Making sense of well-known diets

Low-carb diets:

Several well-known diets such as the ketogenic diet are based on severe restriction of carbohydrates, which can result in rapid weight loss. The down-side is that many of these diets lean to high-fat choices. Some plans also cause ketosis in the induction stage.

Learn more about very low carb diets and diabetes.

The Paleo Diet:

The paleo diet, or the “caveman diet” is a dietary plan based on foods which are similar to those that might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era (between 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago). This diet consists of foods that could be obtained but hunting or gathering – such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds. Foods such as grains, legumes, dairy products, refined, sugar, potatoes, and processed foods/drinks are avoided in the paleo diet.

While some randomized controlled trials found that the paleo diet led to improvements in fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference compared to other diets, there is still not enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits.

The Portfolio Diet:

This dietary eating plan is regarded as a modified vegetarian diet, which emphasizes foods that have been shown to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. These foods include soy protein, nuts, plant sterols and soluble fibre. Studies show that individuals on the portfolio diet were able to decrease LDL cholesterol by 20-30%, whether or not they were taking a cholesterol-lowering medication. If you have been told by your doctor that you have high cholesterol, this might be the diet for you!

Glycemic Index Diets:

Lower glycemic index (GI) foods can be useful in helping to maintain blood sugar targets. However, it is important to note that low GI foods are not always healthier, since many high-fat foods fall into this category.

It can also be complicated for individuals to follow a low GI diet plan on their own. Many food labels don’t include GI ratings, and GI diets tend not to take cooking methods into consideration.

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