EAT TO LIVE OR LIVE TO EAT?￼
Third Year MBBS Student
Govt Medical College, Patiala, Punjab
Have you ever thought about how healthy you would say you are? Indeed, we realise that our well-being, to a great extent, relies upon what we eat and what we do, i.e. our eating regimen and the way of life. Yet, do we honestly care or even consider it?
Presently, there are a lot of studies and experiments on what to eat or which diet to follow for a healthy lifestyle. All the more significantly, a daily existence liberated from diseases, a diet that increments life span. Here’s an overview of a multitude of diets being followed by different people.
History has a knack for repeating itself, even when it comes to food and diet. Let’s travel back in time to our palaeolithic ancestors, where the prehistoric humans were hunter-gatherers; basically, they ate to live. Their eating routine included meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and oils and indeed prohibited grains, legumes and dairy. Some of us are now getting back to that diet followed by our ancestors, The Paleo Diet. The principal objective of this diet is to adapt to a diet that early humans ate, for example, restricting the horticultural food, basically having plant-based food and, surprisingly, confining dairy items.
Everybody wants to stay fit and, more importantly, look fit. Thus, here comes into the picture another eating routine arrangement people are adjusting to, The Ketogenic Diet, the low-carb diet intended to lose weight. It is a high fat and adequate protein diet which prompts ketonaemia and forces the body to burn fat. Similar to it is the Atkins diet, the LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet (including meats, fatty fish and seafood, eggs, low carb veggies, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds) lessens weight and brings down calorie consumption by diminishing craving however it requires the monitoring of cholesterol levels because it leads to increased levels of LDL cholesterol. Some studies suggest that the ketogenic diet reduces the seizure frequency in epileptic patients and has benefitted more drug-resistant epileptic patients who use ketogenic diet therapy as an adjunct. Another low-carb diet plan is the Dukan diet plan. This plan centres on lean protein sources over those high in saturated fat. The difference between the Atkins diet and Dukan’s diet is that Atkins permits full-fat dairy, fatty meats and cheese, whereas Dukan’s diet focuses on lean protein sources over those high in saturated fat. Even the Atkins diet requires counting nutritional values like carbs, calories while dukans do not. Certain individuals adjust to intermittent fasting, switching between fasting and eating on a regular schedule to maintain weight. There are different methods for intermittent fasting. Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting reduces the gamble of diet-related diseases.
According to WHO, about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes. The Mediterranean diet, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), and vegetarian eating patterns are recommended as healthy dietary patterns that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. According to the US Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020, these three are suggested as sound eating routine plans. These dietary patterns share comparable attributes; they are nutrient-rich, emphasising fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes with reduced intake of refined grains and added sugars. The Mediterranean diet is a diet roused by the eating habits of people living near the Mediterranean Sea. It is well known that diabetes increases the risk of CVD; following this diet reduces the A1C, reducing the risk of CVD along with diabetes. Vegetarian/vegan eating patterns are also effective in improving glucose parameters. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, whereas a vegetarian diet may or may not include eggs or dairy products. The DASH diet has been designed to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk and forestall Hypertension. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. It incorporates meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans and is restricted to sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat and added fats.
A fast-paced life with increasing competitiveness in every field also requires one to stay fit and healthy. The mushroom diet (or M-Plan) replaces one meal daily with plain, cooked mushrooms and promotes body-part-specific weight loss. Mushrooms are nutritious with lots of health-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are rich in vitamin D, potassium and zinc. The M-plan diet boosts the immune system, adds nutritional value to the body and helps reduce weight. Conquering corpulence even declines the risk of many other serious illnesses. This diet plan helps reduce weight gradually, but another eating regimen, the HCG diet plan, causes fast weight loss without even feeling hungry. hCG is a protein-based hormone; it boosts metabolism and helps lose significant amounts of fat. It’s an ultra-low-calorie diet and also involves hCG hormone injections. It is viewed as a hazardous and unlawful eating routine arrangement.
Last but not least is the zone diet plan. It is a low-carb fad diet focussing on balancing the caloric ratio of 30-40-30 (fat-carb-protein), which in turn maintains the insulin glucagon ratio and supports insulin sensitivity. The zone diet prescribes five times eating a day, three meals and two snacks with no more than 5 hours gap between meals. It helps reduce diet-induced inflammation and lose excess body fat.
Losing weight and staying in shape is on the agenda of almost every second person you come across nowadays. But, when it comes to eating, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Every person has a metabolism of its own. So everyone needs to keep a check on themselves, track their body weight consistently, get in touch with a nutritionist and plan their diet accordingly. Alongside a balanced diet plan, one should never forget to work out, hydrate and get sufficient rest. Ending with a quote by Dr Kelly Shockley-
“Health is not about the weight you lose; it’s about the life you gain.”