Paleo, Whole30, or Keto – Which is Right for Me? Or Are None Right for Me?

For many of us, we use January as a way to reset our diet and exercise regimen. New year, new me – right? There are so many different diets and ways of eating it can get really overwhelming when trying to determine which is the best for you. 

Jennifer Ostman is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner based in Dallas. Along with some friends, I worked with her last year on a six-week sugar detox. I reached out to her for her advice on clean eating and her opinion the Paleo, Whole30, and Keto diets. “As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I believe the most important thing anyone can do for their health is eliminate processed foods and eat a properly-prepared, nutrient-dense diet made of real whole foods. While a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy and exercise is admirable, many people try to jump from a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) right into a fairly extreme diet such as Keto.  And while I do think these diets have great benefits, I do not think it is realistic to expect real lasting results if you currently eat a lot of processed food,”

Three of the most talked about diets is the Paleo diet, Whole30, and the Keto Diet. There are some similarities among these diets and there are a lot of differences between them, as well. The Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle change, where the Whole30 is short term diet designed to kick-start healthy eating and weight loss. The Keto diet can be controversial, as it promotes a low carb, high fat eating which isn’t necessarily the healthiest in the long term.

How do you know which way of eating is right for you? Here is a breakdown of these three diets.

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet. Developed by Loren Cordain, PhD, the Paleo diet is also known as the “caveman diet”, since it focuses on food eaten by hunter-gatherer civilizations. 

Foods that are allowed:

  • Fresh, unprocessed meats including poultry, chicken, pork, steak, bacon, and game.
  • Fresh seafood including salmon, shrimp, halibut, tuna, and tilapia. As long as it’s cooked according to Paleo methods, pretty much any seafood is allowed.
  • Non-starchy vegetables including asparagus, avocado, Brussels sproutskale, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and peppers. These vegetables will help you feel fuller for longer and are naturally low in sugars. 
  • Limited starchy vegetables that include sweet potatoes and yams, squash (all types), and beets. These foods are perfectly fine to eat, just don’t each them every day. Limit to once or twice a week.
  • Fresh fruit. A bowl of fresh fruit can be very refreshing. Fruits are Paleo-friendly, but as with the Whole30, just be careful about the quantity of fruit eaten each day. Fruit is naturally high in sugar and you don’t want to spike your blood sugar levels because you are over-doing it with the fruit.
  • Eggs, unless you have a food allergy or intolerance to them.
  • Nuts and seeds make for a great snack. They are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. But, they are also high in fat, so just be careful about how many nuts you are eating. It’s easy to munch on a bag of mixed nuts and before you know it, the bag is almost gone! Don’t forget, peanuts aren’t allowed because they are a legume, not a nut.
  • Healthy oils and fats are good for you – they don’t raise your cholesterol. This includes coconut oil, olive oil, coconut butter, avocados and avocado oil, and ghee. This also includes cooking with oils left over from cooking meats like bacon. 
  • Honey, stevia, and maple syrup. Make sure to use these sweeteners in moderation because they are high in natural sugar.
  • Nut flours such as coconut flour, almond flour, cassava flour, arrowroot flour, or tigernut flour.

Foods to avoid:

  • No refined or processed sugar. This includes high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
  • No dairy of any kind. If you are dairy-free, this step is easy. But you can’t eat dairy-free yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, cheese, or many other “dairy-free” items, as these contain added sugars or soy. 
  • No legumes. This means no beans of any kind. Peanuts are included in this family, so no peanut butter. 
  • No white or red potatoes, as these are high in starch and natural sugar. Sweet potatoes are allowed in moderation.
  • No grains, including corn and rice. If you are gluten-free, this is easy (you just have to add corn and rice to the list), as you’ve already eliminated these from you diet. If you aren’t gluten-free, this means no bread, pasta, crackers, oats, quinoa, bulgur, and sprouted grains, to name a few. Unlike the Whole30, Paleo bread is allowed.
  • No processed foods of any kind. 
  • No refined oils. Canola, palm, and vegetable oils are all off limits. You can cook with olive, avocado, or coconut oils. 

The Palo diet may be beneficial to people prone to internal inflammation, have been diagnosed with PCOS or another auto-immune disease, have insulin resistance or need to regulate your blood sugar due to diabetes or pre-diabetes, have high cholesterol or heart disease, or are looking to lose weight (or maintain weight loss). Like the Whole30, the diet eliminates processed foods, processed sugar, gluten, and dairy. Unlike the Whole30, you can enjoy a glass of wine (in moderation, like on a Friday night after a long week at work). This diet is also easier to maintain long-term since it’s not a rigid as the Whole30 or the Keto diet.

