Paleo? Keto? Vegan? What is the Perfect Diet for YOU?
With all the diets in the media today, and a new one popping up what seems to be weekly, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which diet is the best, and more importantly, which one is best for you. You might be eager to make a change and improve your health, but how do you know where to begin?
Should you follow the Mediterranean diet? Paleo diet? Cut out meat completely and be a vegetarian? Or just go to straight veganism? What about the ketogenic diet? Here are 11 of the most popular diets today:
Whole 30 diet
Raw food diet
Weight watchers diet
South beach diet
But which is the right diet for you?
The fact of the matter is this: there is no universal diet that works for everyone.
Why Doesn’t One Diet Work for Everyone?
You’ve probably seen this in action before with a friend, or maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. It can be so disheartening to see a group of people go on a new diet with amazing results, only to try it yourself and have it totally backfire. So, why is it that some diets are good for some people – causing the pounds to practically fall off – while others’ bodies totally reject the same diet?
A perfect example of this is how some people are rapidly and safely losing weight on the ketogenic diet, while others are finding it to be harmful to their health. There are reports of increased LDL cholesterol levels in some people with the ketogenic diet, which is an important marker for a greater risk of heart disease. On the other hand, some studies of the ketogenic diet in obese people found the exact opposite. 1
What is going on here? How can the same diet produce such different results in people?
The reason no one diet is perfect for everyone is because we each have a gut microbiome as unique as our fingerprint. It is our individual gut microbiomes that dictate our personal diet requirements.
Our gut microbes play an important role in digesting everything we eat. That’s right – everything you eat is affected by these microorganism living in your gut. In turn, these microbes produce: 2
Short chain fatty acids
And much more. Because your gut microbiome is so unique, a diet that benefits you will be comprised of different foods than a diet that is ideal for someone else.
Regardless of the diet you follow, it likely includes specific foods to eat, stay away from, and enjoy in moderation. But perfect diet recommendations are unique to you, and only you.
Viome’s gut microbiome testing technology determines the composition of the microbes living in your gut and uses this information to develop diet recommendations that are specific for you. Here are 3 examples of common, but surprising, dietary discoveries our customers have found to be true for them.
1. When Too Much Protein Causes Problems
Of the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat, and protein – protein has ducked most of the controversy. We generally think of protein as a healthy food group.
But if you’re eating too much protein there is a chance that your gut microbiome can’t process the extra protein you are taking in. When your gut microbes digest protein, they create byproducts and if these accumulate, they can be harmful to your wellbeing. For example, when red meat is digested, it is turned into L-carnitine. L-carnitine is transformed into byproducts such as ammonia, cresol, putrescine, and trimethylamine (TMA). Trimethylamine(TMA) is then metabolized into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which accelerates atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). 3
This all contributes to an increased risk of heart disease and accelerated aging. Yikes!
When you get your Viome test results, you’ll know if you’ve been over-doing it with that morning protein shake or if you should up your intake. You may already be on a higher protein diet like the Paleo diet but what you really should be eating is the right ratio of macronutrients for your body. While these diets can offer good guidelines, Viome can perfect them so you can take your health to the next level.
2. Low Carb? High Carb? Science is Conflicted
You may have considered trying a low carb diets like Atkins, keto, or the South Beach diet. But maybe you’ve heard higher carb diets like the Zone diet also work. You are left wondering, “Which should I choose”? To further complicate matters, science has been unable to give us a straight answer as to which is better with studies producing opposing results.
One study examining a low carbohydrate diet found that a low carb intake produces greater weight loss than a conventional diet in the first six months. Additionally, that same study found that a low carb diet improved risk factors for coronary heart disease. 4
A second study, however, found that people on the low carb diet did not lose weight from fat but from lean muscle. Losing muscle mass can negatively impact your metabolism and make it harder to keep weight off.
This isn’t great news… so which route should you go?
Your body has an amazing ability called “metabolic flexibility” that allows it to transition from burning glucose (carbs and sugars) to ketones (fat) for fuel. 5 Think of your metabolism like a hybrid car – when it can transition smoothly from the battery to gas, it’s running efficiently. Being able to transition between these two fuel sources easily is a sign you’re in great shape!
Because of this, you might not need to choose an ultra low carb diet for better health. So, how do you know if you need to avoid carbs?
Viome testing determines your metabolic flexibility and informs you if you can eat a few more carbohydrates to perfect your diet. What’s even more exciting is that your bio-individualized dietary recommendations are organized, so you know exactly which types of carbs your body can process best.
Talk about running like a well-oiled machine.
3. Oxalates: When Healthy Foods Make You Feel Like Crap
Are you always hungry? Do you struggle with feeling full? If so, you might need to add more inulin-containing foods to your diet. These foods have prebiotic fiber that help you feel more satisfied when you eat.
Foods that contain more inulin fiber include:
Most people have beneficial gut microbes that love this non-digestible fiber found in these foods. We used to think fiber was useless to us but we are realizing that fiber-rich foods are great for our gut microbiomes.
However, there’s a catch – some people can’t handle oxalates, which would shift the above recommendations considerably.
Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in plants and are found in “healthy” foods like spinach, leeks, and beans. The interesting thing about oxalates is they exist to protect a plant from predators (like ourselves) – and it seems oxalates are doing their job in some people.
Oxalates cause problems in about 48% of people.
If you find out you can’t digest oxalates well, then you should avoid high-oxalate containing foods including leeks and beans. You’d also want to limit moderate-oxalates foods such as oats, artichokes, and onions. Your Viome results outline this and give you targeted nutrition advice.
If you have problems digesting oxalates, you might experience:
Gut health issues
As you can see, oxalate sensitivity isn’t something to ignore. If your gut microbiome can’t handle oxalates, they can cause serious damage.
Viome Identifies Your Perfect Diet
When you use Viome’s revolutionary combination of metatranscriptomics technology and AI analysis you’ll know exactly what you should eat for optimal health.
We provide you with targeted nutritional advice so you can tailor your eating habits to boost beneficial microbes and starve the harmful ones.
Essentially, you’re manipulating your gut microbiome so it works in your favor – tricky, tricky!
You can get started today and find out which diet is perfect for you – and only you.