A new year means new goals, and The Tylt is here to help you on your journey! There are tons of diets out there, and it's hard to know which one is right for you. Follow along on our quest to name the best diet for 2019 and discover each diet's pros, cons, and possibilities. No matter which one you try, any effort to create a more healthy lifestyle is an admirable one. Vote below for the diet you'll be following this year:
Raw food-dieters or "raw foodists" believe that food consumed raw will ultimately lead to greater health benefits. According to The Raw Chef, Russell James:
Raw food in its purist form is about not heating foods above 42 degrees C (115 degrees F) to maintain the nutritional quality of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes in their most natural form.
Raw and living foods have their enzymes intact. Enzymes can be thought of as the life force of the food. They help your body digest the food and are a catalyst for every function in the body.
The most fragile of enzymes start to die off at that 42C/115F degree mark.
The point? The raw food diet helps you get the most out of your foods. And don't panic, this diet isn't recommending eating your steak and eggs raw (although you could consume the raw eggs); most of the recommended foods are plant-based.
Obviously, limiting how much you cook your foods poses an interesting challenge in the kitchen. According to Healthline, the raw food diet recommends other food preparation methods, such as "Juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting," meaning you might have to add a few key kitchen items to your cupboards (like a dehydrator). You'll find plenty of fresh fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds and fermented foods in a raw foodist's kitchen–taking the place of things baked items, coffee, pasta, chips, and all processed foods.
And like any other elimination diet, raw food is not immune to drawbacks. Raw foodists must pay close attention to low caloric intake, irregular menstrual cycles in women and B12 deficiencies.
But as James points out, the raw food approach doesn't have to be all or nothing:
Everyone is going to find the right level of raw for them. Even with all the science about what should be working best for you, the ultimate measure is how you feel. General nutrition guidelines don’t acknowledge you as an individual.
Veganism is a more strict version of vegetarianism (vegans can also adhere to the raw food diet). According to Healthline:
Veganism is defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose.
For these reasons, the vegan diet is devoid of all animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy.
The benefits of which include weight loss and improved blood sugar control, making veganism a great diet if you have large weight-loss goals. Vegans also enjoy better heart health and a lower risk for cancer and Alzheimer's.
Making any lifestyle chance takes a lot of work and preparation, and becoming a vegan is no exception. You'll find no milk, yogurt, eggs, meat, fish, or even honey in a vegan's pantry (although you might spy some algae next to their favorite nut butter brand).
Vegans have formed a tight-knight community, likely due to a shared sense of idealism about the impact one's diet can have on the environment. Self magazine advises:
Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they're not making the change along with you.
And for those wanting to make just as many gains in the gym as on the scale, going vegan won't set you back. Bloggers Alena and Lars of Nutriciously say:
Most people fear a loss of energy or muscle mass when abstaining from animal products – but quite the opposite is true. Meat and dairy are especially hard to digest, taking much of your energy and leaving you tired. Adopting a vegan diet does in no way hinder you from reaching your fitness goals and might likely give you a nice boost of added energy and strength.
Going vegan can introduce you to new habits, new foods, new strength and even new people.