Nutrition - Trends

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Description


Many dietary trends are gaining in popularity, including the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and strict vegan or vegetarian diets.

A great deal of research is underway to understand these trends better and their short-, medium- and long-term effects on overall health, disease development, weight loss, energy and so forth. However, little conclusive data is available to date, given that these approaches are relatively recent.

Ketogenic diet
The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that triggers the body to use fat, mainly from a high-fat diet, as its primary source of energy. The standard keto diet provides energy through fat (75-80%), protein (15-20%) and carbohydrates (less than 10%).

Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting consists of periods of many hours during which one does not eat, alternating with periods of regular eating. The duration and frequency of fasting vary. To date, studies have not established with certainty the beneficial effects of fasting on improving general health and on the prevention and management of chronic diseases, nor on the type, duration and frequency of fasting to use.

Strict vegetarian diet
The strict vegetarian diet consists of eating only plant-based foods, i.e., no meat, no eggs, no milk products and so forth.

Contrary to popular belief, a rich and varied strict vegetarian diet that includes whole grains, legumes and oilseeds covers all amino acid requirements. On the other hand, excessive consumption of sulphur-containing amino acids – present in greater quantities in animal proteins – is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, increased consumption of plant-based foods seems to have beneficial effects on health.

Tips


Here are some tips to follow if you adopt one of these dietary approaches :

  • Choose fewer processed foods and avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar.
  • Eat balanced meals and make sure you eat enough vegetables and fruit.
  • Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Stay hydrated, preferably with water.
     
  *Sources: Visit the Government of Quebec's Portail santé mieux-être, the Observatoire de la prévention of the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) website, the Government of Canada website and Faculty of medicine of the Université de Montréal for more information on adopting a healthy lifestyle and risk factors.  
     
     

Resources


INFORMATION AND SUPPORT RESOURCES
Resources are available to help you adopt a healthy diet: