As already described in the article where I talked about combining Asymptotic Nutrition Approach with a well-rounded nutrition plan created for you by a dietician – it’s important to know that Asymptotic Nutrition Approach on its own is incomplete, it just tells you how many calories to take per day to approach your target weight. But it’s at the same time incredibely flexible, and it can be combined with virtually any other nutrition approach (except very low calorie diets, as there’s conflict with them when it comes to calories).
But the big question is, what these other approaches are and should you embrace them?
We alrady covered perhaps the most appropriate nutrition that can be combined with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach, and it is a standard, personalized, well-balanced nutrition plan designed by your dietician.
Among other approaches to nutrition or to food in general, I’ll list some of the most popular ones, together with brief description, my opinion on them, and how appropriate they are for combination with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach:
- Description: Standard, lacto-ovo vegetarianism, besides plant food, allows for consumption of dairy products and eggs.
- Opinion: One of the least controversial approaches to nutrition, generally considered healthy. Besides it’s good for environment. Intake of Vitamin D and B12 should be, however monitored.
- How well it goes with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach: It can go perfectly with Asymptotic Nutrition. However if you’re just switching from an omnivore diet to a vegetarian diet, you should consult with your doctor / dietician.
- Description: Strictly plant based diet.
- Opinion: There are some good ethical and ecological/environmental arguments in favor of veganism, but from strictly nutritional point of view, I consider such diet excessively restrictive and potentially risky. That being said, if the diet is carefully planed with a dietician, it can be perfectly healthy. A lot of attention should be paid to nutritional supplementation and deficiences, especially when it comes to Vitamin B12.
- How well it goes with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach: It can be easily combined with Asymptotic Nutrition, but involvement of dietician is indispensible.
- MEDITERRANEAN DIET
- Description: Eating habits of people living in Mediterranean countries – usually based on simple foods, whole grains, a lot of fish and see foods, nuts, fruits and vegatables, with generous amounts of olive oil. Often includes consumption of wine.
- Opinion: Generally considered very healthy, and promotes longevity. Attention should be payed to nuances though… mediterranean diet, it is not all about eating pasta or pizza. It’s true that pasta is very common in Italy, but so are integral grains as well. And there is also pasta from integral flour, which is a better option. Don’t overdo it on wine, and you should be fine.
- How well it goes with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach: Easy to combine with Asymptotic Nutrition – however if this approach to eating is very different from your current eating habits, it’s better to involve a doctor or dietician.
- PALEO DIET
- Description: Focuses on foods presumed to have been available during the Paleolithic era. Includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and excludes dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee. The underlying theory is that we haven’t evolved to consume foods that have been introduced after paleolithic.
- Opinion: This diet is based on many shaky assumptions. First of all there’s little scientific evidence that during the paleolithic people have had some unform diet all around the world. Also evolution hasn’t stopped at that time and we’re much more adaptable to new foods than proponents of this diet believe. While this diet mainly focuses on foods that are considered healthy and excludes some problematic stuff like industrial junk food, it is quite restrictive as it avoids some important groups of foods. It can also lead to overconsumption of meat which can have health consequences, including cancer.
- How well it goes with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach: It can be combined with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach, but I wouldn’t reccomend this diet in general, in its strict form, as it’s too restrictive. IMO, for most people, there’s no valid reason to exclude grains and legumes from one’s diet.
- LCHF DIET
- Description: As the name says, focuses on avoiding carbohydrates, while allowing generous amounts of fats. In many regards similar to Ketogenic diets and Atkins diet.
- Opinion: Very popular these days and not without merits. It questions some long established truths, such as that carbohydrates should be our main source of energy, or that saturated fats are bad for you. The good about it is that it tryes to give you lots of good fats, it includes a lot of vegetables, etc… The bad is that you can end up consuming too much meat and our digestive tract isn’t that well suited to all that fat and meat, and even overdoing on veggies can disrupt your guts. Also there’s no good justification for avoiding grains, etc… In general it might be good for some groups of people, but in general it’s too extreme, therefore risky, and not well proven yet, especially in long term. Still I admire the contribution of LCHF bloggers and their willingness to question the status quo. They haven’t yet converted me to their camp, but I enjoy reading what they have to say. Also I acknowledge that in first phases this type of diet can lead to fast weight loss without much difficulties.
- How well it goes with Asymptotic Nutrition Approach: Difficult to combine with Asymptotic Nutrition, because you’d have not only reduced amount of calories, but also restricted diet in other ways. Difficult to do on your own, would require careful planning by a nutritionist… So, maybe better ask yourself – why? Is it really worth it?