Understanding Your Nutrition Options

Keeping track of all of the diet and nutrition plans out there can be a full-time job in itself. There’s no single diet that works for everyone. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is also about more than just the food you do or don’t eat. 

The best diets incorporate balanced meals that meet your nutritional needs while also taking your lifestyle and physical, mental, and emotional needs into account. Dr. Sasan Massachi, an internal medicine specialist in Beverly Hills, California, offers compassionate and comprehensive primary care services — including weight loss services — designed around your individual health needs and goals.

You probably know someone who has gone vegan, keto, or paleo over the past few years. Whether it’s the South Beach diet or another type of structured meal plan, knowing what your options are and what you can expect from each plan is the best way to find what works best for you. Here, we help you understand more about some of the most popular diet and nutrition plans at the moment, as well as a few mainstays.

Keto diet

Most diet plans operate on the premise that fat is bad, but the keto (ketogenic) diet is based on high fat and very low carb consumption to spur your body into burning more fat for energy.

There are a few variations of the keto diet, with different levels of protein consumption. Some of the stated benefits of the keto diet are faster metabolism, weight loss, low blood sugar, and better liver and metabolic function. Maintaining healthy metabolic function is one of the main goals of preventive medicine.

Paleo diet

Is it even possible to eat like a caveman in the 21st century? The main premise behind the paleo diet is that humans should stick to eating according to the hunter/gatherer model: fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, lean meat and game, and olive or nut oils. Foods to avoid include grains, dairy, starch, processed foods, and legumes — basically, anything introduced into the human diet after the advent of agricultural farming. 

Vegan

Vegan diets are plant-based and completely eliminate animal products, from meat to dairy. Along with fruits and veggies, vegan diets include regular servings of whole grains and non-animal proteins derived from foods such as nuts, legumes, and soy.

Although plant-based diets are generally considered very healthy, there are certain essential nutrients — like vitamin B12 — that the human body doesn’t produce on its own and gets primarily from animal protein. If you follow or are interested in adopting a vegan diet, Dr. Massachi may recommend vitamin B12 shots to prevent a deficiency.

South Beach diet

The South Beach diet promotes balanced nutrition with plenty of fruits and vegetables and more of a focus on protein and “good” fats such as those in avocados and olives. You don’t have to ban carbs entirely on the South Beach diet, but instead substitute highly processed and refined carbs like white rice and bread for brown rice, bulgar wheat, whole grains, and leafy greens.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is not so much a diet plan as a way of eating. Instead of a structured meal plan, intermittent fasting alternates between low-calorie or fast days and days when you eat a normal amount of calories throughout the day.

Adherents practice intermittent fasting in a number of ways, either by fasting on alternate days (Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example) or by limiting meals to a specific window every day, like 8 am to 4 pm and fasting for the remainder of the day. Some of the stated benefits of intermittent fasting include weight loss, lower insulin levels, and faster metabolism.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet still tops the charts for healthy diets and is especially recommended for weight loss and general health, wellness, and longevity. It’s been credited with everything from being heart-healthy and weight loss-friendly to potentially lowering or preventing your risk for certain types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Mediterranean diet features fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and limited amounts of red meat and dairy. It’s a great option for a balanced nutrition plan that offers many choices so that you won’t feel deprived.

With any diet and weight loss plan, consistency is key, so choose a nutrition plan that you feel comfortable with and that you can maintain in the short and long term. Before starting any weight loss program, schedule a visit with Dr. Massachi to discuss your goals and the options that can help you achieve them safely and smartly. 

For more information about the nutrition and weight loss services we offer as part of our comprehensive primary care, contact us today by calling the office directly or requesting an appointment online.

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