Whole30

Developed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig in 2009, the Whole30 is an elimination diet. Foods that contain sugars and sweeteners, gluten, dairy, and legumes may be causing you to have internal inflammation or leaky gut, have low energy levels, poor sleep quality, and cause your blood sugar levels to spike. The idea is to eliminate these foods and food groups for 30 days, allowing your body to heal and reset. 

This elimination diet doesn’t require you to count calories, carbohydrates, or macronutrients like the Keto diet. You can eat as much as you want – as long as it is a Whole30 approved food. The rules of the Whole30 are very strict. No cheat days are allowed; if you slip up, the program expects you to start all over again at day 1. 

What you can eat during the 30 days:

  • Meat. Even if you aren’t doing the Whole30, you should try and buy meat that is organic, grass-fed, or all natural. Check out my blog post about the benefits of buying organic meat.
  • Seafood. Wild-caught is the best, as it won’t contain any additives. 
  • Eggs. For those of us with egg allergies or intolerances, this is off limits.
  • Fresh vegetables. Try and buy what is in season and avoid canned and frozen vegetables. 
  • Fresh fruit. Fruit is high in natural sugar, so be careful to not eat too much in one day. You can’t eat dried fruit, as this is really high in sugar. 
  • Whole-Fat Foods like avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and nut butters.
  • Potatoes. Sweet potatoes have always been allowed on the Whole30 but they added white potatoes to the list. Who doesn’t love a potato? 
  • Ghee or clarified butter. For those of us with dairy intolerances or allergies, these may not be an option. When I first went dairy-free, ghee bothered me. However, I tried it again last year and it didn’t bother me. It’s still not my go-to for cooking, but I keep it in my pantry and use it when I want a buttery taste in my cooking. 
  • Vinegar, including rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. The only thing not allowed is malt vinegar because it contains gluten.
  • Coconut aminos. If you are already soy-free, you know how easily this can be substituted for soy sauce.

What you can’t eat for 30 days:

  • No sugar of any kind, including maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, agave nectar, stevia, artificial sweeteners like Splenda.
  • No alcohol. You can’t even cook with it.
  • No grains, including corn and rice. If you are gluten-free, this is easy (you just have to add corn and rice to the list), as you’ve already eliminated these from you diet. If you aren’t gluten-free, this means no bread, pasta, crackers, oats, quinoa, bulgur, and sprouted grains, to name a few.
  • No legumes. This means no beans of any kind. Peanuts are included in this family, so no peanut butter. 
  • No soy. This includes soy sauce, miso, tofu, and read your labels, because this includes soy lecithin.
  • No dairy. If you are dairy-free, this step is easy. But you can’t eat dairy-free yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, cheese, or many other “dairy-free” items, as these contain added sugars or soy. 
  • Read labels for carrageeans, MSG and sulfites. Carrageean causes inflammation, which this diet is trying to eliminate. No one should be eating MSG and sulfites are preservatives.
  • Do not eat processed foods, baked goods, junk food or other treats made with Whole30 approved ingredients. One of the goals of the Whole30 diet is to break the “sugar demon” and eating these types of foods is only going to make the monster bigger. Clean eating is the platform of this diet and none of these foods are considered “clean.”

I did the Whole30 back in 2015 when I first moved to Dallas. I had been on a two-month goodbye tour of New Jersey and I was so ready to detox. I’m not going to lie – it was hard. Not being able to have a glass of wine on a Friday night was brutal. But, I got really good at reading labels and learning how to make better food choices. To this day, I avoid legumes as much as possible and try and limit the amount of rice and corn I consume. The Whole30 has become very popular over the past few years. As a result, there are a lot more options availablefor people wanting to partake in this diet.

The Keto Diet

The Keto diet is basically a low-carb diet, high-fat diet like Atkins. When you drastically reduce the amount of carbs eaten, your body goes into ketosis, a type of metabolic state. When you reach ketosis, your body is relying on burning fat instead of sugar for energy.

The standard keto diet contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs. This can help reduce blood sugar spikes and helps keep insulin levels regulated. However, there is a lot of controversary around the Keto diet, as there are some dangerous side effects.

