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What Diet Is Best For You? Paleo? Keto? Atkins? Carnivore? Vegetarian?



What diet is best for you? Keto, Paleo, Low Carb, Atkins, Carnivore, or Vegetarian?


It appears that most women are on some sort of diet 80 to 90% of the time. So what’s the best diet for you? Hopefully you will get some insight here.


What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleolithic diet AKA Paleo diet is a whole food diet and focuses on eating foods our ancestors ate and is modeled after their diets.


Eat these foods:

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Healthy fats


Avoid these foods:

  • Processed foods

  • Sugar

  • Soft drinks

  • Grains

  • Most dairy products

  • Legumes

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Trans fats

  • Margarine

  • Vegetable oils


Insights: Great starting point for many and adding gluten free grains and grass fed butter would be easier to do for some. There is no emphasis on calories, macros, and pretty much eat whatever is on the list. When there is no tracking, it makes it difficult for some to shed unwanted weight. This eating template is great for people with autoimmune condition once the carbs and fat macros are adjusted for maximum healing and performance.


What Is the Keto Diet?


T he Ketogenic diet or keto diet is a high fat (75%), moderate protein (20%), and low carb (5%) diet (usually less than 20 g of Carbs) and has been used successfully for people afflicted with seizures and Type II Diabetes.


Eat these foods:

  • Meat

  • Fatty Fish

  • Eggs

  • Nuts & seeds

  • Butter

  • Cream

  • Cheese

  • Avocado

  • Low-carb vegetables (leafy greens)

  • Minimal fruit (berries)

  • Healthy fats/oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil)

  • Condiments (salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar)

Avoid these foods:

  • All sugary foods

  • All grains and starches like wheat based products and rice

  • Alcohol

  • Sugar free diet products (usually loaded with sugar alcohols)

  • Unhealthy fat like vegetable oils

  • Legumes

  • Fruit except small amounts of berries

  • Root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips)

  • Condiments that contain sugars

Insights: This is a great eating template for people who have blood sugar imbalance (Type II Diabetes), addicted to carbs or sugar and want to use fat as fuel. The downside is dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and sour cream can be problematic for many people that have difficulty digesting dairy products and can also be triggers for autoimmune conditions. There is an emphasis on tracking macros (fat, protein, carbs) which is great when you start with this eating template. There are different types of keto versions:


Standard Ketogenic Diet: usually 75% FAT, 20% PROTEIN & 5% CARBS

High Protein Ketogenic Diet: usually 75% FAT, 20% PROTEIN & 5% CARBS

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: allows for periodic reefed days, usually 5 standard ketogenic, followed by 2 high carb days

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: allows for more carbs around workouts


The last two are typically used by athletes. The hallmark of the ketogenic diet is getting into nutritional ketosis where the body is producing ketones and using them as the primary fuel source. Measuring ketones is essential for the ketogenic diet and the range for ketosis is 05.mmol/L – 3.0 mmol/L, with a blood ketone meter.


What is the Low-Carb Diet?


A low-carb diet is a loosely used term for a high protein diet with carb intake from less than 20 to 45% carbs. Not a whole lot of emphasis on the fat intake but what they all agree on is limiting all carb-rich processed foods.


Eat these foods:

  • Meat

  • Poultry

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

Avoid these foods:

  • Sugar

  • Grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oatmeal

  • High carb fruits (bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, pears)

  • High carb vegetables

  • Legumes

  • Vegetable oils

  • Trans fats

  • Low fat foods (most are loaded with sugar to make them taste good)

  • Starches


Insights: A low-carb diet can be beneficial for sugar addicts and finding your sweet spot of carbs will be helpful in sustaining this way of eating. The high protein diet may be a challenge for some and finding what works for you will be the key.


What is the Atkins Diet?


This diet is highly recommended for weight loss and was promoted by Dr. Robert C. Atkins in his block buster book in 1972. It’s a very low-carb, high protein, and moderate to high protein fat diet.


