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If you spend any time online, you know that diets are all the rage. Low carb this, high fat that. Low fat, high protein, no sugar, vegan, wait, WHAT??? Is your head spinning yet? Cuz I know mine is! If you’re like me, you probably feel pretty overwhelmed by all the options out there. It’s enough to make me want to serve ice water for dinner and call it a day!

If you’re confused, don’t worry! It’s a lot of information to digest. Boy! I’m on a roll! (I just can’t stop with all these puns!) Before we go any further, you need to know that I’m not a nutritionist, I am a mom, just like you, who wants to feed her family healthy, just like you.

I’m always looking for new options and these three diets keep popping up. (Pinterest, Facebook, everyone I talk to! 🙂 ) And since my family has TONS of food allergies, (like one different allergy per person) these diets appeal to me.

I’m always looking for a good way to feed my family. One that will provide the BEST nutritional value while not costing me an arm and a leg, or hours sacrificed in the kitchen with gourmet food no one even likes. I need my menu to be real. No roasted rack of lamb here!

And then it occurred to me. You are probably looking for the very same thing! You want good food for your family and the best possible healthy diet your budget can afford.

But sifting through all of the information available to you can be mind boggling. Enough to make you put away your fork and run and hide!

So rather than make you spend hours looking for answers, I decided to break it all down for you. I wanted to make it the easiest I can for you so that you’ll be able to decide the best choice for you and your family.

(Pssst: This isn’t a ‘how to’ for using these diets. You’ll need to do more research if you decide to follow them. This is simply, my guide to help you decide which (or if) any of these diets is right for you.)

Without any further ado, here is my guide to the top three trending diets right now, Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 broken down in a nut shell (I couldn’t resist. Really!)

KETOGENIC (KETO) DIET – WHAT?? IS THAT GREEK YOU’RE SPEAKING?

If it feels like Greek to you, my hope is that by the end of this post, you’ll have a basic handle on what the Keto diet is. That way you’ll know if it’s something you would like to attempt with your family. (And yes, these diets can be done with your family. You’d be amazed how well kids can adapt their eating habits. They might complain a little, but you can get past that!) 

When broken down to its very simplest form, A keto or ketogenic diet is a diet that is low in carbs and high in fats. It’s designed to make your body go into a state of ketosis which is simply your body’s way of metabolizing fat for energy instead of carbs. You can read Wikipedia’s full definition if you’re really interested in the science behind it.

Remember that this list is NOT meant to be conclusive. Again, my intention is simply to introduce you to the basic overview of each diet.

What’s approved: (Not completely inclusive)

  • Grass fed meat such as beef, lamb, venison, goat
  • Fish and seafood (avoid farm-raised) only wild caught
  • Grass fed Offal (which is a fancy word for organ meat)
  • Pasture fed pork and poultry
  • Free-range eggs
  • Grass fed butter or Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Healthy saturated fats (lard, tallow, coconut oil, grass fed butter or ghee, chicken, duck, or goose fat,
  • Monounsaturated fats (olive, avocado, and macadamia oil
  • Non starchy vegetables (summer squashes, leafy greens, celery, some cruciferous vegetables such as dark leaf kale, Kohlrabi and radishes)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Low carb fruits such as avocado and tomatoes
  • Fermented foods

What’s not approved: (Not completely inclusive)

  • ALL grains including pseudo grains such as quinoa
  • Sugar
  • Factory farmed fish and pork
  • All processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Soda and juice and other sugary beverages
  • High carb and dehydrated fruits
  • Low fat foods

Use in moderation: (Not completely inclusive)

  • Vegetables (some cruciferous, i.e. white, green, and red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Fruit (berries,
  • Coconut
  • Grain-fed meat
  • Dairy products (raw and high fat)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fermented soy products
  • Sugar-free condiments and gums
  • Alcohol

For further reading, check out:

(Affiliate)The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet, with More Than 125 Delectable Recipes and 5 Meal Plans to Shed Weight, Heal Your Body, and Regain Confidence

WHOLE 30 – THE BASICS

Whole 30 is basically whole foods (not processed). The 30 part comes from the thirty day commitment you make when you decide to do the challenge. It’s a strict thirty days, as the rules clearly state you MUST start over if you cheat in any way.