Diabetics are advised not to follow this diet, unless under close doctor supervision. Acids are produced as a byproduct of burning fat – too much of this buildup causes the blood to become too acidic, which damages the liver, kidneys, and brain. Ketoacidosis can develop, which can become fatal if left untreated.

Another concern doctors and nutritionists have about the Keto diet is people going overboard on the high-fat foods. Bacon is delicious but you shouldn’t eat it at every meal. As a result, people who follow the Keto diet may be prone to weight gain, not weight loss.

The keto diet has been found to be beneficial for people suffering from seizures or epilepsy

Foods that are allowed:

  • Meat of any kind, including sausage and deli meats.
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and shellfish.
  • Eggs
  • Dairy, including butter, cream, and unprocessed cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils
  • Non-starchy vegetables including kale, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cauliflower.
  • Fruits low in carbs, such as apricots, grapefruit, raspberries, and lemons.

Foods to avoid:

  • Sugar of all kinds
  • Grains and starches, just like Paleo and Whole30.
  • All fruit except for a small portion of berries.
  • Legumes, also like Paleo and Whole30.
  • Root vegetables and potatoes. This includes carrots, beets, parsnips, and all potatoes. Basically, any vegetable grown in the earth.
  • Processed and sugar-free “diet” foods
  • Limit the amount of “unhealthy” fats like vegetable oils and mayonnaise.
  • Alcohol, unless labeled “low carb”

Conclusion

“Paleo and Whole30 are very similar; are you the type of person who needs a “program” with an official start and end date? Then Whole30 is a great option.  Are you a rebel who doesn’t want to be tied down by those strict rules? Maybe exploring Paleo feels better to you. Keto is a therapeutic diet that can be very beneficial, but needs to be thoroughly researched and executed correctly, in my opinion. Ideally with the guidance of a practitioner,” said Jennifer.

At the end of the day, you need to determine what is sustainable for you and your family. Maybe one specific diet doesn’t fit into your lifestyle but a combination of two works best. We follow a combination of the Paleo diet and the Whole30. This allows us to eat clean while still being able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on occasion.

“The bottom line is that we must respect bio-individuality.  We are each very unique, and cannot expect that one diet will heal everyone,” said Jennifer. “Personally, I know that I do very well with high fat and low carb. I also have family members and clients who have more energy, better digestion, and better overall health with more carbs. You must find what works best for you. Give Paleo a try for 30 days. Try the Whole30. Test out a few Keto recipes. How do you feel? Trust your instinct!” she concludes. 

As always, if you are starting out on a new diet and/or fitness regime, you should consult with your doctor, healthcare provider, or nutritionist. He or she may recommend you start your diet a specific way or advise against one versus another based on pre-existing health issues. 

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Ostman is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner based in Dallas, TX.  She is creating an online program called The 30 Day Real Food Challenge: a fully online course that provides a complete 30-Day Meal Plan (grocery lists, meal prep guide & recipes), nutrition education, kitchen skills, and practical tips. This program is designed to help you cultivate new habits that will last you a lifetime. Coming April 2019!  

Download the free guide: My Favorite Packaged Food Brands 

www.jenniferostman.com

jennifer@jenniferostman.com


10 Tips For Starting Out With Food Allergies

I have been living the food allergy lifestyle for what feels like forever. When I was initially diagnosed with sensitivities to gluten, dairy, and eggs, the Apple iPhone hadn’t been invented and there wasn’t a “gluten-free” aisle in the grocery store. Almond milk was watery and the coconut oil craze was still at least 10 years away. Yes, we are talking prehistoric days lol. I have learned a lot and have seen the food industry and restaurants make huge strides in offering more items to those of us who can’t eat “regular” foods. This weekend, I found out my friend was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and him and his wife were texting me for tips and advice. I have been meaning to write a blog on tips for those who are just starting out on their food allergy journey, and now I have even more reason to move this up to the top of my blog schedule.

Below are some tips to help you start your journey living with food allergies or sensitivities. I know it’s so overwhelming at the beginning, but I promise it gets better. As you start to eliminate your problem foods from your diet, you will start to feel better. I still miss real bread and pasta but luckily I’ve found really good alternatives so I can still enjoy these foods.

1. Breathe. You Will Survive.

After your initial diagnosis, you probably left the doctor’s office with a lot of information. You may have gotten in your car and had a little bit of a freak out. Your whole life is changing just because your body rejects certain foods. It’s super overwhelming. I remember I got a binder full of materials that explained my test results, had lists of foods that were safe and forbidden, how to eat healthier, a list of vitamins to buy, and lots of blank pages for food journaling.

