If you are a tech-savvy life-quality pursuer, you must have noticed in recent years all the new approaches to healthy living; exotic names of newly discovered superfoods, quirky philosophies towards diets and all sorts of fancy, health-related terminology jumping out of your computer or smartphone screen. It would be false to say there is no reason whatsoever for the appearance of these new trends, as the urban environment, industrialized food supply and stress from work do take a toll on our wellbeing. However, blindly following any diet or lifestyle philosophy not backed by sound scientific research is not a wise move – after all, many have proven to be fads throughout the years that could even do more harm than good.
So, instead of looking into the future at the added-nutrition, artificial-food technology, these three prominent regimes – Bulletproof, Ketogenic and Primal – trace back to our ancestral lifestyle, a natural state of human beings, to seek a re-connection with Mother Earth. We had in-depth discussions with three lifestyle coaches Bianca Fontana (Ketogenic), Crystyl Mo (Bulletproof) and Izabela Misiuk (Primal), to get their advice on daily choices to live a better life. We then decided to add comments from a more conventional expert (Nutritional Health Coach Tanja Smits), asking for her insight into these interesting theories.
Last week, we have met the coaches and had a general idea about the lifestyle they represent. Now, before getting straight to the point, let's start with a couple of warmup questions.
Why is there a need for these diets?
Bianca: People are more easily becoming overweight and their health is declining at a rapid rate because of the overconsumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar. A diet such as Keto eliminates poor eating habits and helps the individual to regain their health.
Crystyl: We are bombarded with myths about food that are misleading and confusing (“Don't skip breakfast!” “Eat more ‘healthy’ whole grains”). We are divorced from nature and the land. We take far too many antibiotics and too few barefoot walks in the woods. We sit and stare at blue light screens all day. Bulletproof gets us questioning, experimenting and having fun in the process of becoming radically healthy.
Iza: These diets provide a refreshing departure from the modern weight-loss diet industry that brainwashes people with the latest fads and very strict calorie restriction protocols.
What are the prevalent issues with our modern diets?
Bianca: The overconsumption of processed foods and sugar is killing us. People didn’t use to be so overweight and suffer from cancer or heart disease the way they do today and the common denominator here is the consumption of these foods.
Crystyl: Many people don't cook. We believe conventional ‘wisdom’ that saturated fat and cholesterol is bad. Our gut bacteria, hormones, mitochondria and livers are suffering thanks to eating a sickeningly-narrow range of pesticide-soaked food varieties – mostly corn, soy, wheat and sugar-based foods including daily doses of industrial ‘cooking’ oils made from corn, soybeans, peanuts and other seeds.
Iza: The rates of virtually all forms of non-congenital diseases, particularly cancer, heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes, attention disorders, cognitive dysfunction and auto-immunity are rising rapidly.
What are the consequences if we ignore these issues?
Bianca: We see the consequences every day. Each generation contracts more allergies, is more prone to acquired illnesses and weight gain later in life and they are likely to pass their health issues onto their offspring.
Iza: Some believe this generation of children is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, despite the ever-developing medical treatment available, and I think that is a horrifying prediction we can change through the healing power of food.
Crystyl: We feel sluggish. We become sick easily. We lose our connection with nature and her gifts of whole foods. We don't even realize how much more energy we could have. Our digestive systems don't work – I had a friend express shock that I can eat any food and have zero negative reaction – that's simply what a normal digestive system should be able to do.
Tanja Smits: Most diets start with a specific goal, namely weight loss, health reasons, in need of energy, just to name a few. There are more than 200 diets out there and they mostly work for a certain type of person to achieve a certain goal.
These three diets are backed by science and they have an important thing in common – they all exclude processed foods and sugar – and it has been scientifically proven that these don’t contribute to our health. Then, each of these diets go deeper, depending on the goal you’d like to reach – for example, excluding (certain) grains and legumes for digestibility, consuming healthier sugar (or limiting the amount of it).
Everybody is different and if you would like to be healthier, the first step you make is important, which is clean eating – preparing food as close to the way nature provides it is always best! And then each of these diets can contribute to your next level of health and wellness.