The basic premise for the Whole 30 diet is to break food addictions and dependencies (sugar is especially targeted.) as well as reset your body. It’s also a great way to discern whether or not you have food allergies by reintroducing foods at the end of the thirty day period.  

Whole 30 puts a strong emphasis on meats, produce and healthy fats. Dairy, grains in any form, sugar, and legumes are not allowed. No sulfites are allowed either.

What’s approved: (Not completely inclusive)

  • Lean meats
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Processed meats, deli, bacon, sausage (all with no sugar added)
  • Vegetables (fresh and frozen)
  • Fruit (fresh and frozen)
  • Healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado, macadamia nut oil, extra virgin olive oil, animal fats, etc.)

What’s not approved: (Not completely inclusive)

  • No grains
  • No dairy
  • No legumes
  • No sugar, or artificial sweeteners
  • No processed foods

Use in moderation: (Not completely inclusive)

  • Nuts and nut butters

This book is very helpful :

(Affiliate) The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

THE PALEO DIET

Paleo Diet Disclaimer: (I do not endorse the philosophy behind the paleo diet. I agree with Dr. Axe’s statement)

The paleo diet is yet another low-carb option that focuses on whole foods. It is very similar in nature to Whole 30.

What’s approved: (not completely inclusive)

  • Grass fed meat
  • Seafood
  • Fresh produce
  • Healthy Fats
  • Nuts
  • Eggs

What’s not approved: (not completely inclusive)

  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • White potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Junk foods
  • Sugar
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Heavily salted foods

Check out this book if you want to know more:

(Affiliate) Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition (Updated and Expanded): A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

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SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KETO, WHOLE 30 AND PALEO? AND WHAT’S SIMILAR?

The Keto Diet does allow dairy, while Whole 30 does not. (Except for the very minimal allowance for ghee.)

The Paleo Diet and the Keto Diet both endorse only grass fed meats, but Whole 30 allows for you to eat whichever clean meat your budget will allow.

All three are a low carb diet with an emphasis on clean eating and food in its more natural state. All three require steep commitment as well as planning and preparation. They aren’t for the faint of heart. You can see they are very closely related. 

WHICH WOULD I CHOOSE FOR MY FAMILY?

Well since you asked, my family did Whole 30 when I was just about ready to deliver my seventh baby and we survived! Actually, as a result, I avoided heart surgery!

I actually found that after taking the leap into Whole 30, it really wasn’t that bad. I actually really enjoyed it because it forced me to plan and prepare our meals much more intentionally!

My five-year-old daughter loved it because she suffers from multiple food allergies and is usually left very few options. Whole 30 gave her many meals to choose from and many have made it to ‘favorites’ status and I still prepare them for her today!

Since the Paleo Diet is very similar to the Whole 30, I don’t think it would be a problem for my family to follow. In fact, with many members of my family having grain allergies, we are very close to a Paleo lifestyle at the moment.

I can’t see myself following the Keto Diet as it seems much more limited than the other two. I think it would be difficult for me to maintain as a mom of several little kids.

But what’s best for my family, might not be best for yours.

WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?

There is much to be said about finding a way to alter your diet in the hopes of becoming more healthy. Anything you choose will require a sacrifice. Let’s face it, anytime you choose to make healthy choices, you will have to give something up. (Time, finances, ease, your favorite desert.)

Most importantly, make sure you choose a plan that you will be able to execute. And don’t forget to give yourself grace. No one does anything right 100% of the time.

Take your time and research. This is just a short guide to help you get started. Whichever diet you to follow will require you to plan and prepare. Which, in my opinion, is the secret to success!

I’d love to hear which diet you choose or answer any questions you might have. I’ll do my best to answer them and help you choose the one that is right for you and your family! Comment below or feel free to ask a question.

I wanted to give you a virtual word of encouragement! Please take a minute to watch!

 

 

 

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