Supplements for Diet Types
Diet Types and Nutrition
Diets are vastly different all over the world. Even within the same continent, diets may vary considerably. No one diet is suitable for everyone. Genetics play a huge role in our ability to tolerate and thrive on differing diet types. Now, people are easily able to select a diet type that they believe is best for their body, genetics and nutrition and health goals.
No diet is perfect however, and each diet type comes with advantages and disadvantages. Nutritional supplementation can play a massive role in supporting the weakness of some diet types and act as an aid to ensure that what ever the diet choice, complete nutrition is achieved.
Consulting your doctor, nutritionist or dietitian is always advisable before drastically changing your diet, as it may have health consequences. We have provided a guide to different diet types and supplementation which may help to support health and nutrition whilst consuming a different diet, helping you to be your best.
Dieters can eat as much fat and protein as they like, as long as carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. The body will make carbohydrates when they are required by a process called gluconeogenesis. The reduction in carbohydrates and increased protein and fat lead to a reduced appetite, leading to lower calorific intake.
One research paper analysed the nutrition content of the Atkins diet and found that It was found that it failed to deliver the recommended levels of nutrients. Only 12 nutrients out of 27 tested were consumed in adequate levels1. Cutting down or eliminating carbohydrates dramatically reduces the amount of fibre and prebiotics consumed. This is a vital food source for intestinal microbiome, and if removed, causes a reduction in numbers of probiotics. Research show that diets high in saturated fatty acids such as when consuming an Atkins diet led to decreased intestinal flora diversity2, 3.
The ketogenic diet is similar to the Atkins diet. The ratio of very low carbohydrates, controlled protein intake and very high fat intake encourages the body to make energy from ketones and to enter into a ketosis state. The ketogenic diet causes huge reductions in blood sugar and blood insulin levels.
There are several types of Keto diets. Standard keto diet; very low carbohydrate (5%), moderate protein (20%), and high fat (75%). Cyclical keto diet; This diet involves periods of higher carbohydrate intake. 5 days on a keto diet and 2 days consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates. Targeted keto diet; This is where carbohydrates are consumed around periods of exercise. High protein keto diet; this contains a higher ratio of protein (35%) and fats are lower (60%).
Cutting down or eliminating carbohydrates dramatically reduces the amount of fibre and prebiotics consumed. This is a vital food source for intestinal microbiome, and if removed, causes a reduction in numbers of probiotics. Research show that diets high in saturated fatty acids such as when consuming a ketogenic diet may led to decreased intestinal flora diversity 1, 2. The adequacy of trace minerals in the ketogenic diet is not sufficient. Selenium has the potential to be particularly low, with no more than 75% of the RDA being achieved 3.
Low Carb Diet
A low carbohydrate diet is classified as having (less than 100-150 grams of carbohydrates per day). This is achieved by eating only ‘whole’ and unrefined carbohydrates, and monitoring portions of starches and grains. Fruit is usually excluded or very limited (1 portion of low sugar fruit per day). People eating a low carbohydrate diet tend to increase protein and consume a high levels of animal foods.
In the first few days of a low carbohydrate diet, too much sodium can be lost from the body causing unpleasant symptoms including feeling dizzy and light-headed. The excess sodium loss can put stress on the kidneys. Low carbohydrate dieters may experience a deficiency in water soluble vitamins commonly found in fruits and raw vegetables. Scientists have analysed typical low carbohydrate diets and found that they have a negative impact on antioxidant status. Low carbohydrate diets were found to be particularly low in vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and β-cryptoxanthin. Although these levels were not low enough to suggest outright deficiency, long term low carbohydrate diets would warrant supplementation 1.
Supplement Recommendations for Low Carb Diet
We recommend Cell Life to support the level of antioxidant nutrients, Once A Day Energy B+C to support energy levels and metabolic processes within the body to convert fat into energy, and TumBiotix to support bacterial diversity within the gut when diet could be low in fibre.
Paleo diet or ‘paleolithic diet’ consists of food assumed to be consumed by cave men and women. This includes whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. Grains and dairy are avoided as cave men were not yet farmers – rather hunter-gatherers. Processed foods are also avoided. A modified paleo diet includes some foods which are not usually on the paleo diet, but where there is enough evidence of their contribution to health. These may include grass fed butter and gluten free grain such as wild rice.
