Keto, Vegan, Carnivore, and Frugivore. Why do ALL of these diets work?

Because they are ALL limited-ingredient diets. After I explain why these diets work, I will then explain why they should be used judiciously.

A limited-ingredient diet, also known as an elimination diet, involves feeding your body a restricted number of foods for a certain period of time. Here are some potential benefits of following a limited-ingredient diet:

Identify food sensitivities: By eliminating certain foods from your diet, you may be able to identify which foods are causing adverse reactions, such as bloating, stomach pain, or skin rashes.

Improve digestion: Limiting the variety of foods in your diet can help ease digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Enhance nutrient absorption: When you reduce the number of foods you eat, your body may have an easier time absorbing nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the foods you do eat.

Support weight loss: If you want to lose weight, a limited-ingredient diet can help you control portions and make healthier food choices.

Reduce inflammation: Certain foods can trigger inflammation, causing pain, fatigue, and other health issues. By avoiding these foods, you may be able to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health.

Improve mental clarity: Some people report improved clarity and focus when following a limited-ingredient diet.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. While the ketogenic diet can aid in weight loss and certain health conditions, it is not necessarily intended to be a long-term solution for everyone.

Some people may find that they can stick to a ketogenic diet long-term and continue to see benefits, while others may find it difficult to maintain over time. Additionally, some health experts caution that a long-term ketogenic diet may be associated with potential health risks, such as nutrient deficiencies, an increased risk of heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The carnivore diet is a diet that primarily consists of animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy while excluding most plant-based foods. While some people may find benefits from following a carnivore diet in the short term, it is generally not recommended as a long-term solution for most people.

The main concern with a long-term carnivore diet is the potential for nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are typically found in plant-based foods. Additionally, a diet high in animal products has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It’s also worth noting that there is limited research on the long-term effects of a carnivore diet, and much of the existing research is focused on short-term outcomes. Therefore, it is difficult to fully assess the safety and effectiveness of a long-term carnivore diet.

A vegan diet is intended to be a long-term solution for those who follow it. A vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients for good health when planned appropriately. This includes adequate protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B12(supplement), and other important nutrients. Yes, the human body does synthesize vitamin B12; however, it does so in the colon and is not absorbed in any appreciable amount, ultimately finding its way into our excrement and into our toilet.

Research has shown that a well-planned vegan diet can offer a range of health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, a vegan diet has a lower environmental impact than a diet that includes animal products.

However, it’s important to note that simply eliminating animal products from one’s diet does not automatically make it healthy. It’s essential to ensure that the diet is balanced and includes a variety of whole plant-based foods to provide all the necessary nutrients. Working with a registered dietitian can help ensure that a vegan diet is nutritionally adequate and sustainable for the long term.

It’s important to note that while limited-ingredient diets can be beneficial for some individuals, they may not be necessary or appropriate for everyone. No single diet is a one-size-fits-all solution, and individual needs and preferences should be considered. They should be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are at risk of nutrient deficiencies.

And finally, my personal favorite and what I found works best for me.

The Mediterranean diet is considered a good long-term solution for overall health and well-being. This eating pattern is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Research has shown that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. This is because the diet is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil and low in saturated and trans fats, red meat, and processed foods.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet is not a limited-ingredient diet and is sustainable and adaptable to various dietary preferences and cultural traditions. It emphasizes the enjoyment of food and the importance of social eating, which can lead to better mental health and social connections.

Veganism and Vitamin B-12

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is believed to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago. It is m ade by combining sweetened tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, known as a SCOBY. During the fermentation process, the SCOBY consumes the sugar in the tea and produces a range of organic acids, probiotics, and other beneficial compounds.

Kombucha has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its potential health benefits, including improved gut health and immune function. But what does this have to do with a vegan or whole-food/plant-based diet?

First, it’s important to understand what a vegan or WF/PB diet is. Adherents avoid consuming any animal products or byproducts, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. This is often motivated by ethical, environmental, or health concerns.

Kombucha is a vegan or WF/PB friendly drink because it does not contain any animal products or byproducts. However, there are a few other reasons why kombucha may be particularly beneficial for vegan or WF/PB adherents.

One reason is that kombucha contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health. For vegans who may be lacking in certain nutrients due to their dietary restrictions, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can be especially important. Probiotics can help improve nutrient absorption and reduce inflammation, among other benefits.

Additionally, some types of kombucha are fortified with vitamin B12, a nutrient that is primarily found in animal products. B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system and can be difficult for vegans to obtain through diet alone. While it’s important to note that not all kombucha contains B12, this is one potential benefit for vegans to consider.

Finally, kombucha is a versatile drink that can be used in a variety of recipes. For vegans who may be looking for alternatives to traditional animal-based ingredients, kombucha can be used as a substitute for vinegar, soy sauce, or even as a marinade for tofu or vegetables.

