What is the difference between KETO, PALEO, ATKINS, LOW CARB, VEGAN & MEDITERRANEAN DIETS?

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Till sometime back, I thought people were divided on the basis of political affiliations, religion and caste. Recently I discovered that they can also be different based on their diets. Dr.Deyanand Chakravarthy had given a succinct explanation about all the diets on our FB page ‘Shiv and Savy Fighting Fit’. As I had posted this question, let me share my perspective too.

The fundamental reason for all these diets is rampant ‘Obesity’ and raging chronic diseases.

  1. PALEO DIET – 10,000 years back your ancestors had not settled down for agriculture. They used to hunt fish and consume wild fruits and vegetables. Net result, their skeletons revealed that there was no osteoporosis, diabetes or cardio vascular disease 10,000 years back. Now friends don’t get visions of going into Mudumalai forest in tribal dress and killing deer, catching fish and picking wild berries and fruits. You can continue living in this modern world but focus more on eating nutrients like them and switch your body back to pre agricultural ages. Paleo diet focuses on Carbs from fresh fruits and vegetables, protein from lean meat, fresh sea food and Omega 3 eggs. Don’t worry you can have fats too. From Olives to Flax seeds (for which you have to hunt like our prehistoric ancestors in a place like India).
  2. KETOGENIC DIET (ATKINS DIET) – cut your carbs completely, no rice, no vegetables, no idlis, no dosas, no parathas sorry. Then what do you eat? FATS. Whaaat the …..? But your body will switch its fuel from being a carb burner to a Keto burner. Your body weight goes downhill and so do your bad cholesterols. Cancer cannot survive in a Keto environment. It has a downside as it disturbs your muscles, thyroid and cortisol (stress hormone). Though you would look lean and fit, you would give a Keto smell. So hulks, ‘you will be good from far but far from good’.
  3. MEDITERRANEAN DIET – One gentleman got annoyed when I spoke it. He said talk about Bay of Bengal diet or Arabian Sea diet, why Mediterranean diet. The reason this diet became prominent is because people in and around the Mediterranean Sea are fit, have low cholesterol, no arthritis, no Alzheimer’s, no diabetes and no cancer. They have the longest life expectancy. So what do these Mediterraneans  do? Eat fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains (brown rice), Quinoa, Olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices.

So what’s the moral of the story? All the three diets intersect at a particular region – no white rice, wheat, milk, processed foods and a BIG huge NO TO SUGAR.

  1. LOW / SLOW CARB DIET – This diet was suggested by Tim Ferris. The idea is to have the same food 6 days of the week with high protein and fat content and low carb content. This line may be music to your ears – cheat on the seventh day and have anything and everything.
  2. VEGAN DIET – this diet is totally against Animal protein, diary and eggs and claims that they are the main cause of all chronic diseases. Switch over to nuts, beans, fruits, legumes, seeds and vegetables and remain fit forever.

Friends, each of them have data to support their cause. Unfortunately, our civilization, supposedly the oldest in the world with ayurvedic foods has no data to support its cause. We still live in antiquity and resort to “Pattimanrams” (debates) to put our arguments across.

I studied MBA twenty five years ago but even today we resort to Kotler and Porter to get authentic information. When will we Indians do the right research and become a healthy, disease free nation…..

I was an equal opportunity eater, every ethnic group got a shot – Bill Clinton      

By Sivakumar

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