A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition should be of interest to small business owners looking to get an edge. It found that those who maintain carbohydrate-rich diets have less acute cognitive abilities than those who maintain diets rich in protein. That finding aligns with the popularity of the two trendiest low-carb, high-protein diets: paleo and keto. But, which actually produces the best results?
Here’s a look at two different diets, their various pros and cons and a suggestion about which might work better for burgeoning entrepreneurs.
Named for the Paleolithic era of prehistory, paleo diets prescribe an eating plan consisting only of foods that were available tens of thousands of years ago. Therefore, it is a diet comprised only of lean meats, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and fish. Paleo adherents must eschew consumption of dairy products, refined sugar, grains and most all processed foods. One of the core benefits of the paleo diet is that its lack of carbohydrates can promote appetite control and weight loss, and optimize cardiovascular function. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that conditions related to poor diet such as obesity are the leading cause of absenteeism in U.S. industry. Consequently, paleo diets might improve an entrepreneur’s productivity by helping them take fewer sick days. The Mayo Clinic warns that paleo dieters should make sure that they don’t become deficient in essential nutrients like calcium and fiber, which they would otherwise receive by eating dairy and grain.
The idea behind keto diets is that by maintaining a diet that is low in carbs while high in fats and proteins, adherents will prompt their bodies to enter the state of ketosis. In that condition, the carb deprived body will burn through its existing stores of fat. Studies have found this to help obese patients lose weight and lower their levels of triglycerides, cholesterol and blood glucose. In terms of content, keto and paleo diets are very similar, except that keto diets allow for the consumption of dairy products such as cheese, butter and yogurt, and even dark chocolate in small doses. Similarly, the long-term health effects of sticking to a keto diet are unknown. However, the Mayo Clinic recommends that dieters avoid overconsumption of foods rich in saturated and trans fats. Those fats can increase a person’s risk factor for contracting a cardiovascular disease.
On balance, a keto diet may prove more advantageous to those trying to lose weight and boost productivity than a paleo diet. While individual taste will be a factor, the fact that keto is less restrictive than paleo means that it may be easier to sustain, and thus, more effective. Regardless, anyone starting a radical new diet should consult a medical professional to monitor the changes it will have on their metabolic system.
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