In summary, while kombucha is not strictly necessary for vegans, it can be a beneficial addition to a vegan diet. Its probiotic content can improve gut health, it may contain vitamin B12, and it can be used in a variety of recipes as a vegan-friendly alternative to other ingredients.

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that has gained popularity in recent years, and it has become a staple in many vegan diets. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that produces a fizzy, slightly sour drink with a distinct taste.

One of the main reasons why kombucha is considered necessary for vegans is because it is a good source of probiotics. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are beneficial for the digestive system and overall health. Since most probiotic foods come from animal sources, vegans can have a harder time finding sources of these beneficial bacteria. Kombucha, on the other hand, is a vegan-friendly source of probiotics that can help improve gut health and boost the immune system.

Another reason why kombucha is beneficial for vegans is that it is a good source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve function, the production of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis. However, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, so it can be challenging for vegans to get enough of this nutrient. While kombucha is not a significant source of vitamin B12, some kombucha brands add vitamin B12 to their products, making it a convenient way for vegans to get this essential nutrient.

Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and lead to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which can reduce the risk of these chronic diseases.

Finally, kombucha is a low-sugar, low-calorie beverage that can be a healthy alternative to sugary sodas and other beverages. Kombucha is made with tea, which contains compounds that have been shown to have various health benefits, including improved brain function and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

In conclusion, kombucha is a beneficial beverage for vegans because it provides probiotics, vitamin B12, antioxidants, and a low-sugar, low-calorie alternative to other beverages. While it is not necessary for vegans to consume kombucha, it can be a convenient and healthy addition to a vegan diet.

Anti-fragility and Hormesis

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You What?

Is it possible that a random bacon double cheeseburger could ultimately make a vegan live a longer, healthier life? What if a raw vegan or even a frugivore could live ten to twenty years longer by simply eating something that is not within their strict framework every once in a while? Is it possible that consuming a diet that is too easy on the system is actually worse than one that is not?

I am beginning to wonder. Because complex organic operating systems are weakened, sometimes even unto an early demise where there is a lack of stress. And as we have seen over the last few years, 2019-2022, Mother Nature does not favor the weak. On the contrary, she favors the strong.

I can’t imagine each and everyone one of us hasn’t heard this many times over. Kelly Clarkson made a hit song with this title in 2011. It’s not just a catchy song, it is also a very true statement within a complex system that has the ability to adapt. In the scientific and medical worlds, it is referred to as anti-fragility or hormesis.

In Greek mythology, there was a story about a creature with nine heads called Hydra. The monster would occasionally emerge to stir up the people and livestock of the mythical land of Lerna. When someone attempted to defeat this creature by cutting off one of its heads they would find that two more grew back in its place. What didn’t kill Hydra made him stronger.

This concept can also be seen in the plant world through a process called topping in which the main stalk of the plant is cut resulting in the plant redirecting its energy and growth hormones out to the side branches resulting in the branches growing more robustly in an outward fashion instead of continuing skyward. The intended result is a plant that produces more fruit.

And this is why you see so many humans working out. What doesn’t kill us does quite literally make us stronger. You see, some things benefit from a shock to the system that pushes a smooth running organic machine out of balance. Even our bones grow stronger when put under stress by physical activity. But there does come a point where that stress can become too much and the benefits are no longer as robust. This brings me to my another question I will address later. How much is too much?

So, back to the double bacon cheeseburger question. Could an occasional curveball actually be better for the human body than a perfectly executed raw vegan diet? It would seem so. Even Dr. Valter Longo, author of The Longevity Diet notes that those who indulge in a small amount of fish once per week ultimately live longer healthy lives than those on a strict, 100% uncooked whole-food/plant-based diet. Nonetheless, he still stresses the importance of maintaining a 95% whole-food/plant-based diet. But I don’t really remember ever hearing him clearly state what that mechanism of action is by adding a little fish to the diet.

My feeling is that it boils down to the hormetic/anti-fragile effects of the animal food product acting as a small amount of poison that kicks our body’s immune system into high gear. That just a few ounces of fish once per week causes our body to produce an excess amount of neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes that then go out into the body to fix the problem.

And this is where the magic happens.

Not only is the specific poison addressed by all of those amazing immune cells that our body produces for times just like these, but they also go about cleaning up a whole host of other lesser things that were flying just below the radar at a subclinical level improving the overall health of the human body. Cleaning up other senescent cells that are no longer beneficial to life, but not quite problematic enough to trigger an immune response. Individually, those senescent cells won’t take out the creature(us), but over time they will and do build up to a level that eventually precipitates a health crisis that most aren’t even aware of until we start experiencing systemic inflammation requiring an interventional response.