Life is all about making choices that match a person’s preference. With lifestyle diseases on the rise and affecting many people worldwide, new diets keep showing up. Celebrities and respected personalities are swearing by different diets to help them lose weight, for example. Some diets, such as vegetarianism, have been around for a while; others, such as veganism and keto, have gained popularity recently. Whichever diet one chooses, it is all about the food restrictions, that is, what to eat and what to avoid. Below are the types of diets that people worldwide follow and how they work and their benefits.
Why Different Types Of Diets Exist?
Various types of diets exist for different reasons. For example, they come with health benefits that improve a person’s wellbeing or prevent one from developing a medical condition. Other diets are based on environmental, ethical, and compassionate reasons, for example, vegan and vegetarianism. Enthusiasts of the two diets believe if more people relied on whole plant foods, we can save animal lives and let them be instead of relying on them for food and other things. The diets are environment-friendly because they prevent the use of chemicals in processing foods, for instance. Other diets exist for cultural and religious beliefs, while others are based on personal preference, where one avoids given foods for different reasons. Besides, some people are allergic to some foods. That way, they opt for a diet that does not cause them health problems.
What To Keep In Mind When Discussing Various Eating Patterns?
No one eating pattern is better than the other is. In a world where everyone is an expert in many things, it can be hard to distinguish facts from opinions about various diets. However, researched information from reliable sources such as doctors, cardiologists, and nutritionists are helpful. Each diet comes with its benefits and one or two downsides. A diet that works for one person might not be the right choice for another individual. We are all different and whatever diet we choose, as long as it entails healthy foods, is a good choice.
Types Of Diets: How They Work And Their Benefits
There are various diets to consider following. Below are the popular types, clarification on how they work, and the benefits they offer.
The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is about eating foods our ancestors ate. The diet argues that consuming dairy, processed foods, and grains has caused many diseases people are struggling with today. When on the paleo diet, one is supposed to eat whole foods, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and fruits and avoid grains, dairy, and processed foodstuff.
The diet supports weight loss and reduces the risk of blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar. However, it prevents one from eating legumes, dairy, and whole grains, rich sources of beneficial nutrients.
The Vegan And Vegetarian Diet
The vegan diet bars someone from eating meat, poultry, seafood, animal by-products, eggs, and milk. Vegans argue that animal life is precious and humans using them for food or other things such as making clothes is exploitation. However, being vegetarian is a bit friendlier. A vegetarian can eat eggs, dairy, and animal by-products such as cheese and honey. However, one should not consume meat, seafood, or poultry.
Vegan and vegetarian are plant-based diets low in cholesterol and saturated fat, making them good for cardiovascular health. They offer vitamins and minerals that support various bodily functions. Besides, they reduce the risk of developing diabetes and enhance digestive health.
Low carb diets limit carbohydrate daily intake to 20-150grams. It is a popular diet for weight loss, as it makes the body use stored body fat as a source of energy instead of the carbs consumed. More fat-burning reduces fat deposits and lead to weight loss. However, diets do not limit protein or fat intake.
Low-carb diets help alleviate obesity, being overweight, and reduce belly fat. Relying on proteins and healthy fat for energy lowers a person’s appetite, which helps control cravings and hunger, leading to less calorie intake. Besides, the diets might help with blood pressure, insulin levels, and cholesterol levels.
The Dukan Diet
The Dukan diet is a four-phase routine, two for weight loss and two for weight maintenance. During the weight loss phases, a person eats mandatory oat bran and high-protein foods in unlimited amounts. To sustain the new weight, the next two phases are about consuming non-starchy vegetables and some fat and carbs, and later fewer pure proteins.
While on this diet, one gets to shed extra pounds and feel full longer to curb hunger, fostering weight loss. The diet limits carbs and fat intake, two macronutrients that contribute to weight gain if taken in large amounts.
The Atkins Diet
This is a low-carb diet, which means it can assist with weight loss. It allows one to take protein and fat, which are more filling than carbs. Proteins increase satiety, so one does not feel hungry as fast as when eating carbohydrates. The Atkins diet starts with 20grams of carbs daily for two weeks. Later on, one can slowly reintroduce healthy carbs back into the diet.
The diet supports faster weight loss, unlike low-fat diets. It can help decrease belly fat and lower the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The HCG Diet
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone available at high levels in the early stages of pregnancy. However, the HCG diet is an extreme eating routine designed to make an individual lose weight fast 1-2lbs per day. Enthusiasts claim it improves metabolism and fat loss without causing hunger. However, it has three phases, and the first one involves taking HCG supplements. The second stage is about following an ultra-low-calorie diet of 500 calories every day, along with HCG drops, ingestions, pellets, or sprays. This aims to promote weight loss and goes on for 3-6weeks. In the last phase, one stops taking HCG and slowly increases food intake.
