Are you more suited to a Paleo diet or Vegan/ vegetarian?
Imagine your disappointment when you find out you desperately want to be a vegan but your body just can’t survive on a vegan diet; or you think Paleo sounds like a good idea but you feel heavy and full when you stick to a paleo program.
We are all genetically different and tend to be suited to one diet or the other. This can be due to the genes we inherit. But it can also be influenced by what we are fed as a fetus. The diet of our mother when we are in utero has a great effect on what genes are expressed as we develop, and we get used to having access to certain nutrients in good supply and shortages of others while we are fed by the placenta.
Our genes are like great huge Slinkys – thousands of coils long. When we want to activate a gene or ‘express’ it, we open up the coils of the slinky, so that we can replicate that section of the DNA. When we want to shut down a gene, we close up the DNA coils so that it cannot replicate.
What nutrients we get in utero, determine what genes get activated and what stays shut. Then when we grow up we find that a certain diet is better for our genetic make-up and the genes that were activated in utero.
So where does that leave us in the dietary choices stakes? Many of us want to eat a certain way because of ethical reasons or principles that we believe in, but does it suit our body type?
There are a few clues that can help you decide what diet is the best for your body and here are a few key questions that can point you in the right direction
1) Do you like legumes such as lentils, chick peas and cashews?
2) Do they sit well in your body? (many people get a lot of gas, abdominal pain and bloating with legumes because of the sugars or oligosaccharides in them)
3) Do you eat grains on a daily basis?
4) Do you feel good on grains? (do a simple elimination diet for 1 month – no grains at all. Then do a 3 day ‘grain challenge’. If you get bloating, tummy pain or fatigue, then grains are not right for you).
If you answer yes to these 4 questions, then a vegetarian/vegan diet will be suitable for you.
5) Do you crave meat?
6) Do you feel good when you eat just meat and veggies?
7) Does dairy make you feel nauseous?
8) Do you feel bloated when you eat a lot of starch or carbohydrate?
If you answer yes to questions 4-8, then a Paleo diet may be better for you.
Generally if people answer No to Questions 1-4 and yes to Questions 5-8, then they are generally better off with a Paleo diet.
We should all be able to tolerate vegetables, apart from the odd allergy, so vegetables should be a large part of any diet, whether you are vegetarian or Paleo.
The final clue is what you would choose to eat if you were doing something really important – like doing a job interview or an exam or getting married. What kind of meal would you eat on that day, that you know would make you feel good?
This gives you the last piece of the puzzle in what diet is best for your body type. Of course it’s still possible to eat the diet you want, you just need to be more careful with balancing macro and micro nutrients if it’s not your natural body type.
Some unfortunate people never get to realise what suits their body, because their diet is so poor with mostly processed and fast food their sensations are blunted. They never get that wonderful healthy satisfied feeling that you get when you eat a meal that sits well with your body.
Don’t let this be you – find out your nutritional type today…