Everyone, at one time or another, thinks about dieting.There are so many diets to choose from. There are at least 38 different diets that deem some worthiness. There are actually hundreds of dietary methods. Dieting and choosing a diet often seems punitive and often require lifestyle discipline. For most, the menu is confusing. For many, it has been coded by deities. Is one better than the other?
There are many faiths and religions covering billions of people that faithfully follow divine diets. People seem to follow diets based on godliness than health and wellness. Are they healthy in today’s times? Were they ever designed for the healthy lifestyles we seek?
Indeed, virtually all diets require enduring faith. For many people, religions have established blueprints with no second-guessing. But do those diets deliver health benefits or were they designed to counter pantheist and pagan cultures that lived concurrently? Diets often tend to fail but, with help of gods, faith is often more esteemed than will.
Diet is considered a four-letter word. Diet isn’t one of those words .For many people in western civilization, to follow a diet as a healthy lifestyle, is considered a torrid road to Inferno. Historically, dietary lifestyles were bound by divinity, evolution of tools (i.e. veganism), and science (i.e. ketogenic). The latter trail behind lifestyle followers of those that have divine origins. We will be discussing Islamic Halal, Jewish Kosher, Garden of Eden’s Vegan, and scientific Ketogenic.
Over 1-1/2 billion people follow halal and kosher dietary rules that have come from divine origin. There are also special dietary laws for Buddhism, and Hinduism. Christianity did not develop elaborate dietary rules and customs. This probably grew out of the controversy between the Judaic and Greek Christians and the Roman church during the earliest years of Christianity. It is believed that Jesus and Mary followed kosher laws and vegetarian diets.
When it comes to ritually slaughtering meat and the prohibition of pig meat, halal and kosher follow very specific and similar laws. Halal adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Quranran. Virtually all vegetarian cuisine is halal if it does not contain alcohol. The most common example of non-halal (or haram) food is pork (pig meat products). While pork is the only meat that categorically may not be consumed by Muslims (the Quran forbids it Sura 16:115), other foods not in a state of purity are also considered haram (not halal).
Kosher follows specific laws throughout several passages of the Torah or Five Books of Moses.. A kosher species must be slaughtered by a Shochet, a ritual slaughterer. Since Jewish Law prohibits causing any pain to animals, the slaughtering has to be effected in such a way that unconsciousness is instantaneous and death occurs almost instantaneously. In kusher, animals must chew their cud and have a split hoof. Poultry (birds) and fish also have specific rules. All ritually slaughtered must not be from a predator species. In addition, meat and milk must not be consumed together.
The key elements are that health is not subscribed to either halal or kosher, other than the animal must be a healthy one. These rules are found in the scriptures of divine origins. That means fat and cholesterol issues of today, were not included. Nor were mortality statistics or current diseases.
Yet, most Jews and Islamic people have followed these rules for thousands of years, without question. These have been deeply integrated into their lifestyles through setting up homes and abstaining from certain foods. means abstaining from the use of alcohol (Islam) and pork or from things which contain the by-products of those. This accounts to over 1-1/2 billion people following the precepts set a long time ago through divine scriptures.
The divine scriptures have also places a focus on the vegan diet. It begins at the creation of the world. “And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” —Genesis 1:30. It was really afterwards that the Lord starting granting compromises about meat. Vegans, as individuals, usually don’t think about the Genesis quote but following a vegan diet does require some religious fervor.
Vegans have many different motives for choosing an all vegetable, fruit, and grain diet. For those seeking weight loss, some vegans actually gain weight. There is considerable debate whether being vegan is healthy or not. A good vegan diet is still based on calories, nutrition, and activity. Unlike Halal and Kosher, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are.
Many vegan wannabes make a mistake about vegetarianism and veganism. Like kosher or halal being a vegan follows a strict type of vegetarianism that excludes meat and all animal products. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or any foods containing them. A vegan diet relies on plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Seeds, as in nuts, are great sources of dietary fats, protein, nutrients that include magnesium. Like kosher and halal, vegans don’t necessarily mimic other non-vegan foods, they create many of their own. Yes, dark chocolate is vegan!
While considered healthy, the Vegan Coach does suggest that vegans choosing weight loss as a goal simple carbs (such as white rice or white pasta) and instead reach for whole grains (like brown rice or whole grain pasta) for lasting energy and to encourage weight loss. DO cut back on your sugar intake. Sugar is bad news and the more you eat the harder it will be to lose weight.
The Vegan Coach notes that some vegans tend to get fat and that is due to consumption of excess carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Everything (other than most dairy, all meat, poultry, and fish) naturally contain carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruits and, especially, grains. Basically all core foods vegan eat. That isn’t necessarily bad.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day. Primary foods with the highest carbohydrates are:
Fruit. Whole fruit and fruit juice.
Grains. Bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, crackers, and cereal.
Legumes. Beans and other plant-based proteins.
Starchy Vegetables. Potatoes and corn.
Sugar – Processed or Raw table sugar as sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, and maltose.
Excess carbohydrates convert to body fat as storage. If you exceed your calories from carbohydrates, and don’t move, you gain weight over time. Even as a vegan.
Adopting a ketogenic lifestyle turns the vegan diet backwards. Meat, dairy, fish, poultry are staples. Few vegetables, fruits, and grains are consumed. Depriving your body of carbohydrates will be naturally compensated by your body AFTER it uses natural fat storage.
