Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

January 24, 2022
Lifestyle - Nutrition - Wellness
Today I want to talk about something that I think is so important and needs to be shared more often: the pros and cons of some of the most popular diets today------the keto diet, intermittent fasting, vegan + vegetarian diets, and gluten-free.

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today: This conversation is not based on weight loss, nor do I want to make it seem like the only benefit of adopting a healthy lifestyle is to lose weight. No matter what, your body is beautiful, and I hope that you use this guide to help you take care of it the way it deserves. 

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

First and foremost, I don't believe in the word diet, and I don't think that diet culture should be used to make people feel bad about themselves or make it difficult for them to love their bodies. Diet culture is all around us.

If we aren't paying attention and looking closely,  the impacts of the diet industry can have significant consequences on our physical, emotional and mental health.

While discussing some of the most popular diets today (both the pros + cons), I want to reframe this conversation into sharing some factual and scientific information on certain lifestyles that may help you feel better in your skin. 

However, I want to note the impact of these diets on overall weight loss, if that is one of your goals. Nutritional science has proven that weight loss is achieved when you maintain a daily calorie deficit, which means that you eat fewer calories than you expend through exercise or just general living.

While many of these diets promote a specific formula or eating pattern, ultimately, their success is based on their ability to get you to a place where you were reporting an almost daily calorie deficit.

It might be simple math, but sometimes, based on your preferences, food restrictions and dietary concerns, you may need to make other considerations to help reach your weight loss goal. 

Do I Subscribe to a Single Diet?

In short----No, I just eat healthier and more flexible. For me, following a vegan diet, specifically a dairy-free and a gluten-free diet (on most days), has been an absolute game-changer.

This shift has changed how I have been able to enjoy food after having my son. After giving birth, it seems like the entire function of my body changed, and how I was able to consume and digest food became entirely different from how it was having a baby.

Shifting to a vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free lifestyle (on most days) helped improve my overall health and help my body get back to adopt optimal functioning. Read this article via Livestrong on the pros and cons for the 10 most popular diets!

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today:

Keto Diet

How it works: The keto diet (or ketogenic diet) is an eating plan that values high fat, moderate protein and low carb eating. This diet claims to cause your body to go into ketosis, a chemical process within your body that burns fat for fuel and produces substances called ketones that can help you lose weight and achieve Optimal Health. Ketosis is actually a very uncomfortable process, and many people report the “keto flu” when following this diet strictly.

Pros: This diet is often highly recommended for individuals with Type 2 diabetes,  insulin resistance, and PCOS (or polycystic ovary syndrome) because it is proven to help balance the blood’s natural sugars. Following a keto diet does cut down on the sugar that you consume daily and contributes to weight loss and improved bodily function. 

Cons: The ketogenic diet is very restricting, making it often a complicated diet to follow for the long term. While many people may report weight loss at the beginning of their keto diet, they often will regain that weight later as this diet is tough to follow. 

Also, the ketogenic diet can be low in fibre and very high in saturated fat, which is not suitable for cardiovascular health. Another con for the keto diet is that eating low carb often means limiting specific fruits and vegetables that are the best sources of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. These nutrient deficiencies combined with the keto flu symptoms that we talked about above make keto a complex long-term plan to follow. 

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

Intermittent Fasting

How It works: Intermittent fasting is a diet based not on the types of food that you eat but on the time you eat. When you should and shouldn't eat. Many intermittent fasting diets promote an eating pattern that follows a timed cycle, such as a 16:8 cycle. In a 16:8 eating cycle, you fast for 16 hours and only eat for 8 hours of the day. If you can eat a well-balanced diet during your eating time frame, this diet can be a healthy way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Pros: Early research suggests that intermittent fasting can have significant benefits for your metabolism and can work to help boost your body's natural functions. Intermittent fasting is also an excellent eating pattern for people who struggle with dysregulated eating patterns and eating at odd hours.

Cons: Intermittent fasting can be problematic as the eating pattern cycle can mimic some forms of disordered eating such as anorexia and bulimia. If not managed properly, this diet can cause significant health problems due to the high proneness to starvation and binge cycles. 

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today

Vegan or Vegetarian

How it works: A vegetarian or vegan diet is often a great way to consciously take control of your eating habits and focus on your daily dietary nutrition. Of course, there are different versions of these diets with varying levels of strictness. Traditionally, vegetarians do not eat meat products but will eat eggs and or dairy. Vegans, by contrast, do not eat any animal by-products, including meat, eggs, dairy, or any food containing animal by-products. 

Pros: A plant-based diet is highly recommended by both dietitians, nutrition organizations and nutrition researchers. You can’t go wrong with clean, plant-based foods!

Cons: When following a plant-based diet, it is essential to take good care to eat well-balanced meals and focus on finding alternative protein sources.

I'm sure we all know someone who tried a vegetarian or vegan diet and simply focused on eating carbs and gimmicky meat alternatives. When following a vegan or vegetarian diet, you must concentrate on predominantly plant-based meals to get your daily caloric intake and a well-rounded nutritional value in your food. 

My Top Favorite Vegan + Vegetarian Recipes

Creamy Garlic Tomato Conchiglioni Pasta

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Jamaican Power Bowl 

Veggie Breakfast Strata

Chipotle BBQ Butternut Squash Tacos

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today


How it works: Gluten is a protein such as wheat, barley and rye. This includes bread, pasta, pizza and even some seasonings!  For many people, gluten can be very inflammatory and can damage your intestinal lining and overall feeling of health and well-being. Symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease include a wide range of varying degrees depending on the person. 

Pros: There are different types of people who could benefit from eating a gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerant people may experience mild symptoms and would do best to avoid high levels of gluten in their day-to-day lives.

People with celiac disease have an allergy to gluten and will experience adverse effects if they eat even the slightest bit of gluten.  Understanding the difference between someone who has celiac disease and gluten intolerant is critical in understanding the impacts and potential impact that gluten can have on their body. 

Cons: Let's be honest, gluten is often found in some of our favorite foods. A gluten-free diet can seem very restrictive for some people and impact your daily fibre and vitamin D intake. Gluten-free versions of nutrition can often be higher in calories, sugar, and fat than the traditional gluten-filled alternative. Remember, a gluten-free package brownie doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy just because it's gluten-free.

My Top Favorite Gluten-Free Recipes

Chickpea + Veggie Gluten-Free Pesto Pizza

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Shrimp Pasta

Vegan Sweet Potato Crumble Bread

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today


Overall, my best advice for anyone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle or eating habits is to do thorough research on what will work best for your particular body and overall goals.  be sure to check out my article on How to Best Transition into a Vegan or Plant-Based Diet

I don't believe that diets are inherently good or bad but may or may not be realistic to implement long-term.

I encourage you to speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian to help address some ways to make healthier choices in your diet and improve your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Thanks for reading!

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Diets Today.


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