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Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to breathe. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. You will feel better, I promise. Remember that you are not in this alone. Hopefully, you have a supportive family, spouse, and friends that will help you as your navigate these unchartered waters. I was lucky because my family went above and beyond to help as I was figuring everything out at first. My mom made copies of several of the handouts I received so she could modify her recipes and made sure she had safe foods for me when I came to visit.

2. Learn All The Terms For Hidden Allergy Ingredients and What Foods are “Safe”

Now that you have taken a few deep breaths, the hard work begins. The first thing you need to do is educate yourself on all the different terms used to describe your food allergy. For me, I had to learn all the different names for gluten, dairy and eggs. I created a list with all of the different terms and took that with me to the grocery store to make sure I wasn’t buying something that really contained gluten, dairy, or eggs.

Visit the Hidden Ingredients page on this blog to learn all the different terms for gluten, dairy, and eggs. You can even download these lists to keep for reference. Knowledge is power!

3. Learn How To Read Labels

Now that you know what foods to avoid, the next thing is to learn how to read labels. There are a lot of naturally gluten-free and dairy-free foods out there, but lots of times food manufacturers will add gluten or dairy as binders or preservatives. If you are trying to avoid soy, you will see that in everything! Below are a few examples of labels with hidden ingredients.

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Granola bars are a great snack. For those of us with egg, milk, and soy allergies, this particular bar is out because it contains Soy Lecithin. Soy Lecithin contains egg yolks and milk and is mixed with soy (and several other items).

 

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Buying pre-made taco seasoning is easy but it’s full of stuff you don’t need or want. Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix contains gluten (maltodextrin), canola and soybean oils are GMOs, and natural flavor may contain gluten.

4. Do A Kitchen and Pantry Purge

Now that you know hidden ingredient terms and know how to read labels, now is the time to purge your pantry. This can take several hours, so make sure you have set aside a morning or afternoon to accomplish this task. It’s also a good excuse to reorganize your pantry. Pinterest has tons of tips and ideas for pantry organization if you need inspiration.

Start by completely emptying out your pantry. Group foods together by type, like what you find in the grocery store. Read every label, even if you think it’s safe. Anything that hasn’t been opened and is non-perishable, put in a bag to donate to your local food bank or bring to your friends or family members who don’t have food allergies. Anything that is open and isn’t allergy-safe, either throw away or gift to family that won’t mind accepting foods that are open.

Once you have read every label, reorganize your pantry in a way that works best for you and your family. I like the OXO air-tight POP containers and wire baskets. I’m a Type A personality, so I like things organized with labels.

Next, move onto the spice cabinet. You shouldn’t have any issues with spices that are single-ingredient spices like garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, and basil. Any spice that has more than one ingredient, you need to read the label. Packaged taco seasonings usually have maltodextrin, which is a form of gluten, and soup spice packets usually contain dairy, gluten, and some even have MSG. Throw away or donate any spices that contain any of your allergens. Some spices will not contain any food allergy ingredients but if you are worried about cross contamination, you may want to throw away spices that are manufactured in facilities with gluten, dairy, or other food allergens.

After the spice cabinet, move onto the refrigerator. Using the same process as the pantry purge, remove everything that isn’t homemade. Read every label and dispose of anything that contains your food allergy. Throw away anything that is past its expiration date. Wipe down the drawers and shelves both inside and on the door. Finally, replace your box of baking soda to help keep your refrigerator fresh. Put back all your food items that are safe to eat.

Another area of the kitchen that needs to be purged is your baking flours. If you like to bake, then you have to replace all of your flour with gluten-free flours. My recommendation is to get rid of your baking flour and spend some time researching gluten-free baking. You will need a lot of different flours to get the same results from wheat or white flour. I could write several blog posts just on that topic…

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This can be a very daunting task. It’s a little scary to see how much food you have to get rid of but it’s worth it. Remember, these foods are making you feel less than stellar, so it’s good to get rid of the temptation to cheat.

5. Make A Grocery List

You are probably thinking, what am I going to eat now that I have basically thrown out everything in my kitchen? There are so many recipes that fit into your new diet. Pinterest is a great place to start or you can do a simple Google search for an allergy-free version of your favorite foods. If you like cookbooks, order one or two from Amazon and try a few of the recipes. Once you have found some recipes to try, make your grocery list. You will also need to buy substitute items to replace your pantry staples.

