More and more people are following some sort of lifestyle diet—from Paleo to Keto to veganism, with many more on the horizon. And while different foods work best for different bodies, goals, and even philosophical perspectives, they may not necessarily provide all the nutrients you need. Even if you follow the plan to the letter—and that can be hard to do—you may be missing a vitamin or two. But that can be fixed. Mixfit’s app provides insights on where your nutritional gaps are, based on your diet and activity level. With a countertop device, Mixfit can provide a dynamic drink of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help fill the nutritional gaps.
Here are some of the most common diets that are popular today, along with the macro and micronutrient inadequacies that are common among them. Even if you feel better while on the diet, you may be missing out on essential nutrients that are critical for your long-term health. Using the Mixfit system can help ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need, no matter your diet.
Inspired by the foods and eating patterns that might have been consumed by our hunting and gathering ancestors, the paleo diet encourages the consumption of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. With so many types of foods on its approved list, this diet tends to be pretty balanced when people stick to its true spirit.
Still, the absence of grains can result in inadequate consumption of B vitamins such as thiamine, folate, niacin, and riboflavin. Avoiding dairy can lead to calcium deficiency for some individuals. In addition, vegetarians and especially vegans who follow this diet will find it very difficult to get enough protein since legumes are excluded.
This plant-based approach to eating is one of the healthiest options for our planet and done right, it can ensure a good supply of nutrients such as fiber and vitamin C. However, nothing’s perfect, and vegan diets are frequently lacking in other vital components. For example, vegans are at risk for not getting enough protein, riboflavin, vitamin D2, calcium, iron, or certain long-chain fatty acids. But the most crucial element that tends to be absent from a strict, plant-based diet is vitamin B12. Though a handful of vegan food options provide small amounts of this pivotal nervous system nutrient, adequate supply requires taking a supplement.
Originally developed to treat childhood epilepsy and now being explored as an option for managing a number of health problems, the “keto” or ketogenic diet is also a popular weight loss program. Many people try this low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet and end up sticking with it because they feel good. However, its extreme low-carb requirements limit not just grain consumption, but the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. This, in turn, often results in several possible nutrient deficiencies. Strictly followed, a keto diet may not supply enough potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, or vitamin C.
Despite the current trend toward high-fat diets, eating low-fat can be a better choice for some individuals, depending on their health state and particular preferences. And since the main restriction is easily identified—fat—these diets can be diverse and nutritionally balanced. However, fats themselves can provide important nutrients, so individuals who choose a low-fat lifestyle risk missing out on essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and zinc.
Another rising trend in lifestyle diets is intermittent fasting. This way of eating can be approached via a variety of avenues. Some individuals forego foods and caloric beverages for days at a time or for a certain number of days every week while others take a more moderate tack by extending times between meals. There’s not currently enough research to identify whether there are specific nutrient inadequacies associated with fasting, but the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics cautions against trying this approach without discussing it with a physician.
Loaded with seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthful fats, and high-fiber whole grains, the Mediterranean diet tends to be pretty well-balanced when it comes to nutrients. And thanks to a modern society that allows us to access diverse foods pretty much year-round, it’s sustainable so long as it suits your palate. However, due to reduced consumption of red meats and dairy, some people might find that they’re not getting enough iron or calcium.
Standard American Diet
Even if you steer away from the concept of a lifestyle diet, you might be following the standard American diet, which tends to be characterized by high levels of processed foods and low consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits. Thus, while most Americans consume plenty of calories, many are deficient in several micronutrients. In particular, studies indicate that a majority of the U.S. population doesn’t meet daily requirements for magnesium or vitamins D and E. Another sizable minority gets inadequate calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Americans also tend to have a too-low consumption of vitamin K, potassium, and choline.
Nutrition is never one-size-fits-all, so it’s no surprise that there are so many lifestyle diets and approaches to eating out there. Mixfit aims to help customers stay as healthy as possible, no matter their dietary preferences.
Written by Stacey McKenna for Matcha in partnership with MixFit.
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