Dairy is eliminated, meaning so is calcium lactate, an easily absorbable form of calcium. The paleo diet excludes beans and grains, a valuable source of fibre and prebiotic. There may be a tendency to consume more meat than our ancestors did, as hunting was challenging, and the majority of foods would have been plant foods, and not meat. Grains are also eliminated on the paleo diet. Grains contain phytic acid which are known to be anti-nutrient, however, do have some health properties including antioxidant and prebiotic activity. Phytic acid may also reduce the bioavailability of toxic elements such as lead and cadmium.
Slow Carb Diet
Made popular by Tim Ferriss, this diet plan consists of 6 consecutive days with restricted carbohydrates and 1 free day per week. The diet consists of 5 rules – avoid ‘white’ carbohydrates, the same few meals should be eaten repeatedly. Don’t drink calories, don’t eat fruit, have 1 day a week off.
This diet is based on five food groups; protein, legumes, vegetables, healthy fats and spices. Fruits, dairy and fried foods are avoided.
It works on the assumption that a high protein and low carbohydrate diet aids with weight loss.
Dairy products are completely avoided, eliminating calcium lactate, an easily absorbed form of calcium. Dieters may have a tendency to over-indulge on their day off, leading to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Days off may be supported by additional dietary supplementation.
Low carbohydrate dieters may experience a deficiency in water soluble vitamins commonly found in fruits and raw vegetables. Scientists have analysed typical low carbohydrate diets and found that they have a negative impact on antioxidant status. Low carbohydrate diets were found to be particularly low in vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and β-cryptoxanthin. Although these levels were not low enough to suggest outright deficiency, long term low carbohydrate diets would warrant supplementation 1.
Whole 30 Diet
Whole 30 dieters are recommended to eliminate whole food groups including sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol. They are encouraged to consume meat, eggs, vegetables, some fruits and ‘good fats’. This diet is recommended for 4 weeks only, after which, banned foods are added back in one by one to see how the body reacts.
This is very much a quick fix, and dieters may soon return to old dietary habits and put any lost weight back on. Low carbohydrate dieters may experience a deficiency in water soluble vitamins commonly found in fruits and raw vegetables. Scientists have analysed typical low carbohydrate diets and found that they have a negative impact on antioxidant status. Low carbohydrate diets were found to be particularly low in vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and β-cryptoxanthin. Although these levels were not low enough to suggest outright deficiency, long term low carbohydrate diets would warrant supplementation 1.
Supplement Recommendations for Whole 30 Diet
We recommend Multi B Complex for sustained energy support, Chromium Picolinate to aid with blood sugar balance and the prevention of cravings, Vitamin E 400iu to support dietary intake, and Acidophilus Plus to support gut bacteria levels on a low carbohydrate diet.
Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers diet is based on a point system. Participants are assigned a points value based on their height. Foods are given points based on their sugar, fat and calorie content. The aim is to not exceed your maximum point score to achieve weight loss. Some foods are zero rated points and do not have to be tracked such as chicken breast, eggs, fish, beans and tofu. Food that are higher in saturated fat and sugar receive a higher point value, while foods higher in protein receive a lower point value.
Weight Watchers also offers fit points for any exercise throughout the day. Weight Watchers uses an approach based on slow weight loss, increased activity and portion control.
The Weight Watchers diet however does not require a balance of macro nutrients or the consumption of fruit and vegetables every day. It is possible to consume a lot of processed, low nutrient food while still staying within your points allocation.
Supplement Recommendations for Weight Watchers Diet
We recommend Once A Day Multi for all round nutrition support and energy for gaining fit points, Super Omega 3-6-9 to ensure that there are enough essential fatty acids when dieters may be consuming a lower fat intake, and EnzymeBiotix to support the digestion zero-point food such as beans, tofu and chicken.
Vegan diets exclude all animal products in an attempt to limit the use of animals in all forms and are often based on ethical living, as well as a desire to improve health.
Variations include raw food vegan and fruitarian diets.
The high fibre content of a vegan diet leads to feeling fuller and less consumption of calories. Nutritional quality of vegan diets varies considerably, with some consuming whole foods with a higher nutrition content, and some consuming processed meat alternatives.
Vegan diets are naturally void of any functional vitamin B12 1 and also have a tendency to be low in iodine. Studies suggest that vegans only achieve 40% of their iodine requirements. Therefore, supplementation is suggested 2.
