- Pinterest has revealed the top three fastest growing diets in Australia
- They include veganism, Paleo and the Ketogenic Diet
- Here, FEMAIL looks at what each one involves and the pros and cons of them
Everyday, social media is flooded with posts about the weird, wonderful and wacky new diets taking over the globe.
As a result, Australians are often confused as to what advice to follow and are unsure what food plan is right for them.
So to help break through the information overload, FEMAIL has looked at the top three fastest growing diets in the country and the positives and negatives of each one.
FEMAIL has looked at the top three fastest growing diets in the country and the positives and negatives of each one (pictured is vegan nutritionist Ellie Bullen)
More Australians are living a vegan lifestyle than ever before and according to Pinterest, saves and searches for ‘vegan’ images and recipes over the past 12 months have risen by 175 per cent.
According to the Dietitians Association of Australia, veganism is simply ‘a type of vegetarian diet, where only plant-based foods are eaten’.
They advise that while a vegan diet can cover all the nutrient bases, there are some extra things those following this diet should consider.
More Australians are living a vegan lifestyle than ever before and according to Pinterest, saves and searches for ‘vegan’ images and recipes over the past 12 months have risen by 175 per cent
These include getting adequate iron through foods like legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds, wholegrains, Vitamin B12, through some soy milks and vegetarian burgers/sausages and calcium, through almond milks, hard tofu or almonds.
One key nutrient vegans need to ensure they get enough of is omega 3 fats.
‘Our body can’t make omega-3 fats itself, so it’s important to get them through food. Marine sources of omega-3 fats provide the most health benefits,’ they wrote.
Pictured are a number of vegan smoothie bowls topped with seeds and various fruits
Spiced cauliflower steaks (left) and vegetable frittatas (right) are popular meals shared for vegans
‘Plant sources of omega-3 fats include linseeds/flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds and soy bean oil’ they wrote.’
Many celebrities and influencers have adopted a plant-based diet, including model Bridget Malcolm and nutritionist and dietitian, Ellie Bullen.
Benefits of a vegan lifestyle include a lowered cancer risk, a lowered risk of illnesses linked to animal fats like heart disease, improved heart health and a lowered risk of chronic disease.
Vegan diets include the following:
Fruit and vegetables
Breads, cereals and grains
Legumes (eg lentils, chickpeas, dried beans)
Soy foods like tofu and tempeh
Nuts and seeds
Vegan diets don’t include the following:
Meat, poultry, fish and seafood
Often honey, plus other animal-derived ingredients or food additives
Searches and saves for ‘Paleo’ related content on Pinterest have risen by 115 per cent over the past 12 months – the popularity likely due to high profile people like chef Pete Evans promoting it far and wide.
According to the DAA, the Paleo diet is inspired by the Palaeolithic period where people primarily ate vegetables, fruit, nuts, insects, roots, and meat, which varied depending on season and availability.
The high protein, high fat, low carb diet excludes all dairy products and grains.
While many praise the diet and claim it is a solution to modern day diet-related diseases, the DAA say a diet with no dairy products or grains is not supported by the extensive body of research that is currently available and that excluding whole food groups is not wise.
Searches and saves for ‘Paleo’ related content on Pinterest have risen by 115 per cent over the past 12 months – the popularity likely due to high profile people like chef Pete Evans (pictured) promoting it far and wide
Two of the most popular pins on Pinterest are the chicken cabbage stir fry (left) and the raspberry lemon bars with cookie crumble (right)
Paleo diets include the following:
Nuts and seed
Certain oils and fats
Paleo diets don’t include the following:
Beans and legumes
Pros of the diet include the inclusion of good fats, fruit and vegetables and red meat, which is a rich source of protein and is rich in ‘iron, zinc and vitamin B12; all of which are essential for maintaining optimum health’.
Cons mostly revolve around the foods that are cut from the diet.
‘Legumes are also an excellent source of fibre; they are high in protein and have great satiating value, there is no reason that these should be excluded from the diet,’ the DAA advise.
They also express concerns about excess meat consumption, the lack of grains due to essential vitamins and fibre and the lack of dairy.
