With everyone jumping on the plant–based diet bandwagon these days, I try to bring some sense to the narrative whenever I can.
It’s not that I don’t understand the trend. After all, I love fresh produce myself—and routinely encourage you to make vegetables part of your healthy diet.
But the jury is still out on a lot of the fronts that make plant-based diets so popular. Like whether this way of eating is healthier than including meat in your balanced diet.
So allow me to share some science on the subject. And then, you can be the judge…
A head-to-head comparison
In a small study, featuring 20 healthy adults, subjects were randomly assigned one of two diets for two weeks: unlimited consumption of low-fat, plant-based food, or unlimited consumption of animal-based, ketogenic, low-carb food.
After the two weeks were up, subjects switched to the alternate diet for two weeks. And naturally, some differences emerged.
For one thing, the low-fat, plant-based diet delivered roughly 550 to 700 fewer calories daily, compared to the low-carb, animal-based diet. But that didn’t really matter… even with calorie differences, subjects reported the same levels of hunger, meal enjoyment, and fullness.
Ultimately, both groups lost weight, too. (Though this study didn’t focus on weight loss.)
Results also indicated that a low-fat, plant-based diet curbed appetite—yet failed to acknowledge how recent research also shows that a low-carb, keto diet suppresses appetite (as I discuss in the October 2018 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter).
And finally, researchers found that the low-carb, animal-based keto diet offered better control over post-meal blood sugar and insulin levels. Which, at the end of the day, is the most important factor behind overall good health.
After all, regulating your blood sugar and insulin levels keeps you fuller longer, period. As a result, this helps control your hunger while also slashing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and more.
The only diet worth following
These findings might confuse some people who are still stuck on the outdated notion that more calorie-dense, high-fat diets lead to overeating. But clearly, that’s just not the case.
Instead, this study supports the idea that a high-carb, high-sugar diet leads to insulin spikes, which ultimately increases hunger and triggers overeating. And this falls in line with exactly what I’ve seen in action over the course of my entire career.
But of course, meaningless commentary and questions still arose…
In this case, the authors wondered what exactly constitutes “low–carb”. Well, as I often explain, to really get the best metabolic benefits, you need to restrict carb intake to 20 grams or less per day. (Can we just stop debating this already?)
Then, of course, there’s the age-old claim that people just can’t adhere to diets this strict in the real world. But if that were the case, it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have a successful practice or thousands of success stories around the globe. (And yet, I do.)
Here’s the bottom line: If you really want to live a long and healthy life, you need a diet that keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels in check. It’s not rocket science, folks. And low-fat, plant-based diets don’t always foot that bill—because they don’t just focus on fresh produce… they’re loaded with ultra-processed, high-carb, high-sugar foods.
Meanwhile, low-carb, keto-based diets do. So ignore all of the latest trends, and stick to the basics: cut carbs, eat healthy fats (including lean meats and nuts) and fresh produce, and watch your health soar. For more guidance, I encourage you to order yourself a copy of my A-List Diet book.
“Plant-Based or Keto Diet? Novel Study Yields Surprising Results.” Medscape Medical News, 01/28/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/944853)