By Betsy Craig with help from Lacey Palmer
Just when gluten-free has begun to be manageable for most and the world knows it’s a need for those with Celiac disease and a choice for others, along comes a number of new ways the world is wanting to eat. We have seen some of these diets build slowly and get more popular, while others have exploded onto the food service industry. I have seen this happen firsthand, and now even more so since even the most mainstream of our clients are asking for these specialty menus from our nutrition department. Here is a very brief overview of what they are, and a simplified version of what each means.
Whole30 is a dietary pattern meant to “cleanse” the body. The goal is to eliminate any foods that may be inflammatory or may disrupt the digestive systems. This pattern is followed for 30 days in order to reboot the metabolic system. This includes abstaining from all forms of added sugar, all legumes, all alcohol, nearly all types of dairy, and both processed and whole carbohydrates. Whole30 encourages a diet rich in lean meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruits, and natural fats. This diet does not focus as much on quantity of certain types of foods, as much as it does on the quality of the foods.
The Paleo diet is based off of the principle that people, to be at their healthiest, should eat a diet similar to our Paleolithic ancestors. The hunter/gatherer lifestyle is what the human body evolved with and what we should be consuming. The diet claims the rise in obesity and chronic metabolic diseases can be traced to the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution. The diet is rich in lean meats (both exotic and certain cuts of domestic), seafood, fruits, and all non-starchy vegetables. This diet is lower in carbohydrates than many other diets (still at a moderate level however), rich in protein, and moderate in healthy fats.
The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. Originally adapted as a medical diet, the keto diet has gained speed in recent years as a new lifestyle diet and a tool for effective weight loss. A typical keto diet consumes no more than 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This low amount forces the body to enter ketosis, where fat (being broken down into ketones) is being used as the primary energy source.
The general public is looking to know what’s in their food. Striving to have menu items Free-From things like genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, and/or other additives. Additional investigation to know where they are eating “clean” ingredients has become even more important to the menu consumers.
Still popular and in some cases holding very steady are gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. All popular across many different types of cuisines, diets and lifestyles. What can I say, the public wants choices and it’s our job to offer them some! Or maybe that’s just the nutrition geek in me talking….