Pictured is one of Pete Evans’ daily meals – homemade hemp bread with avocado, finger limes, a fried egg, nori, hot sauce and curry kraut
‘Dairy foods are an important source of calcium, and also protein, Vitamin B12 and riboflavin (Vitamin B2). We know that most Australians do not get enough calcium which is important to build strong bones and teeth,’ they wrote.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Sydney-based dietitian and exercise physiologist, Gabrielle Maston said ‘if you are a junk food eater and you switch to eating a Paleo diet, you will lose weight because you will be increasing the volume of food eaten, while simultaneously reducing its energy content’.
‘The problem is that the Paleo diet also omits other food types that are highly nutritious, such as legumes, wholegrains and dairy products,’ she said.
‘To improve this diet, use the principles of the Paleo diet to eat more whole foods, but don’t give up food groups entirely. Most people can benefit from reducing their intake of junk food and portions of carb foods, so do that instead.’
This meal of Pete’s included organic meat sausages, cabbages cooked in coconut oil, roasted cumin spiced pumpkin, olives and mushrooms with some crispy sage
This meal consists of hemp, flax, macadamia and coconut bread, cucumber, pickles, fermented beets, avocado, pate and chunky pumpkin chips
Saves and searches for ‘Keto’ related images and recipes have risen by 80 per cent over the past year, with the diet a favourite of many celebrities and influencers the world over.
Most recently singer Guy Sebastian revealed he used a Ketogenic diet as part of his drastic Men’s Health body transformation.
The low carb high fat diet essentially involves eating small amounts of carbs, medium amounts of protein and getting the majority of kilojoules from fats.
As fat is the main source of energy being consumed, the body then uses it as its main source of fuel and burns it.
Most recently singer Guy Sebastian (pictured) revealed he used a Ketogenic diet as part of his drastic Men’s Health body transformation
When this happens, by-products called ketone bodies are produced which are used up by the body’s tissues, muscles and the brain. This process is known as ‘ketosis’ and is the main goal for those following this diet.
It’s also known as a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) plan, just like Paleo and Atkins.
Upon the release of his new book, The Keto Diet – A 60-Day Protocol to Boost Your Health, bestselling Australian author, Scott Gooding, spoke to FEMAIL and said ‘it’s a very normal approach insofar as our ancestors would have been in ketosis for much of their existence’.
‘It’s nothing alien to our bodies – it’s just a metabolic state whereby we burn fat as a primary fuel source,’ he said.
Keto diets include more of the following:
* Fish and seafood
* Vegetables grown above ground
* Natural fats
Keto diets include less of the following:
* Sugary and starchy foods
These keto tacos are a popular meal online and are made with lettuce leaves instead of shells
On a Keto diet plan, meat, fish, poultry and eggs are all allowed, as are non-starchy below-ground vegetables, leafy greens and dairy and full-fat.
Sugars and white, refined carbs are not encouraged and only a small amount of fruit is allowed.
‘When you manipulate your macronutrients [the major food groups of protein, carbohydrates and fat], embrace a little calorie restriction or fasting, then you will automatically put your body into ketosis,’ Scott explained.
‘While you don’t need to be in ketosis all the time, even if you were to fast once a fortnight or once a month, you will see life-enhancing benefits.’
Pictured is a no bake Keto crunch bar made with coconut oil, cocoa powder, a monk fruit sweetened maple syrup and nuts
When it comes to weight loss, the DAA says those who follow a Keto diet will ‘undoubtedly result in short-term weight loss’.
However, they also said it is ‘undoubtedly difficult to stick to because it drastically reduces the intake of a number of food groups’.
All in all, the DAA agree that the diet does offer some metabolic benefits when followed in the short term and poses as ‘a novel treatment for certain medical conditions’.
The bottom line, however, is that the diet is not recommended for the general population ‘as the long term efficacy and safety of the diet are unknown, having only been studied in the short term’.
What diet is right for you?
Anyone wishing to make a drastic change to their diet should talk to a GP or qualified professional to draw up a program that is tailored to their specific health needs and goals.
Generally, however, the Australian Dietary Guidelines offer a clear guide to what is deemed healthy for the average Australian.