In the fitness world, different types of nutrition plans have gained traction over the years, being dubbed good for a variety of goals.
For instance, the ketogenic diet has been popularly used for weight loss, while the vegan diet has been promoted due to the claimed health benefits from excluding animal products.
There are many popular diets out there, but in this article, we'll compare the 3 most popular ones - The Ketogenic, Vegan, and finally, The Carnivore diet.
If you're just getting to learn more about healthy nutrition and are wondering which option is the best, keep reading!
What Makes A Good Nutrition Plan?
Unfortunately, many of the self-proclaimed "gurus" that market these diets, claim that such an approach to nutrition may have supreme benefits over other types of diet.
However, the truth is that the exclusion of a certain nutrient, or focusing on a specific food group won't really hack your way to progress...
Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that these diets can't be beneficial.
The MOST IMPORTANT factor of an effective nutrition plan is its sustainability, or, in other words, how well you can adhere to it - When on a diet, think in terms of “Can I stick to this in the long term, or does it rather feel like torture?”
If you're eating keto but can't really tolerate it, why do it in the first place?
Now let's have a look at all 3 nutrition approaches and discuss their pros and cons
The Carnivore Diet
This first nutrition approach is one of the recently viral ones, and there is a reason for that.
The proponents of the carnivore diet believe that humans evolved to this extent with the help of nutrient-dense animal food sources, as we lived in hunter-gatherer societies for a long time.
These are the foods that increased satiety and provided essential nutrients that allowed the complex development of the human species.
As the name suggests, animal products like meat and organs are at the core of this nutrition plan.
Though similar to the ketogenic diet due to its high protein and fat content, the carnivore diet differs because it also allows for the consumption of quality carb sources like fruits and root crops.
Pros: Highly satiating, abundant in essential nutrients
Cons: Quality meat is expensive, you can't consume grains and vegetables
The Ketogenic Diet
Similar to the carnivore diet, the ketogenic diet implies a heavy focus on fat and protein, as the main sources of calories.
The term 'ketogenic' comes from the metabolic state of 'ketosis', during which the body uses fat as its main energy source. (The liver transforms fat in ketone bodies that are released in the bloodstream and used for energy)
This diet has gained a lot of positive feedback from people on weight-loss regimens, or individuals who try to normalize their blood sugar levels.
However, one of its biggest disadvantages is that it excludes carbs and thus, athletic performance may suffer.
Pros: Highly satiating, plenty of quality protein and fats
Cons: Almost completely excludes carbs (worse athletic performance), doesn't allow sweets, is not so flexible, may be hard and expensive to stick to
The Vegan Diet
Opposite to the carnivore diet that puts animal products at the core of nutrition, the vegan diet completely excludes those!
This approach to nutrition entails a complete focus and devotion to plant foods.
And though there are no additional benefits to that, as opposed to other diets (when calories are equated), the vegan diet may turn out to be more sustainable for some individuals, especially ones who don't tolerate animal foods well.
Pros: May ease digestion and improve intolerances while granting sufficient nutrients for healthy functioning
Cons: Can be hard to find quality vegan foods, excludes the most nutritious foods (animal products), food volume is usually big, which can result in bloats
Which One Should You Pick?
Alright, before you rush into purchasing a stack of avocados and asparagus, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I like the foods this diet requires?
- Can I stick to this?
- Will I feel miserable following this nutrition plan?
- Is this sustainable in the long term?
- Will this provide enough energy for my daily mental and physical activities?
Remember, don't fall for someone's marketing tricks - Do your own research, experiment and find out the nutrition approach that is most sustainable for YOU!