Dr. Shannon Morgenstern, ND

Many of my patients have been coming in asking questions about the newest trend or fad diet of the moment. Within the last few years patients have been leaning more towards diets like paleo and veganism, but I’ve been seeing a huge shift toward the ketogenic diet in recent months.

Done properly, I don’t have any issues for most patients, however there are always exceptions to this rule and some diets can be very dangerous for some people, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before making big changes. However the big problem with so many of these fad-type diets, is that you can eat TERRIBLY on them, and still be eating within the constraints of the diet. This is often seen in cookbooks, recipes and meal plans that are less focused on healthy eating, but more focused on low-nutrient comfort foods and treats.

For example:

  • Unhealthy Vegan: Vegan candy and pasta constantly
  • Unhealthy Keto: Bacon and cheese at every meal
  • Unhealthy Paleo: Sweet potato fries and too much protein

As I mentioned, ANY fad diet or normal diet can be unhealthy depending on how you manage things.

Below I’ve listed my top tips to make sure you are eating healthy even when they’re testing out the latest popular diet.

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  1. Focus on whole foods

Even if you’re eating well within the constraints of the diet you’re following, you don’t want to be having processed foods regularly. Keep them to special occasions or use them as treats if you must, and always try to eat foods that are actual foods!

  1. Add in more veggies

For the most part (excluding potatoes or anything deep fried), you can’t go wrong with adding in more vegetables to your diet. This is a huge mistake that I see many “keto” and “paleo” dieters make. Get in those veggies!

  1. Choose a lifestyle not a fad diet so it’s sustainable

The way you eat may in and of itself be a great lifestyle for you, and it’s often much healthier if you shift your thinking into making lifestyle changes and not skipping from one fad diet to the next. Definitely spend some time and see what feels best for you.

  1. Listen to what your body needs

Not everyone feels great on every diet—we’re all individuals after all. A raw vegan diet might work wonders for some, but others may feel tired, bloated and awful and the same goes for any other type of fad diet. If a diet you’re on is making you feel awful, not only are you not going to be able to stick to it, but you’ll be miserable and likely be making the people around you miserable too! Food sensitivities, SIBO, digestive insufficiency and many other clinical concerns may be affecting how you feel with the diet you’re on. Make sure you check in with a Naturopathic Doctor if something isn’t feeling right digestion wise so we can get to the bottom of it.

  1. Get in a wide variety of foods

Variety is the spice of life! Ensuring you’re getting a wide variety of foods no matter what diet you’re consuming will ensure you’re getting a wide variety of macro and micronutrients. The other thing is that variety can also help ensure you’re able to stick to a diet more effectively and help you achieve your health and diet goals. That way you’re not bored or overeating the same foods constantly. Keep things spicy and mix things up!

What diet have you been testing out lately? Have you already noticed that you’re putting into action some of the tips I’ve shared above? Let me know what you think and what you’ve found makes your body feel its best!

If you’re interested in learning more about which lifestyle/food makeover you may benefit from or have questions about a style that you’re currently utilizing, make sure you connect with a local Naturopathic Doctor, and if you’re in the Calgary area, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation!

ls_mg_4278-cropDr Shannon Morgenstern is a Naturopathic Doctor, educator and guide, who helps patients to find more balance, rejuvenate from the inside out and reach a state of health and happiness. Her mission is helping patients like you to go from living a stressful life of mediocrity to living a life of calm and inspired thriving. She often works with patients who are stressed out beyond belief, struggling to function and who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Dr Morgenstern is able to provide the support and motivation to have you go from feeling bored and discontented with life, to feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. She practices out of a beautiful clinic in Calgary Canada called Naturmend. Make sure you check out her websitewww.drshannonmorgenstern.com for up to date info and free tips!

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  • Michelle G

    The good doctor is correct, these diets could be harmful if done incorrectly. But the same can be said for *any* diet. One has to take responsibility for educating and administering one’s diet correctly, but reading and discussing with others, including medical personnel, but also with experienced practitioners of the chosen way of eating. Having done your research, you then need to make changes slowly, so you can notice what works and doesn’t work for you. One size does *not* fit all. We are each individual people with unique DNA and microbiomes, so we need to work at our health as much as we work at our relationships, careers, and other important aspects of our lives. And then, be open to changing as your body responds, because what works for you today may not work for you tomorrow. So, do your research, listen to your body, and then (and only then) decide which way of eating is right for you.

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