I do have many cookbooks on my Kindle and I regularly read about food and recipes, but sometimes the diversity of styles overwhelms me. It is not only the variety of spices and cultural approaches to food, but it is equally about the more and more specialized terminology used to describe meals and eating choices. Just a couple of years ago, the big split was between vegetarian and non-vegetarian, but nowadays we are talking about vegan, pescatarian, raw, gluten free, ketogenic or paleo.
Part of a wider effort of understanding all of them, I did a little bit of research for some short definition of these words.
- Paleo - You guessed it right, it is a shortening for paleontology and refers to a return to ancestral food list. I did not find too many sources about the daily meals in the very very old times but I've heard that also due to the alimentation, very limited at the time, they did not live too long. The accepted list of ingredients includes grass produlced meat, eggs, fruits and veggies, fish (including sea food), nuts and seeds and oils (olivel, avocado or coconut). The followers of such a foodie style do not eat grains, legumes, potatoes, refined sugar, salts and processed foods. The choice of paleo food style is supposedly leading to a better auto-immune system, weight loss and can prevent the apparition of Alzheimer.
- Gluten free - Aimed to offer healthy alternatives to people suffering from celiac disease, it involves the elimination of protein gluten and derivative products (such as wheat, barley or rye) from the kitchen ingredients. The cellliac disease is associated with the inflammation in the small intestines, produced by wheat. The accepted foods for this eating style include beans, fresh egg, fruits and vegetables.
- Ketogenic - Ketosis is necessary for a normal metabolic process and it was medically discovered in 1924 as an important element to treat epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is high in fats and low in carbohydrates, requiring a lot of specific calculations.
- Vegan - It refers to a food lifestyle that excludes meat, fish, fowl or any food based on products delivered from animals, such as eggs.
- Pescatarian - Similarly with the vegan, it excludes any kind of poultry, beef ad pork from the diet, but includes fish and various seafoods.
- Raw - A couple of years ago, a friend of mine decided to switch to raw, part of her plan to solve some dermatological issues. Her eating lifestyle eliminates the cooking process, as all the food served are natural. My friend also shared some interesting cake version so it seems there is a place for culinary creativity on these menues as well.