6. Download an App To Help You When Grocery Shopping

Today, there are several apps that help with determining if foods at the grocery store are free of your food allergens. Spend some time researching the apps and download a few to try. There are a lot of apps to help live a healthy lifestyle – you just need to find the one that works best for you.

I like to use the ShopWell app. This can be downloaded for free in the App store or Google Play.

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When you setup your profile, there are five sections to complete that will make the app work the best for you and your needs. You can include the foods you want to avoid, such as gluten, wheat, or milk; indicate if you have any health conditions you need to manage such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, anemia, or diabetes; indicate if you want to shop for foods with things like fiber or low sodium; and you can also indicate if there are things you don’t want in your foods such as high fructose corn syrup, sodium or trans fats.

When you are in the grocery store, simply open the scanner and scan the barcode. The app will give you a result and let you know if the foods contain any of your allergens.

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7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time at the Grocery Store

When you make your first trip to the grocery store, give yourself lots of time. You may be going down aisles you may have never ventured down before or discovering the aisles you usually frequent are no longer part of your diet. Don’t get discouraged or sad when you see all your favorite treats that no longer have a home in your pantry.

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I like to shop the perimeter of the grocery store then make my way down the aisles. For your first trip to the grocery store, I would start in the produce area, then make your way across the store. Go down each aisle and read every label before putting it in your shopping cart. Remember, even if you think a food is “safe” it’s better to double-check at the store than to get home and realize it has something you can’t eat. You will learn what brands are safe to eat and what brands or foods to avoid.

If you like sliced deli meat, most everything from Boar’s Head is gluten-free. I personally like the Boar’s Head Maple Glazed Turkey Breast. If I’m looking for a healthy snack, I will eat a few slices with a pickle spear. Boar’s Head gluten-free, dairy-free desert hummus is  amazing! Have it with sliced strawberries or bananas to help curb your sweet tooth.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Usually, the grocery store clerks can’t answer questions about what is inside a product, but they can direct you where to find items. If you see someone in the gluten-free aisle and you are just feeling lost, ask them for help. For the most part, those of us that have been dealing with food sensitivities and allergies are more than happy to help. We have been where you are before and understand what you are experiencing.

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8. Join A Food Allergy Group (or Two or Three) on Facebook.

Facebook didn’t exist when I was first diagnosed with my food sensitivities (but it came into existence not that long after, so I’m not that old!). It has become a platform for people from all around the world to come together to share their stories and experiences. I joined several food allergy groups when I launched this blog, and I wish I had known about these sooner. The groups really are a great place to get help and support from others. Many of us have been dealing with food issues for years and are happy to give advice or share recipes. The groups are moderated, so no negativity or bulling is allowed.

Here is a list of the food allergy groups I belong to with links to the pages:

9. If You Drink, Learn What Alcohol is Gluten-Free

Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol. There are a lot of options for you.

  • Wine – made from grapes, so it’s gluten-free.
  • Beer – wheat is the main ingredient, so this is no longer allowed. But, there are several gluten-free beers available and ciders are another option.
  • Vodka – triple distilled is best to ensure any gluten remnants have been removed. If you experience reactions, try vodka made from potatoes. If you like flavored vodka, watch out for added gluten. It may be best to add your own flavors to ensure you don’t accidentally consume gluten. I personally don’t get a bad reaction from flavored vodka.
  • Rum – made from sugar, rum is considered to be gluten-free; however, watch out for flavored rums, as the added flavors may contain gluten.
  • Tequila – look for tequila that is made from 100% agave to ensure it’s gluten-free.
  • Whiskey and Bourbon – there is a lot of debate over if whiskey and bourbon are gluten-free. Some say yes and others say no. If you like whiskey and bourbon, you will need to have these drinks and see if you get a reaction. Some with Celiac’s have reactions and others do not.
  • Hard Seltzer – most brands are gluten-free but make sure to read the label before buying.
  • Malt Beverages – this goes without saying, it’s a no-go. Malt is made from gluten, so brands like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice are all off limits.

10. Have a glass of wine to reward yourself for getting through the first week of living with food allergies.

Congratulations! You made it through the diagnosis and initial period of learning about food allergies! Now that you have a better understanding of your food sensitivities or allergies, have prepared your kitchen for your new diet, and went grocery shopping, you are ready to move forward with your new lifestyle. Carpe Diem!

