This is where I will explain the differences between Keto, Plant Based, Intermittent Fasting, Vegan and Vegetarian. Some posts you see on social media will only explain what they’re advertising and rightly so. However, I have people asking me all the time “What’s the difference”.. So here is where I shall hopefully shed some light on the differences between some diets that you may come across in your journey of Healthy Eating and Living:)
Keto is sticking to a low carb/high fat food plan which helps to put your body into “Ketosis” (hence the name KETO). Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body begins to burn fat for energy due to not having enough carbs to burn. During this process the liver produces chemicals called Ketones.
Ketones are the last fragments of burning the fat molecule. When there’s Ketones in the blood they go to the brain and the brain then knows to burn Ketones for energy so when you are in KETOTIC you’re feeding your brain whilst starving your body. Ketones also make you feel fuller longer. Keto diet is short term and not a lifestyle change as you miss out on key micro-nutrients when following a keto Food plan. Supplementation whilst doing keto is highly recommended as deficiencies can occur and sometimes may be irreversible.
Vegan is no DAIRY what so ever in one’s food plan. It also abstains from eggs, honey and animal milk, butter and cheese. But a Vegan can also relate to a whole way of living by way of reducing any use of animal products in the foods and materials you use on a daily basis. Going Vegan can help reduce inflammation and certain auto immune diseases that can cause reactions to dairy foods. Vegan food plans are not recommended for children or adolescents, pregnant ladies and breastfeeding. Vegan does lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, high BP, obesity and ischemic heart disease. An unbalanced vegan food plan can lead to deficiencies and can nullify the beneficial effects and can cause serious health issues. Vitamin B12 supplementation is recommended due to the deficiency causing blood disorders and potentially irreversible neurological damage.
Intermittent Fasting or IF for short is a style of eating where you fast more hours than you eat. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbs, particularly sugars and refined grains are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells don’t use it all, we store it in our fat cells as fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
Studies have shown that after 5 weeks a group of men with diabetes ate for 8 hours a day or 12 hours a day spread over (7am-3pm or 7am-7pm) and even though none lost any weight the 8 hour eating group had dramatically lowered their insulin levels, BP and decreased their appetite.
IF can also be combined with 5:2 eating so 5 days on IF and 2 days eating 500 calories a day.
Plant Based Eating
Plant Based is similar to Vegan where as you eliminate dairy (as much as possible) to get the full benefits. It is a recommended way of eating for any heart diseases due to no animal fats to clog up your arteries in and around the heart.
What you can eat on plant based is:
- Plant based protein such as tofu or tempeh, protein powders
- Nuts and nut butters
- Plant based oils
- Spices and herbs
- Unsweetened beverages: coffee, tea, sparkling water
- EXAMPLE DAYS MENU:
- Breakfast: oatmeal with sliced banana
- Lunch: black bean soup
- Snack: roasted kale chips with peanut butter
- Dinner: lentil pasta with homemade tomato sauce
For most people who want to follow a plant based diet you will need to avoid the following:
- Fast food
- Desserts and sugary drinks
- Refined grains: white rice, white bread, refined pasta
- Packaged foods: cookies, chips, sugary cereals
- Processed meats: bacon, sausage, ham
Plant based does not mean eliminating food groups or lean sources of protein in total it’s a holistic approach to better health and doesn’t stop you from eating the foods you crave or love all the time. Everything eaten in moderation is a better way however lowering Cholesterol, BP, type 2 diabetes and any other heart related diseases is best off by staying away from the foods that caused it in the first place typically processed, refined, packaged foods high in sugar and salt and animal products high in fats.
This is the confusing one!! Vegetarianism is similar to Vegan, however there are a few Vegetarian variations.
Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products but no meat or fish
Ovo-Vegetarian includes eggs but not dairy products and no meat or fish
Lacto-Vegetarian includes dairy products but not eggs and no meat or fish
A strict Vegetarian excludes all animal products including eggs and dairy. Avoidance of animal products may require dietary supplementation to prevent deficiencies such as vitamin B12 which leads to pernicious anemia.
Semi Vegetarian diets consists largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry
Pescatarian diet has been described as fish but no other meat
With any such change in food plans there needs to be advice from your GP. For all and any diet plans please be sure to investigate thoroughly as to what your meals will include/exclude and definitely be sure to ask for blood tests before and after so you can see results in lowering certain deficiencies you may have in the first place.
Adolescents and teenagers need to be extremely careful taking on or following any of the above due to micro-nutrient (vitamins, zinc, potassium, iron, B12 just to name a few) deficiencies that may occur during or after following any of these as some deficiencies are irreversible. Please be sure to check in with your GP J It is highly recommended that adolescents and teenagers DO NOT eliminate dairy/meats altogether unless it is a religious reason or belief of some form.
Please call 0410612167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussions with meal plans or to discuss the above in further detail..