to get the appropriate lab tests to see how it is affecting your health, and adjust as needed.
The following are different dietary options, along with their pros and cons.
Followers of the paleo diet try to eat the way that prehistoric man did during the Paleolithic era. The diet is comprised only of foods that can be collected through hunting or gathering. The diet is rich in high-protein meats and healthy fruits and vegetables. The theory is that this diet is optimal because it encompasses what our bodies were designed to digest.
Pros of the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet can help with weight loss, mostly due to the fact that it cuts out all processed foods, grains, beans and dairy. The high-protein diet is also great for those who follow a weightlifting regimen and want to build muscle.
Eating Paleo is generally good for the health of your teeth and mouth. The diet is low in processed sugar, carbohydrates and other foods that may be corrosive to teeth. Some suggest you would not even have to brush or floss on this diet, but dentists recommend that you still do!
Cons of the Paleo Diet
Some of the science behind the Paleo diet is not based on fact. Many enthusiasts state that human biology hasn’t changed much for the past 10,000 years, which is not true. Additionally, most plant and animal species available for consumption today are vastly different than what was available to our ancestors.
The Paleo diet can cause higher cholesterol due to increased meat and egg consumption. If you’re not a meat eater, the Paleo diet is not a good choice for you.
Vegans eschew meat and animal products including dairy and even honey. Some follow the diet for health reasons, others do it because they love animals, and still others because it is good for the environment. A vegan diet is also sometimes called a plant-based diet. Veganism is one of the fastest growing dietary trends in the U.S.!
Pros of the Vegan Diet
The vegan diet can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of cancer, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Besides the health benefits, it is great for the planet. These days, stores carry more and more high-protein and delicious meat alternatives.
Cons of the Vegan Diet
Oreos are vegan, french fries are vegan, and a vegan burger doesn’t always have much nutritional value either. Vegan food isn’t automatically healthy. Vegans who don’t manage their nutrition may find themselves deficient in certain key nutrients.
Those who eat a lot of raw fruits and certain vegetables may see tooth health decline due to high levels of sugar and acid.
Ketogenic ‘Keto’ Diet
Contrary to the popular high-protein, low-carb, low-fat diets, the keto diet advocates for low carb and high fat, but the right kinds of fat. Reducing your carb intake and replacing it with fat induces ketosis, during which your body burns fat more efficiently.
Pros of the Keto Diet
Most people try the ketogenic diet because it can help you lose weight, but it also has some other surprising benefits. Some studies show it reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer. Ironically, this high-fat diet may help you lose weight better than a low-fat diet!
Cons of the Keto Diet
The “keto flu,” the mysterious illness that resolves after the first few weeks of the diet, has symptoms of tiredness, brain fog and dizziness. Additionally, while there are several potential health benefits to the diet, eating a high concentration of fat may negatively impact heart health.
The keto diet isn’t really bad for your teeth, but being the state of ketosis leads to bad breath. As a result, some on the diet brush their teeth a few times a day or chew gum — both of which can have negative effects on the teeth.
Whole 30 Diet
The Whole 30 diet is a trendy 30-day diet to get you on a path to clean eating. It is a program that attempts to change your relationship to food. It encourages followers to use approved alternative ingredients to make versions of forbidden foods like “cauliflower pizza dough.”
Pros of the Whole 30 Diet
When following the Whole 30 Diet, you may lose weight, resolve digestive issues and improve other health concerns. It can also work as an elimination diet to help discover what foods make you sick or exacerbate conditions. The diet is not focused on weight loss; it is focused on feeling good. Most people who have tried it agree it reaches that goal.
Since the diet cuts out refined sugars and alcohol, it may actually be good for your teeth! Keep brushing and flossing as usual.
Cons of the Whole 30 Diet
The Whole 30 Diet cuts out a lot of foods that may keep you healthy. However, the diet is only 30 days long, so you’re not likely to get into a serious nutrient deficit. Some find the program is quite challenging, but the fact that it’s only a month long keeps them going strong.