Scrutinising nutrition trends
The goal of intermittent fasting is to consume fewer calories each day. This is made possible through fasting intervals: food is consumed within a restricted time frame, and you have to fast for the rest of the time. There are various different models, of which the 16:8 method is the most popular. You fast for a period of 16 hours a day and restrict your eating period to eight hours.
"Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight because the body takes in fewer calories over the course of the day", explains Ellen Weber, nutritionist at santé24. Dairy products are often a little neglected in people's diet, often resulting in calcium deficiency. If not enough food is consumed, it can also result in a deficiency in protein or another nutrient. "So it's important to have a balanced diet."
More and more people are critical of intensive livestock farming. This is also reflected in the plant-based diet, which mainly consists of vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, seeds and fruit. Animal products are hardly ever, if at all, on the menu.
"As a result of the reduction or rejection of animal products, people consume less saturated fats", enthuses the nutritionist. However, a vegan diet can also result in a nutrient deficiency. "This must be regularly examined and supplemented if a deficiency is present." She advises pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people who are ill against a vegan diet. Infants and children shouldn't only eat vegan food.
The ultimate goal is to eat pure, natural foods. Fast food and processed products such as white flour, sugar, soft drinks or alcohol have no place on the menu. The motto of this diet is fresh, if possible regional, healthy and without any synthetic products or harmful additives.
"Any healthy person can benefit from this kind of diet, because regional and seasonal also means it's more environmentally friendly and packed with vitamins," explains Weber. "However, consuming something with sugar or drinking a glass of wine once in a while is also allowed. Everything can be consumed within reason."
A low carb diet involves consuming a limited amount of carbohydrates. The limit varies from person to person. These carbs should come from ingredients such as dairy products, pulses or fruit. You can lose weight by restricting the intake of carbohydrates.
"Favouring complex carbohydrates has a positive impact on your blood sugar," says Weber of this dietary trend. "However, avoiding carbohydrates completely can result in hunger cravings, causing you to reach for unhealthy foods such as a large quantity of sweets." So the nutritionist advises against the low carb diet: "Consuming a normal amount of carbohydrates is definitely much healthier than completely avoiding them."
This diet involves eating foods that already existed in the Stone Age, i.e. fruits, nuts, vegetables and meat. This is based on the assumption that the human body is still genetically adapted to the Stone Age diet. Regional, seasonal and natural foods are also the focus of this diet.
"Limiting simple carbohydrates can have a positive impact as well as stabilise the cardiovascular system and blood sugar," concludes the nutritionist. Otherwise, she sees no advantage in the paleo diet over a normal diet.
Often more frustration than pleasure
As a rule, Ellen recommends a balanced diet that covers all nutrients. "When it comes to diet trends, be careful not get side-tracked. Restrictions diminish the quality of life and can also lead to eating disorders," she points out. "Diets or temporary eating habits often result in nothing but frustration."
SWICA nutrition counselling
Do you have any questions about nutrition? Speak to a Swiss-certified nutritionist. The consultation is free of charge and takes place by appointment. Contact santé24 on +41 44 404 86 86 or via form.
A varied and balanced diet makes a big difference to your wellbeing and can boost your health over the long term. SWICA customers can benefit from the wide-range of prevention services relating to nutrition and attractive contributions of 600 francs per year (find out more).