Over and over I hear similar questions from new clients... should I try keto? Should I go vegetarian? What about intermittent fasting or carb cycling?
In terms of long term health, heart health and weight management, the keto/Whole 30 advocates will tell you carbs are the problem.
Vegans and vegetarians say meat is the problem.
The American Heart Association says fats, especially saturated fats, are the problem.
So who is right?
A recent study looked at the effects of food on heart health and one of my favorite scientists for debunking nutrition myths, Dr. Chaney, broke down the findings here.
The short answer is, those at lowest risk including diets that are plant based - filled with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
Those at highest risk ate diets high in sodium, sugary drinks, and high in trans fats and processed meats.
Eating plant based does not necessarily mean eating a vegetarian diet, but it means that the majority of your food on your plate should be vegetables. Including high quality meat is not a problem and can be part of a healthy diet.
A heavy meat diet without vegetables obviously would not be healthy, and a meat free diet high in sugar and trans fats also would not be healthy.
Aim to fill your plate half full with vegetables at lunch and dinner. This could include a large salad at lunch with nuts, seeds, beans, or other protein and healthy fats, as well as sides of broccoli and green beans at dinner, or grilled zucchini and eggplant, or a veggie based soup.
Have you been confused by the many diets claiming to have the best way?
I put together a free 5 day eating plan to curb cravings and eat in a balanced, veggie packed way to get you started.