Everything You Need to Know About Common Diet Trends

April 29, 2024



Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I’m your host, Rebekah Kelley. And today we have nurse practitioner Julie Davey to talk with us about “Everything You Need to Know About Common Diet Trends.” Before I introduce Julie, I want to remind everyone to subscribe and get all the other variety of casts and audio/video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.

A little bit about Julie before we get started, she’s a nurse practitioner with over 25 years of experience. She’s passionate about educating others on the power of food and natural medicine to heal the body. Her clinical practice primarily focuses on GI health, where she utilizes specialty lab testing to help clients get to the root cause of their symptoms. She creates tailored protocols and empowers individuals with the necessary tools to live a healthy and vibrant life.

Julie, thanks so much for being with us – it’s always a pleasure.

Julie Davey: Thank you so much, Rebekah. I’m happy to be here.

Rebekah Kelley: Today, we’re going to dive in and talk about some of the most common dietary trends, and can you share with us what they are and also some of the risks and benefits of why someone might choose them, or not?

Julie Davey: Yes, absolutely. So, I think let’s highlight the top, I would say, top five that people are choosing that we’re hearing about.

So, first one is ketogenic, right? I mean, this has been going on for years now, right? That we kind of– it became like a big craze sort of. So, I’m going to kind of explain as we go through what do each of these types of diets entail and then again, like you said, what are some benefits and then maybe some causes for concern as to why you might not want to follow one of these specific ways of eating.

So ketogenic is just extremely low carb, right? It’s low carb, high fat. The goal of the diet is really to maintain a state of ketosis, which basically means, you know, you’re eating fewer carbs. The body is now– its fat burning system relies on fat instead of sugar for energy. So that’s the whole goal. And a lot of people use this type of eating plan for weight loss. It’s been very– it’s been shown to be very effective for short-term weight loss. So, you know, if someone has a significant amount of weight to lose, they might want to consider going on a keto or ketogenic type diet, for a short period of time. This is not something that I would say is probably sustainable and really recommended long term. Because think about this, if you’re following this, you’re going to be limiting a lot of healthy foods. Fruits, whole grains, some vegetables, and you know, that’s not good for many reasons, but it’s definitely not good for our gut health, which you know, Rebekah, I’m huge on gut health, so I have to point that out.

The next one that I would highlight is paleo. Paleo is another one you may have heard of. This is– the term that we hear kind of utilized for this is the “hunter gatherer” type diet. And this is Whole30, if you’ve heard of that, is sort of a stricter modification of paleo. But, basically this eliminates food groups that were not here or available before industrial farming. So things like grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, processed foods. So we’re eliminating those foods. And instead, it’s more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, lean meats. So, pretty good stuff in there. You know, you have to also consider, I mean, you are restricting things like legumes and dairy, which, you know, legumes do have a lot of good benefits and can be good for some people. Dairy, I mean, if it’s a really clean source of dairy, dairy can be problematic for a lot of people, too. So, paleo does have some good benefits.

And then, the next one I would highlight is Mediterranean. Now this one probably is one of the most well studied types of diets. So this is more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, potatoes, lean meats like fish, some poultry. So basically with Mediterranean you’re limiting sweets, red meat, and dairy products. And then for healthy fats, olive oil is the main source of healthy fats on a Mediterranean diet. So, really a lot of good benefit, in fact, studies show that eating a Mediterranean type diet reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, some cancers and also just overall cognitive decline. So, Mediterranean is very anti-inflammatory and again, does have a lot of good benefits to it.

And then you’ve got your vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian. I mean, there’s so many different names now and pescatarian, if you don’t know what that is, that’s basically a vegetarian that eats fish and seafood. Again, you’re cutting out some food groups there. So, you kind of have to look at that, but overall getting many more plants. So plant-based is always helpful because you’re getting a lot of, not only fiber, but polyphenols, antioxidants, things like that.

And then, lastly, I would say one that we do– have heard a lot about is the carnivore diet. And so the carnivore diet is just like it sounds. It’s basically just all animal products. So meat, meat, and more meat, basically, plus butter, eggs. You can have things like that, but you’re eliminating carbs, sugar. Now that can certainly result in weight loss, right? If you’re eliminating a lot of carbs and sugar, and then also you’re having lots of protein, obviously. That’s going to help you feel fuller longer. I mean, so those are benefits, but then think about the fact that you are eliminating all fruits, vegetables. I mean, those have not only fiber and antioxidants, but crucial vitamins that we need. And we know that eating a lot of red meat, processed meat– I mean, that’s been repeatedly linked to cancer. So, I think if somebody were going to choose to do a carnivore diet, you have to really make sure it’s super high-quality, grass-fed beef that you’re eating. So those are probably the top five that you have seen, or hear the most about.

Rebekah Kelley: Wow. Thank you, because you know, sometimes those start to merge for me, right? Like, and so when you laid it out there so nice and clear, it just kind of helps me kind of see it in my mind’s eye. So looking at those different versions of the diet, how do we know what diet– since this is Humanized Health, personalizing, you know, your health, how would we know what the best diet is for us? Like whether I should be on a pescatarian diet, a carnivore diet. I mean, would I choose something like that? Is it a short-term? Like, how do I figure that out and know what’s best for me? How would you advise us?

