Posted on October 01 2020
Diet plays an imperative role in defining a person's overall health and well-being. The internet is brimming with numerous diets, each claiming to have multiple benefits - from weight loss to muscle gain and whatnot. We've taken two most popular diets, Plant-based diet and Atkins diet, and elaborated on its definition, pros, cons, etc., for you to make the right choice.
What is Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet focuses mainly on plant consumption for the required nutrition. It is low fat, moderate protein, and high volume diet, which includes not only fruits and vegetables but also seeds, oils, nuts, whole grains, beans, and legumes. The plant-based diet has four variations, namely,
- Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian includes eggs, dairy and, occasional meat, poultry, and seafood consumption.
- Pescatarian includes dairy, eggs, and seafood but no meat or poultry.
- Vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo vegetarian) contains eggs and dairy, but no meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Vegan includes only plant-based and no animal products.
Plant-based eaters typically consume more minerals, vitamins, and nutrients than other people and hence lead a fitter lifestyle.
What is Atkins Diet?
Atkins diet is a high -fat, moderate -protein, and low -carb diet. The carbohydrates that you consume turn into glycogen which is the body's source of reserved energy. Once you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body will turn to the glycogen for support and use it up. Once the glycogen is over, so will the excess water held by glycogen, which leads to a dropping of body weight temporarily. Also, the high amount of fat consumed through this diet leads to reduced appetite, which results in weight loss. This diet concentrates on bad sources of fat such as dairy products, meat, etc.
Here's a sample diet plan for a Plant-based diet to make it simpler to understand.
- Oats/porridge with walnuts, banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Whole-wheat tortilla wrap consisting of scrambled tofu, black beans, peppers, onions, cashew cheese, hot sauce, and salsa.
- Whole-wheat muffin topped with fresh tomato and avocado slices, accompanied by blueberries.
- Greek salad: Chopped mixed greens with fresh tomato, Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, crumbled soy cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Whole-wheat pita on the side, fresh melon for dessert.
- Another one of your options could be tomato basil soup, whole-grain crackers with tabbouleh, and an apple afterwards.
- You could also opt for pizza topped with cashew cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and fresh strawberries for dessert.
- For dinner, grilled vegetable kababs with grilled tofu and a quinoa and spinach salad are good options.
- Apart from that, whole-wheat pasta with cannellini beans and peas, and a romaine salad with cherry tomatoes made in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar would make a sumptuous dinner.
- For a light dinner, there is vegetarian chilli with a spinach-orzo salad.
Alternatively, here is a sample diet plan for the Atkin Dieters.
- Eggs and vegetables fried in coconut oil.
- Bacon and Eggs with full cream milkshake.
- You could also pick Omelet with vegetables, fried in butter.
- Chicken salad with olive oil and nuts.
- Chicken/meatballs/pork chops and stir fry vegetables.
- Shrimp salad with olive oil.
- Steak/meatballs/ground beef/pork chops/grilled chicken and vegetables.
- Bunless cheeseburger with vegetables and butter.
- Salmon with butter and vegetables.
Like everything in the world, all diet plans come with their set of pros and cons too. Both the Plant-based Vegan diet, as well as the Atkins diet, has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is a list of them.
Pros of Plant-based diet
One of the main reasons for a plant diet is that it is followed by instant healthy weight loss due to lower fat consumption, resulting in fewer illnesses. This diet is much lower in volume than its counterparts. Besides fat loss, a plant- based diet helps not only prevents, but reverses lifestyle diseases such as cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and thyroid. It is loaded with flavour and micro nutrients, making it easy to follow and versatile.
Cons of Plant-based diet
A plant-based diet, though being the healthiest, has its own set of cons. The sudden and immediate weight loss that is followed by the diet can sometimes misfire. Due to the restrictions that this diet comes with, people tend to get hungrier and end up consuming vegan junk food, which can be fatty, ultimately affecting their weight and health. Moreover, if not well planned, you could lack certain nutrients such as B12 and D3 on a plant- based diet. It is best to follow any diet under the guidance of an expert.
Pros of Atkins Diet
The Atkin diet's biggest pro is a quick loss of body weight due to carb depletion. The fatty foods consumed in an Atkin diet lead to feeling satiated and hence, less consumption. The fast weight loss in the first few weeks might stand as a motivating factor for some individuals to stay consistent with their exercise routine.
Cons of Atkin Diet
Consumption of lesser carbs isn't necessarily a good thing for anyone. Human's need to consume a high-carb diet in the absence of which they may have lower energy levels, lack of sex drive, brain fog and even unhealthy muscle loss. Also, the Atkin diet being high in saturated fats increases the cholesterol leading to a risk of heart diseases, diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
Although both the diet plans lead to weight loss, the Plant-based diet comes with many other advantages such as the lesser risk of health issues that make it better than the Atkins diet. When you dedicate yourself to a diet focused on plant-based products, you eliminate the risk of heart diseases from consuming saturated fats from animal consumption, such as in the Atkin diet.
Vegetarians also have lower blood pressure and decreased hypertension. The Vegan diet prevents and controls diabetes through high fibre consumption and improved blood sugar control, and is also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.
Besides this, adopting a diet that is sustainable on a long term run is the most beneficial to avoid relapsing. Even the founder of Atkin's diet (who by the way diet due to a heart attack) suggests to only use this drastic meal plan only temporarily. Temporary changes do not lead to permanent results. Instead, come up with a meal plan that is sustainable and doable on a long run.
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