A study in the journal of Nutrition suggests that vegans should consume 20% more calcium than the RDA omnivore recommendation due to increased phytic acid and generally lower bone density 3. Due to dietary deficiencies and the increased consumption of phytates, vegan woman and men are recommended to take 10 to 14mg of zinc retrospectively 3. Lysine is found to be low on vegan diets 4.
Raw Food Diet
Also called Raw Foodism. A food is considered raw if it has never been heated over 40–48°C. Food should not be processed in anyway, although juicing, blending, sprouting and fermenting is allowed.
Raw food diet is usually vegan; however some dieters may consume smoked fish and raw meat products as well as raw eggs and dairy. Dieters believe that cooking food destroys its enzymes, reduces nutrient content and removes the ‘life force’. To be considered ‘raw food diet’ 75% of the foods consumed should be raw. Dieters are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes and grains.
Many raw food dieters find it hard to meet their required calorie intake. Raw food dieters risk B12 deficiency, especially if they are raw food vegan, and have an increased risk of poor teeth health. Due to the considerable calories deficit on this diet, many women incur menstrual problems including amenorrhoea 1. The consumption of raw dairy and eggs increases the risk of developing food born diseases.
Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting does not dictate what to eat, rather than when to eat it. Often conducted for health or religious purposes. During fasting, very little food is consumed, if consumed at all. Fasting is recommended twice per week.
There are 2 methods of intermittent fasting. One involves skipping breakfast and restricting daily eating periods to 8 hours per day, followed by a 16 hour fast. Another is fasting for 24 hours twice per week and eating normally the rest of the time. The third method is eating 500-600 calories on 2 consecutive days and eating normally for the rest of the time.
All of these reduce calories intake, promote weight loss, encourage to use of ketones as fuel and improves insulin sensitivity.
During periods of fasting, human growth hormone dramatically increases which promotes fat loss and muscle gain.
During days of no food intake, a multi nutrient formula is recommended to ensure that micronutrients are still achieved. Branched chain amino acids including valine, leucine and isoleucine may help to protect muscle loss after a workout, particularly when fasted 1.
Detox diets aim to remove as many environmental toxins as possible to reduce the toxic burden on the body and liver and encourage it to remove any stored toxins. Detox diets often remove non-organic produce, meat and all process and refined foods. The focus is on whole, unrefined and low toxin foods.
Wholegrains and legumes are encouraged as a source of fibre to aid with toxin elimination. Fresh, homemade organic juices are encouraged as they provide a lot of nutrition to support liver detoxification processes. A good helping of vegetarian protein is recommended to aid with phase 2 liver detoxification and amino acid conjugation of toxins.
Most detox diets last from 10 days to 2 weeks, before a normal diet is resumed.
Low Fat Diet
Low fat diets are based on the knowledge that fat contains more calories per gram (9 calories) than protein and carbohydrates (4 calories). Filling up on protein and carbohydrates would lower the total calorie intake and over time, reduces body weight. Low fat diets typically provide less than 25% of required energy intake from fat.
Problems arise when foods containing ‘healthy fats’ are avoided. On this diet, there is no distinguishing between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats. Studies indicate that anger–hostility may significantly increase while on a low-fat diet 1. This is likely due to a lack of beneficial fats required for the brain and nerve function.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods consumed by people living in Mediterranean countries. Studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect to health that the Mediterranean diet provides and is widely recommended for both health promotion and weight loss. The diet is based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seed, whole grains, herbs, fish and extra virgin olive oil. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yoghurt are eaten in moderation, and red meat consumed only occasionally. Sugars and sweetened drinks along with refined grains, processed meat and refined oils are avoided.
Although a very healthy diet, there are some dietary limitations. There are no guidelines in serving suggestions, and portions are describing as ‘limit’, ‘moderate’ and ‘abundance’ which may make the diet a little confusing for some people. Wine is also recommended daily, which may not be beneficial with people, particularly those suffering from liver or pancreatitis, as well as those on medication.
The carnivore diet, also known as the zero carb diet involves only eating animal products. No vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts or seeds are allowed, and many avoid dairy due to the lactose content.
This diet contains no phytonutrients, very little – if any vitamin C, high levels of omega 6 fatty acids, saturated fat and very low fibre.
This diet will not feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, and constipation may occur, meaning that bacteria support is required.