The HCG diet helps with weight loss, considering the second stage that follows a low-calorie diet.
Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet but an eating pattern. A person does not eliminate certain foods from a diet but rather watches when to eat. The 16/8 method is one of the polar forms of intermittent fasting. One fast for 16 hours, skips breakfast, and eats during the remaining eight hours. The other common fasting diet is 5:2. It is where one purpose to eat 500-600 calories during two non-consecutive days of the week. During the other five days, there is no calorie restriction.
With intermittent fasting, one can lower calorie intake, which promotes weight loss. It may also increase metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity.
The Blood Type Diet
The blood type diet is exactly what it sounds like. Researchers have come up with diets that match the dietary needs of given blood types. For instance, people with O blood type should eat more high-protein foods. To lose weight, they should consume red meat, broccoli, spinach, and seafood but avoid dairy: blood type A individuals need to avoid meat and instead eat more turkey, fruit, and tofu. If one needs to drop extra pounds, a diet with soy & vegetables is recommended.
The South Beach Diet
Unlike diets that limit carb intake, the south beach diet tells you which carbs to eat, usually called good carbs. It has been around since 2003 and eliminates certain carbohydrates from the diet and retains the ones it considers good. One can also eat fats and lean protein to promote general wellbeing. A cardiologist named Dr. Agatston and a nutritionist, Marie Almon, came up with the diet, which focuses on controlling insulin levels ad emphasizes the benefits of unrefined slow carbs in place of fast carbohydrates.
Ingesting high levels of carbs comes with its share of problems. Some carbs are not filling, so they encourage frequent hunger pangs and cravings, making one eat more carbs. The more carbohydrates a person eats, the body converts more of it and stores it in fat. This leads to weight gain. The south beach diet can help mitigate such an issue.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a mainly plant-based diet that involves eating more servings of vegetables. It is eating about healthy fat from olive oil and unprocessed plant foods. However, it does not eliminate meat intake. Besides, it encourages more oil use as an alternative to salad dressings, marinades, and butter. One needs to add vegetable servings to meals and choose fish instead of chicken. The diet also includes ingesting large amounts of herbs and nuts but small amounts of red meat. In short, one can eat plant foods, fresh fruits as desserts, nuts, whole grains, beans, olive oil for dietary fats, and yogurts and cheese for dairy intake. Red wine in moderate amounts and eggs in small amounts are also allowed.
The diet can help improve depression symptoms, regulate blood sugar levels, and support weight loss.
The ketogenic (keto) diet has gained popularity of late. It is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. It allows the body to use healthy fats for energy instead of carbs. Keto diet foods include coconuts, olive oilseeds, avocados, and nuts. The diet causes the breakdown of fat into ketones, which the body uses for energy.
Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers is more than a diet. It is also a network of people with the common goal of losing weight through exercise and following a healthy diet. Weight Watchers Inc. was founded in the 1960s to help members with weight loss and maintaining the new weight. Today, the company has branches across the globe. Dieters join the network physically and attend meetings or do it online.
The program offers support for those seeking to lose weight and provides education on various weight-related topics. The support system is helpful for people struggling to shed weight or those worried about gaining it back.
Plant-based eating includes diets such as vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean. It emphasizes using plants as food sources and allows animal products such as eggs, dairy, and meat. The diets provide various nutrients, but without proper planning, deficiencies are likely to occur.
However, plants are rich in carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and many other beneficial nutrients. That is why being vegan is possible. The diet bars one from eating any animal flesh or by-products.
An anti-inflammatory diet assists the body in fighting diseases and prevents illnesses from occurring in the first place. It prefers vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, foods with omega 3 fatty acids, healthy fats, and spices. However, it limits the consumption of alcohol, processed foods, and red meat. The dash diet and the Mediterranean diet are good examples of anti-inflammatory diets.
Inflammation is a condition that causes serious health problems such as cell damage, psoriasis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. An anti–inflammatory diet contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, which cause inflammation. Therefore, it can help alleviate the mentioned conditions.
High Fiber Diet
A high fiber diet involves eating whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and other foods rich in fiber. They should be added to a diet gradually to allow the body to adjust.
Fiber promotes gut health and improves digestion to prevent problems such as constipation. It also ensures the slow digestion of food, which helps curb hunger and cravings. When the body absorbs food fast, it uses it up quickly, so one feels hungry fast. Therefore, a high-fiber diet is more filling.
When it comes to wellness, there are many diets to consider adopting. The type of diet a person chooses depends on various reasons. It could be for health benefits, a medical condition, allergies, or personal preference. No diet is superior to another. They all provide essential nutrients and encourage eating healthy foods but offer different benefits.