The Calorie Myth

I have always enjoyed reading but sometimes life just gets in the way. I have easily read a book a day on vacation. I have also found myself spending too much time staring at my phone when I could be reading or doing something more productive. Last month, I decided I needed to focus more on reading to continue to educate myself on health and wellness topics that are important to me.

Instead of downloading a bunch of books to my Kindle, I decided to go to a brick and mortar bookstore and browse through the stacks. It was really fun! I was specifically looking for books that focus on inflammation, metabolism, and thyroid health. I also wanted to pick up a few books on gardening because we are going to try and revive our front yard and plant a vegetable garden.

TheCalorieMythI found several books that interested me and I ended up purchasing The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. I found this book incredibly interesting and want to share a little bit of what I learned. I hope you find this information useful and beneficial.

What I liked about this book was that it’s not a “diet” book in the sense that the author is trying to sell you a fad diet that promises immediate wight loss. This book was grounded in science and years of research. The author explains why many of the nutrition guidelines we were told as children are outright wrong and is causing our bodies more damage than good.

He also asks the question – have you ever lost weight, only to gain it back, or worse, gain even more weight? I answered YES!!! I learned the reason is that your body has a “set-point” and no matter how much weight you lose, your body will want to return to that weight. But, don’t lose hope – the author explains how you can change your set-point and it all goes back to the types of food you eat.

Calorie Myth #1: Weight Loss = Calories In – Calories Out

The author explores the diet and nutrition guidelines that we were taught growing up and why many of them are inaccurate. How many times have you heard “weight loss = calories in – calories out”? To this day, this is still ingrained in my mind. I am constantly looking at my iWatch to see how many calories I have burned. However, this in fact is not true. Our bodies need calories to function. When we decrease our caloric intake, we are sending our body into starvation mode. This can have long lasting effects on your body – and may cause your set-point to rise. When you enter “starvation mode”, your body wants to hold onto stored energy, which is body fat, and get rid of metabolically active tissue, which is muscle mass. In order to prevent this, we need to fuel our bodies with foods that are rich of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty and amino acids. This includes non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, whole-food fats (like avocado), and low-fructose fruits.

Calorie Myth #2: A Calories Is a Calorie

Not all calories are created equal. There are two types of calories – a quantity calorie and a quality calorie. A quality calorie is what we want to be eating. These calories keep us fuller longer because they are full of nutrients, don’t increase the glucose in the bloodstream (which leads to body-fat storage), and can easily be converted into amino acids, fatty acids, or glucose.

Calorie Myth #3: All Foods Are Fine In Moderation

Many diets suggest that you can eat whatever you want, as long as it is in moderation. If only this were true. The author argues that when we are told to focus on calories and moderation, we forget about eating healthy. I am guilty of this – I have told myself plenty of times that it’s okay to eat the tortilla chips when I know I just ate them the other night!

What To Eat To Reset Your Set-Point

In order to reset your set-point, the author says to eat non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats, and low-sugar fruits. Half of your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein should cover 1/3 of your plate, and the remaining should be filled with whole-food fats and low-sugar fruits.

Examples of Non-Starchy Vegetables

Artichoke
Asparagus
Avocado
Bell Peppers
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Cauliflower
Cucumber
Garlic
Green Beans
Kale
Mushrooms
Onion
Romaine Lettuce
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Squash
Tomatoes
Zucchini

Examples of Nutrient-Dense Proteins

Bison
Chicken
Seafood
Grass-Fed Beef
Lamb
Lean Conventional Beef
Pork
Tofu
Turkey
Venison

Examples of Whole-Food Fats

Almonds
Avocado
Cashews
Coconut
Hazelnuts
Pecans
Sunflower seeds
Walnuts

Examples of Low-Sugar Fruits

Apricots
Blackberries
Cranberries
Grapefruit
Honeydew melon
Lemon and lime
Peaches
Strawberries

After reading this book, I realized this is very similar to the Paleo and The Whole 30 diets. It’s all about eating nutrient-dense foods that help our body turn these quality calories into energy. I always try to eat as healthy as possible, but it’s so hard! My biggest weakness is corn. Being gluten-free, corn is a great alternative. But, as I know (and try to forget), corn is basically sugar. I’m going to work to decrease the foods I eat that are naturally higher in sugar, like corn and potatoes. But, who doesn’t love a potato?

Interested in purchasing a copy of The Calorie Myth? Click here.