Ketogenic is more of a science based diet that originally was used to curb epilepsy symptoms. The side effect was weight loss and long-term management. Like kosher, halal, and (somewhat) vegan, ketogenic is a lifestyle that doesn’t have any ties to divine commandments. A ketogenic diet is a personal choice and, like vegan, kosher, and halal, must be followed as a lifestyle.
While there are many variables in low-carbohydrate dieting, ketogenic diets work best when you place your body in ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diet.
What happens when stored fats are used? The liver, kidney, and brain produce just enough of natural body energy sources called ketones that keep your body functioning. Getting your body to do this means reaching consistent ketosis. the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day. Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. It varies per person. 50 grams is equivalent to a cup of coffee with milk and 2 spoons of sugar OR 1 bagel dry.
A net-carbohydrate is calculated by subtracting the food’s fiber content from the total carbohydrates. Suppose you have a can of beans (that strangely yields about 3 servings). Each serving has 20 grams total carbohydrates. There are 8 grams of fiber per serving. The net-carb (total minus fiber) is 12 grams per serving. One of the popular low-carb diet strategies, Atkins Diet, conjured up this net-carb formula. This way you might enjoy bread while following your ketogenic goals.
Typically, a slice of whole-wheat bread has 20 grams total minus 5 grams of fiber, to deliver 30 grams net carbs per 2 slice sandwich. Low-carb bread alternatives might be some wrap-like pita or flat breads, delivering a 1-bread sandwich. A low-carb bread might have a 10 gram total, 5 gram fiber, yielding a 5 gram net carb. Net-carb is a neat trick to help you enjoy a sandwich.
Adopting a ketogenic diet means a long-term lifestyle choice. While not divinely commanded, the ketogenic diet lifestyle helps keep you trim and helps reduce weight at a recommended level in order to avoid weight related diseases, such as diabetes, chronic obesity, arthritis, and others. Some say that a combination of ketosis and exercise might even help memory by stimulating a certain neurotrophic factor in your mid brain.
Since its discovery almost about 30 years ago, neuroscientists and neurologists have studied that the secreted neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been firmly implicated in the differentiation and survival of neurons of the central nervous system. The BDNF role has also been emerging as an important regulator of synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the adult central nervous system. A ketogenic diet and moderate exercise has demonstrated strong links with BDNF production in the hippocampus region of the brain. The hippocampus is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory.
There is much to be said about those diets long foretold through the Old Testament and the Koran. They illustrate respect and cleanliness of animals and other foods. This respect may allow for an above average mortality rate than others not following kosher or halal rules.
According to a recent book, Jesus and Mary were kosher abiding vegetarians (not totally vegan). This lifestyle also extended to the original Aramaic Christians that lived within adjacent environments. Devout Jews and Islamic follow kosher and halal as strict dietary laws. Food is an important part of religious observance for many different faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Health-wise, those laws, customs and guidelines are more faith than science.
The ketogenic diet has been academically and scientifically examined for nearly 100 years. Ketogenic results are based on studies ranging from diet, metabolism, and a wide range of sciences. While low-carb ketogenic lifestyles have grown in popularity over the past 30 years (as opposed to thousands), many nutritionists cite science studies that suggest that the ketogenic lifestyle may be attributed to healthy longevity. The ketogenic adoption to fat and protein over natural fruits and vegetables appear to astonish and irritate old ideas.
Apart from religious lifestyle diets, there are hundreds of dietary lifestyles competing to be top-of-the-list. Dieting or maintaining good dietary health by choice is more of a failing game of thrones. According to the New York Times (1999) “95% Regain Lost Weight. Or Do They? It is a depressing article of faith among the overweight and those who treat them that 95 percent of people who lose weight regain it — and sometimes more — within a few months or years”. Psychology Today claims, given many human instincts and habits, this dietary struggle is so constant that dieting isn’t worth it.
For religions, devout followers adopt dietary laws as integrated through many generations. Vegans might have a couple generations but usually volunteer to the lifestyle for varied reasons. Ketogenic dieting is difficult, especially within a world that heavily markets carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s rules are simple but adoption takes endurance for months through years. Once ketosis is disrupted, you become a carb animal again.
While a ketogenic diet may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improve memory, calm bi-polar symptoms and episodic epilepsy, the big obstacle is adopting a ketogenic lifestyle as a habit – with minor changes as you reach your goals.
The wrath of gods may not smite you for disobeying dietary laws. At least for this life, ketogenic dieting offers many positives if you faithfully follow it. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that theoretically lowers blood sugar and insulin levels (in normal individuals). Ketosis shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat, protein, and ketone production. As you reach targeted weight goals, you may add carbohydrates when exercising.
HealthLine lists four of several variations of ketogenic dietary modes:
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs (1).
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
I employ a different one that stays away from saturated fats and focuses more on mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. It’s a more difficult variation that relies mostly on nuts, soy, wheat gluten, and fish. Works for me but I don’t recommend this for most.
There are differences when we discuss low-carb and ketogenic. Low-carb can be any reduction of carbohydrates. Ketogenic means limiting your carbohydrates to 40 to 60 grams per day. Some say 20 grams is better. I’d say anything averaging below 60 grams per day will ignite the liver and brain to create ketones for weight loss and energy.
I may believe in god but humans have to find their way toward healthier, happier and longer lives. There’s an often debated phrase that God helps those that help themselves. The low-carb ketogenic approach might seem to work fast in helping to drop inches. Yet, like kosher, halal, and veganism, ketogenic requires a long, religious effort to make those choices that reap healthy dietary rewards.