We all know there are many diets out there to choose from, the hard part is which one to choose for yourself. That is precisely why you should continue reading……
There are pros and cons for every diet and controversy to go along with that by every expert in the field…..however for the sake of this article we are going to examine two: Paleo vs. Vegan. For those who don’t know – the Vegan diet is defined by a person who does not consume any animal products… at all, that’s right. Nothing. This is different than a vegetarian, where they don’t eat meat. There can be many different reasons why someone would choose to go Vegan and in some, maybe most cases it’s because of the treatment of animals. Or should I say lack of?
There are many health benefits to eating vegan and there actually is a wide array of foods that you can eat to be nutritionally sound. That’s right- vegans don’t just eat beans. Most people assume that vegans are malnourished….another stereotype that’s inaccurate. If you look at the average American (which we can all agree is usually by definition overweight) then we could assume that most are malnourished as well. Let’s remember, malnourished doesn’t have to do with weight or size but what nutrition your body is actually taking from the foods you eat and the health of your overall being. If you are eating the wrong foods it’s really not good for two reasons. Your body isn’t getting the proper nutrition and your body is probably working twice as hard just to figure out what to do with the foods you actually are eating.
Vegans can be quite healthy; by eliminating certain food groups they actually have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure levels, lower fat levels and better functioning organs that are thankful you aren’t working them 24/7 to process food! So what does that mean? The overall risk of developing a disease is significantly lower, diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Yup, you can actually help yourself live a longer healthier life! Vegans do however need to be weary of the foods they are putting in their body so that they can make sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals their body needs.
So what does a Vegan eat?! Vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. Sounds exciting right?! It may not be as tasty for some people but I guarantee you will feel better AND look better eating clean. Is there a downside to eating Vegan? Vitamin and mineral deficiency is controversial with this “diet”. Calcium, B12, D are essential for the body and we need sufficient amounts of each. Calcium and D work together to get absorbed in the body and are essential for strong bones (which helps females prevent Osteoporosis later in life). B12 is extremely important for brain and nerve function and if deficient this can cause dementia, memory loss, lack of coordination or disorientation. (B12 is usually found in meats but in this case it has been added to cereals and meat substitutes for Vegans). Healthy fat intakes are also essential for brain function and have been proven to be linked to brain disorders such as Schizophrenia. FYI – it is always better to get vitamins and minerals from foods rather than taking supplements.
So what’s that other diet again? Paleo. What is Paleo? Paleo takes it back to the old days when food was natural, its purest form. When people went out and hunted and gathered their foods. This worked well then so it can work just as well now. The food industry is built a little different now. Government controls and health professionals aren’t working together to help us, in fact they are working against us. They infest our land and our foods to make money. How could they?! Maybe we should all buy mass amounts of land to farm and raise stock? Shouldn’t be too hard right?
Following the Paleo diet will help you avoid foods that are high in hormones and pesticides (you should avoid this in the Vegan as well). A little different than the Vegan diet Paleo eaters avoid grains, beans, potatoes and dairy. Why? Because carbs are bad news! No but seriously if you go back many years’ humans only lived off meat, fish, poultry, leaves, roots and fruits from certain plants. They believe grains, beans and potatoes cannot be eaten uncooked and when cooked lectin production occurs (carb binding proteins that contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes). The human body is a very smart machine and it knows the difference between foods today and foods many years ago. Our bodies are not capable of breaking down certain foods offered to Americans today. Say hello to cancer and the rising rates in America. The stress created in the body from foods we eat is what is killing many of our loved ones today.
The diet consists of eating high amounts of lean meats (best if grass fed), fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. However, high levels of protein can have negative impacts on the body as well, meats are acid forming in the body and our objective is to keep the body as alkaline as possible. The less acid we have the longer we live. This is where the Vegan diet can be argued to be better because the consistency of foods keeps the body more alkaline (through more dark leafy greens etc.). High levels of protein can disrupt the intestinal track and can be cancer causing. However, it has been studied that the Paleo diet does have very positive affects on our health as well, limited heart disease, stronger bones and tissues, and no arthritis and cancer.
Eating clean in general helps prolong your health and in reality all diets should be balanced; each meal must consist of healthy carbs (45% -> 65%), fats (20% -> 35%) and proteins (10% -> 35%). This is what makes the body operate at its best. They all work together and the body is happy when treated right. So which diet should you choose between the two? Well that’s up to you to figure out, maybe Vegan, maybe Paleo? Maybe both!? Hybrid them = Vegleo?! Whichever you chose make sure to research and gain the appropriate knowledge. Our goal is to cherish the body we live in every day so make the choices that are right for us all.
On April 29th Carozza Fitness will launch the first ever Paleo vs. Vegan “Operation Muffin Top” to see which diet has what is takes to get our athletes and non-athletes to a higher level of health and fitness. For additional info and your chance to win up to $6,000 visit CAROZZAFITNESS.COM