Amazing Wellness

THE DIET SHOWDOWN

Gluten-Free. Paleo. Weight Watchers. Whole30. Ketogenic. DASH. The list of diets, and their various rules and restrictions, is endless. One person swears by fasting. Another finds success slashing carbs. Others fill up their dinner plates with only plants. Regardless of the dieting method, of the millions of Americans who embark on an eating plan each year, many do so to lose weight. Other health measures such as improved energy levels and mental clarity are also motivating factors. Since no time is more popular for going on a diet than the New Year, here’s how some of today’s most buzzy diets stack up, plus how to tell if any are right for you.

PALEO

Nuts and Bolts: When it comes to #trendingdiets, this is a big one. People who fuel their bodies on this ancestral diet eschew agricultural-era foods such as grains, legumes, and dairy. Instead, they focus their eating efforts on items such as meat, fish, eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies that were available to our hunter-gather ancestors. The diet also deters you from drinking alcohol. Fat loss, more energy, clearer skin, less bloating, fewer sugar cravings, and a drop in disease-provoking inflammation are among the advertised benefits of eating the caveman way.

Pros: If anything, the Paleo diet is great at weeding out processed foods from your diet, because so many of those contain refined grains or added sugars—two big Paleo no-nos. So it’s bound to increase your protein intake, which can help silence hunger to squash overeating and build metabolism-boosting lean body mass. It’s also not necessarily a low-carb diet, so you can sidestep the fatigue, headaches, and other side effects of carb-stingy eating plans. Some studies show that a Paleolithic-type diet can improve blood sugar control and blood lipid numbers, which may confer protection against maladies such as diabetes and heart disease.

Eliminating dairy, grains, and legumes can leave you short-changed on certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so you’ll need to make sure they are coming from Paleo-approved sources. Paleo demonizes whole grains, even though research links them to better

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