The blog post on the Gut Microbiome was your primer course. 

NOW, let talk about what you you should eat.  You will not find the answers here.  There are so many options and choices … it can be very overwhelming.

There have always been fad diets, as long as I can remember. With absolutely no recommendations, here are some of the diets you may have heard about and even tried, one or two or many!

 

 

 

  • South Beach Diet, which stresses the importance of controlling hunger by eating before it strikes, by cutting out carbs and focusing on lean protein, low-fat dairy and good carbs (whole grains, vegetables and fruit).
  • Mediterranean diets are considered “heart healthy” and include foods rich in seafood, nuts and legumes, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and olive oil, as well as red wine in moderation. However, according to a CNN report, 13, July 2017, citing a study in the International Journal of Epidemiology, only people with higher incomes or more education or a combination of the two, actually experience the benefits! Here’s a great video that accompanied the CNN report:  The Mediterranean diet doesn’t benefit everyone, study says
  • The Zone diet maintains that by changing the balance of foods that you eat (mainly adding protein to balance the carbs at every mean) will help you lose weight, reset your metabolism and ward off chronic health conditions.
  • Atkins diet balances lean protein with controlled portions of fat and health carbs.
  • Paleo diet (origins Paleolithic Diet) allows only those foods that man ate when we first roamed the planet millions of years ago, including fish, lean meats, fruit, non-starchy vegetables and nuts. Read more: On the Paleo Diet and Diabetes
  • Ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat diet that can “they” claim can help you lose weight and improve health. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.Read more: The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide
  • And more, such as
    • Volumetrics (which proposes that foods that contain more water, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier because they have lower energy density than sugary and fatty foods.),
    • Raw Food diet (allows you to eat as much as you want, as often as you want as long as it is raw and vegetarian.),
    • Macrobiotic diets (which promote whole foods over processed foods.) and some of the more dubious diets, such as
    • Alkaline diets,
    • Blood-Type diets,
    • Cookie diets,
    • Cabbage Soup diet,
    • HCG diet (taking human chorionic gonadotropin),
    • Grapefruit diet,
    • Five-Bite diet (eat anything you want but only take 5 bites of it) and even, I kid you not,
    • Werewolf diet (also called the lunar diet, by simply fasting, according to the lunar calendar.).

 

At the recent European Society of Cardiology conference, 29 August, 2017, an enormous prospective study of food intake in adults challenges several staunchly held beliefs about dietary components and their association with health risks: finding, for example that diets rich in fats, including saturated fats, don’t increase mortality risk, but high-carbohydrate diets do.

And the study, called PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology), also found that the benefits of fruits, vegetables, and legumes top out at just three to four total servings per day.

One presentation and Lancet paper led by Mahshid Dehghan, PhD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, focused on the association of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality.  Defying expectations, PURE found that high carbohydrate intake was associated with a significant increase in the risk of death, while both total fat and saturated and unsaturated fats were associated with a decreased risk of death. However, fat consumption was not associated with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular mortality, though saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke.

The second presentation and Lancet paper, by Andrew Mente, PhD, also of McMaster University, challenges the widely held and nearly religious belief that more is always better when it comes to fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Read more: Huge Diet Study Shows Carbs, Not Fats Are the Problem

 

After enough tummy aches and feeling bloated, my husband and I decided to learn more. 

First, we watched a documentary last year called Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary about the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

We discussed it and every time we ate beef or chicken, we would comment on it.  I found that I was eating nearly no beef and barely any chicken.  We are started on the learning curve.

Learn more and download the film: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

But then we watched the trendy documentary, What the Health, on Netflix. Here’s just the trailer … and it comes with a lot of controversy.  BUT, it was enough for us to decided to change our diet and try to eat a vegan lifestyle. We’ve also reduced gluten in our diet.  It’s been over 2 months.  I’ve kept vegan about 90% of the time and my husband is less strict, at about 75%.  He’s lost about 15 lbs, me not so much.  His joint pains and body aches are WAY down, me too.  And while I think I feel better, I do get a lot of comments from friends saying that I really look well! As a long-time Type 1 diabetic, I wanted to be sure that I was eating properly for being vegan and having diabetes.  I was fortunate enough to find a very local endocrinologist, Dr. Daniel Nadeau, who also happens to have a master’s degree in nutrition and is also vegan!  What luck and how very helpful!

  • It’s not that hard, after you figure out the non-meat foods you like and how to prepare them.
  • It seems that we shop more often for fresh fruits and vegetables but we spend less money overall.
  • It’s easy to eat out at almost any restaurant.
  • It’s not hard to eat enough protein. (see attached list of protein, vitamin and mineral sources)
  • There are some great vegan restaurants popping up all around us.
  • I love smoothies!  With the correct fruits and any veggies, my blood sugars seem to be modulated.

 

Here are some great resources if you want to learn more:

 

Here are a few books of interest:

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