Eat these foods:

  • Meats

  • Fatty fish

  • Eggs

  • Full fat dairy

  • Nuts & Seeds

  • Healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil)

Avoid these foods:

  • Sugar

  • Grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oatmeal

  • High carb fruits (bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, pears)

  • High carb vegetables

  • Legumes

  • Vegetable oils

  • Trans fats

  • Low fat foods (most are loaded with sugar to make them taste good)

  • Starches

Insights: This diet is a done in 4 phases.

Phase 1 – under 20 grams of carbs, high fat, high protein (meats and leafy greens) usually done for 2 weeks

Phase 2 – add in more carbs from fruit, nuts, and low-carb vegetables

Phase 3 – add in more carbs when you’re close to your goal weight

Phase 4 – eat as many carbs or finding your carb tolerance as your body can tolerate with out gaining back the weight


The higher protein amount can create a problem with gluconeogenesis (the formation of glucose from protein), which can halt weight loss.


What is the Carnivore Diet?


The carnivore diet is a break off from the keto diet. Most people will transition into the carnivore diet after experimenting with the keto diet. This is a low-carb, animal products diet only! It has become very popular due to the influence of psychologist Jordon Peterson, his daughter Mikhailia Peterson (who suffered with crippling illness as a child), and orthopedic surgeon Shawn Baker.


Eat these foods:

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Organ meats

  • Lamb

  • Pork

  • Eggs

  • Bone broth

  • All fish

  • Small amounts of heavy cream, hard cheese, butter

Insights: There is not a whole lot of research on the long-term health benefits of eating only meat. I personally don’t think it should be done long term, as our ancestors ate meat, vegetables, berries, and nuts. However, I have personally experienced a tremendous relief from digestive issues, especially no bloating from following a carnivore diet. I committed to it for about 3 weeks and felt great but honestly I did miss my produce, especially vegetables. I think experimenting with this eating plan for several weeks for some people with autoimmune or digestive issues may be helpful. Some may do well with 3-4 weeks and others 3-4 months but to do it as a way of life, it’s not for me.


What is a Vegetarian Diet?


A vegetarian diet abstains from eating meat. Most people will do this for ethical reasons.


Eat these foods:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Grains

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Legumes

  • Tempeh

  • Tofu

  • Seitan

Insights: There are different types of vegetarians which include:

Vegans – avoidance of all animal products and animal derived products

Ovo vegetarians – avoid all animal products except eggs

Lacto vegetarians – avoid animal products, eggs but do not consume dairy products

Lacto-ovo vegetarians – avoid all animal products but do consume dairy and eggs


The biggest challenge with a vegetarian lifestyle is that most are deficient in B12 vitamins and would have to supplement. The high intake of grains, nuts, and seeds can lead to many digestive issues unless properly prepared (sprouted) and gluten (the protein) found in wheat, rye, and barley products has been linked to the onset of Celiac disease.


A short term plant based diet may be helpful and definitely better than the highly processed Standard American Diet. However, it requires planning and tracking macros for adequate nutrient consumption.


What do all these diets have in common?


They are good starting templates that can be adjusted to your body’s physiology.


Does food quality matter?


When choosing your eating template choose pasture-raised animal products free of hormones and antibiotics, pastured eggs, wild caught fish, organic vegetables, organic fruits, and raw or sprouted unsalted nuts and seeds or with sea salt.


If you think food quality doesn’t matter, think about putting diesel in your gas tank instead of the required premium fuel. How would your car run?


Or better yet, spray your vegetables with bug spray then wash it off and eat it. You probably wouldn’t.


My favorite template would have to be a low-carb, high to moderate fat, moderate protein Paleo template without the night shades, eggs, nut or seeds (AIP) for a few weeks. After 1-3 months, add back in eggs, night shades, and see how you do. This is great for people who suffer with autoimmune disorders. Having a re-feed day once a week after establishing a ketogenic state has been my sweet spot and may be yours too. It’s time to be your own experiment and see what your body likes but remember that can change 3 -4 months down the road too.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information or products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before starting any new dietary regime or use of any these products.

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