Julie Davey: I think that’s a great question. So, the first thing that I would say is, in my opinion, there really is no one size fits all. Right? Everyone’s bioindividual. Our chemical makeup, our bodies are different, and everybody has different goals. So I would say that would be the first thing that I would look at. Like, what are your goals? Why are you wanting to modify your diet, and maybe the way that you’re eating now? Is it that you want to lose weight? Is it that you want to gain weight? Is it that you want to improve your gut health? Maybe just your overall wellness, maybe lower inflammation, maybe improve your cholesterol levels? I mean, what is your goal? And so, I think identifying that, that will kind of help you decide, okay, do I want to do keto? Am I trying to lose 50 pounds? And do I want to do keto for a short, targeted period of time to sort of jumpstart that? You know, that’s a possibility, but, and I think that your goal, whatever that is, that should be what motivates you. What motivates you should not be that you saw your friend do keto and it worked for them and now you want to try it. Because I’ve seen that happen so many times, people say, well, so-and-so did Whole30 or paleo and so-and-so did keto and this worked for them and this worked for them, but I’ve tried all of it and none of it works for me. So I think, again, identifying the goal and then based on, you know, what we discussed with the different diet plans and ways of eating, what would, based on your goal, be best for you?

Next thing I think you need to think about is sustainability. I think that this is probably one of the biggest downfalls that I see is everyone wants a quick fix, right? I get it. That’s kind of the world that we live in. We want things fast. We’re used to, okay, make this happen, but that’s not sustainable. So we have to look at what’s the sustainability of this diet plan that you’re choosing. Now, if it’s keto and your goal is to lose 50 pounds and you know that, hey, I’m not going to stay on this forever. Okay. Then maybe it’s reasonable to choose something like that short-term. However, if you can choose something that is more sustainable and you’re creating these habits around it, you’re going to be much more successful long-term, if you can do that. And think about this too, when we cut out entire food groups, we lose nutrition. We can have a lot of nutritional deficiencies. I mean, that just leads to a host of other symptoms and problems. So, the simpler the plan that we choose, the more sustainable it’s going to be. And even slowly incorporating is another downfall. You don’t have to make all of these changes today or tomorrow. You start to sort of weave some of this in and, and incorporate, maybe you choose Mediterranean and you say, okay, well, I’m going to eat out two less times this week than I did last week. These little small changes, that’s how it becomes a habit and becomes sustainable.

And then the last thing that I would say is regardless of what type of eating plan you choose, I think you have to build in flexibility. So if you say I’m going to eat a Mediterranean diet, then make it a goal to, 80 to 90 percent of the time, eat a Mediterranean diet, but don’t beat yourself up if you go to a party and you have some cake and that’s not on the Mediterranean diet plan. You know, that’s okay. That happens. We all do that. I mean, I do that. I’m like, okay, well, I had this treat today. Well, tomorrow is a new day. I’m going to get back on it and then I’m going to stick with whatever I have chosen and the way I’m eating then. So I think that building some flexibility and that’s really going to help in terms of long term and you being able to sustain the eating plan that you choose.

Rebekah Kelley: I love that because I do think it’s really important, when we’re making any sort of change, right? To understand as human beings, it’s not a perfect situation all the time. And we do need an ability to adapt and have a plan of how it’s okay. Right. You have a slice of cake – you don’t have the whole cake.

Julie Davey: Right. Oh my goodness. Yes. I will say this, Rebekah, I just, it’s just popped into my mind. So I just want to share it in case it speaks to somebody. I have a client that I’m working with and this was actually part of my story, too. So I very much related to her in this. I was speaking with her yesterday and we’re at the end of– she had done a GI map test and I created a protocol for her. And she said, “before this, I felt like I was hungry all the time and all I did was think about food. And I would think, what’s my next meal going to be? What am I going to eat here? What am I going to eat here? And I was very much addicted to sugar. And I could not just eat a piece of cake. I wanted the whole cake. Then I would just eat more and more till I felt sick.” And she said, “now, that everything I feel like is rebalanced, I eat much less than I did and I feel fully satisfied. I went to a party the other day and I had a piece of cake and I didn’t want anymore.” And so, I think too, if you are experiencing those things, that type of, “Oh, I’m always hungry,” or “I’m always thinking about food” or “I can’t just eat a couple of bites of something I want to overindulge.” Maybe there’s a deeper issue. Maybe something else is going on that you need to look at and investigate further.

Rebekah Kelley: I love that story. And I think that’s such a great way of approaching it because while food is necessary in so many ways for us to be vibrant and healthy, right, and to have a well-balanced diet, there are things that can be affecting us and throwing us off and to really evaluate and take a look at that. And sometimes I think our bodies sometimes are just missing nutrition. This is how I find, right? And sometimes my body will crave something when really what I need is nutrition. And if I get that nutrition that I– that craving for some of those richer things, like cake, right? Well, it’s always kind of back there. You can always eat a piece of cake. There’s a special space, I think sometimes for cake, but there is an ability to be much more – not in control because that’s not the not the right word – but I think more adaptive to what our bodies really need.

Julie Davey: Yes, absolutely. You’re 100 percent right that, when we’re filling ourselves with junk and we’re missing the nutrition, then our body is craving it. And if we’re loading it with more junk, then it’s just going to continue to have these cravings.

Rebekah Kelley: It’s gonna swing. Well, thank you so much, Julie, as always, such valuable insights. Julie Davey can be found at www.JulianneWellness.com. That’s J-U-L-I-E-A-N-N-W-E-L-L-N-E-S-S.com. Let me remind you to subscribe to get access to all the other humanized videos, podcasts, and transcriptions, from all of our thought leaders like Julie. And Julie actually has quite a few wonderful things to share with us. I’m on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com. Thanks for being with us.

Julie Davey: Thank you, Rebekah, for having me.

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