You don’t have to eat just like a caveman to call yourself Paleo. Or at least that’s the attitude of Paleo blogger and cookbook author Michelle Tam, creator of NomNomPaleo.com and the book, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. “I’m not a slave to ‘this is exactly Paleo,'” she says. “Cavemen ate bugs and raw meat.” For Tam, the real goal of eating Paleo is to make smart choices and be more conscious of where your food comes from and how eating it makes you feel. Oh, and it’s got to taste good too!
Will Gluten-Free Go the Way of Fat-Free?
Gluten-free. Paleo. Vegan. According to an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times this week, someday we’ll likely look back on the current crop of diet trends with the same regret-slash-sheepishness we now view our fat-free binge of the 1980s and ’90s. (“Think of all the money and meals you wasted on fat-free ice cream and bone-dry chicken breasts that didn’t do you a lick of good,” writer David Sax admonishes us.) As the story points out, Jimmy Kimmel’s hit skit on gluten last month — featuring hilariously cringe-worthy responses from dieters who seem to shun gluten strictly for the cool quotient — perfectly capture our collective dietary cluelessness. But there are some winners out there: Fad diets appear to be big cash cows for food manufacturers, especially when they market products capitalizing on the nutrition words of the moment.
Love them or hate them, caveman-style eating plans like Paleo are the fad diets du jour. While there’s nothing wrong with getting back to basics and giving processed foods the heave-ho, diets like these tend to be too restrictive. Followers are often left hungry, frustrated and nutrient-deficient — and they frequently aren’t sure of what else they’re “allowed” to eat.
If you’ve decided this is the right diet for you, at least make sure you’re being smart about it. Here are some meal ideas and recipes to help you along.
#1: Paleo Diet
This plan recommends you eat like your caveman ancestors, emphasizing lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats and seafood. Dairy and grains aren’t allowed on the plan—omitting two important food groups and numerous important nutrients in your diet. This diet was ranked last by US News and World Report on their list of Best Weight Loss Diets. Their expert panel determined that there is a lack of scientific evidence to show that long-term weight loss can be achieved.
#2: Dukan Diet
Although celebs like Gisele Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly followed this diet post-baby to shed pounds, it was ranked second to last by US News and World Report’s Best Weight Loss Diets. This updated version of the Atkins diet eliminated carbs, fruits and veggies (especially during the very strict first phase), while allowing unlimited amounts of lean protein. It’s a very restrictive plan that will have you losing weight rather quickly—actually too quickly according to safety guidelines set up by the National Institutes of Health. The end result: You’ll probably end up regaining your lost weight plus more.
With the holidays around the corner, the idea fitting into sparkly holiday outfit is starting to make some folks sweat. Many are tempted by diets that’ll help them lose 5 or 10 pounds in a flash. But is that really healthy or safe? U.S. News just released a new list of the healthiest diets, ranking the most popular diets from 1-20. You’ll want to give this a read.
What Are U.S. News Best Diets Rankings?
Many clients and friends ask me, “Which is the best diet?” That’s the million dollar question U.S. News set out to answer. To do so, they spent 6 months researching and analyzing 20 diets. In June, Twenty-two experts — medical doctors, dietitians, health educators — then rated each diet from 1 to 5 (5 being highest) in seven categories such as how easy it is to follow, short and long-term weight loss and its ability to prevent or manage heart disease or diabetes. Each diet was then ranked in 5 categories: Best Diets Overall, Best Weight Loss Diets, Best Diabetes Diets, Best Heart-Healthy Diets, and Best Commercial Diet Plans. You can see the results here. Today, US News added an additional category: The Best Diets for Healthy Eating.