A healthy diet should leave us feeling fit and having energy for everyday tasks – not having that mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump. Many diets today are more plant-based, focusing on cutting down on excess sugar and salt. But which diet plan is best for me? You may wonder. Take a look at the ones listed below to see if you have a favorite. When possible, create your own meals, just for the enjoyment you get from it, as well as knowing what the ingredients are.
Water and Exercise
Stay hydrated, with at least 6 to 8 cups of water a day, and exercise enough to get sweaty! A healthy diet is only half the battle. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, of heart pumping activity. Even if it is only walking, all your activity counts toward a healthier lifestyle.
Let’s dive in and take a look at these 9 Diets.
1 Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has long been the gold standard for nutrition, disease prevention, wellness, and longevity. Rich in fruit, veggies, fish, nuts, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and olive oil, it emphasizes simple, mostly plant-based foods.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are a large part of the diet, which focuses on eating omega-3 rich fish and olive oil, and less red meat, saturated fat, and sugar.
Meals are eaten together with family and friends and are often enjoyed with a glass of red wine. One caveat of the diet is the red wine. It is used in moderation, and only at mealtime with family and friends.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to longevity, strong bones, a healthy heart, lower risk of breast cancer, and lower risk of dementia. It is a healthy way to eat that is easy to follow.
For many years, the Mediterranean diet has come out as the best diet as a family-friendly, sustainable diet that is healthy, tasty, and well-balanced.
2 The Dash Diet
The DASH diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” and was developed to prevent people from developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
It emphasizes eating all the foods “your mother taught you to eat” … your fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
It is high in nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber.
DASH discourages foods that are high in saturated fats, fatty, red meats, full-fat dairy foods, ant tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.
This diet sets a limit of sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, eventually lowering that number to 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day.
The Dash diet fights high blood pressure, prevents, or controls diabetes, and supports heart health. It is a sustainable, well-balanced diet that rivels the Mediterranean diet.
3 Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet is made from a combination of two words: Flexible and Vegetarian.
In her book, published in 2009, “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life,” registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner says that you can reap health benefits associated with vegetarianism, without totally eliminating meat from your life. You can be vegetarian most of the time, and still occasionally enjoy a burger or a steak.
This diet emphasizes enjoying a large variety of fruits and vegetables, while it still provides the accepted amount of protein, carbs, fat, and other necessary nutrients.
No Exotic Ingredients
It does not require a huge grocery bill, since no exotic ingredients are required.
By following the instructions in her book, “The Flexitarian Diet” you will find many enjoyable, easy to prepare meals.
You can enjoy restaurant meals if you carefully read the menus, and alcohol is allowed.
Studies show that vegetarians and semi-vegetarians tend to weigh less than those on a meat-eating diet. Exercise is encouraged with the Flexitarian Diet.
4 (WW) Weight Watchers
You can now join WW (Weight Watchers) with a Digital Workshop or a Personal Coaching membership. You can stay with WW until you have achieved your weight loss and then continue with the program having their support even after you have reached your weight-loss goal.
WW uses SmartPoints to guide their members toward an eating pattern that is higher in protein, and lower in calories, saturated fats, and added and concentrated sources of sugar.
There is plenty of freedom and flexibility in shaping your diet plan. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you eat within your SmartPoints value for each day.
WW offers thousands of recipes, including the SmartPoints assigned to each recipe. The Data Base includes more than 308,000 foods with their SmartPoints value.
The cost of the WW program varies depending on if you choose to attend weekly, in-person or by virtual workshops. It also varies with a variety of promotions that are given throughout the year.
5 The Mayo Clinic Diet
The latest edition of the “Mayo Clinic Diet Book” was published in 2017. There is also the Mayo Clinic Diet website to go along with the book.
There are two parts of the Mayo Diet. “Lose it!” and “Live it!”
Part 1 “Lose It!”
The diet emphasizes foods that have low energy density. Foods that fill you up without adding a lot of calories. You can snack all you want on fruit and veggies. The “Lose it!” part of the diet lasts for two weeks. Most dieters find the “Lose it!” phase of the diet restrictive. That may be why it is only for two weeks!
In “Lose it!” you eat lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats, with at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Part 2 “Live it!”
In this part of the diet, you learn how to use what you learned in the first two weeks as you develop a healthy lifestyle that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
6 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary system that cycles between periods of fasting and periods of eating. There are a variety of forms of intermittent fasting and you can choose which one to use.
The most common one is the 16/8. Many people stop eating after their evening meal and wait 16 hours before eating again. If you ate at 6:30 p.m. you would not eat again until 10:30 a.m. the next day.
There is also the 5:2 method which restricts your daily caloric intake to 500 or 600 calories two times a week. You can eat normally the other five days.
Many people have felt more health benefits than just weight loss.
It has been useful in:
- Reducing harmful belly fat
- Increasing muscle mass
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Improved brain health
- Reduced inflammation
In general, intermittent fasting is safe for most healthy adults.
Talk to your health care provider if you are:
- Have diabetes.
- Low weight
- Eating disorder
7 Vegetarian Diet
Some studies estimate that up to 18% of the global population are vegetarians. Vegetarians claim many health benefits such as reduced heart disease, reduced diabetes, and reduction in some cancers.
With planning, the vegetarian diet can meet the health needs of everyone. To get the most out of a vegetarian diet add to the diversity of your menu, colorful fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of nuts and whole grains. “Healthy” processed vegetarian foods may sabotage the health benefits.
There are various types of vegetarians:
- Vegans eliminate meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, as well as other animal-derived products such as honey from their diets.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians allow eggs and dairy products
- Lacto-vegetarians allow dairy products
- Ovo-vegetarian allow eggs
- Pescatarian diet allow fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products
8 Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet may also be called a “hunter-gatherer diet” or a “caveman diet”. It does not include farm-based foods.
A Paleo diet is good for weight loss or weight maintenance. The basic guidelines are listed below.
Things Allowed on the Paleo Diet
- Lean Meats, especially grass fed or wild meat
- Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna
- Nuts and Seeds
- Oil from fruit and nuts, olive oil, and walnut oil
Things to Avoid
- Grains – wheat, oats, barley, etc.
- Legumes – beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, etc.
- Dairy products
- Refined sugar
- Highly processed foods
Things that Make the Paleo Stand Apart from Other Diets
- Absence of whole grains and legumes – which include fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.
- Absence of dairy products – a good source of protein and calcium
9 Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic diet or Keto for short, is a low carb, high fat diet. The keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal is to feel full while quickly losing weight. The idea is by slashing carbs and consuming fats, you enter a state of ketosis, where the body breaks down stored fat in your body. Your fat-burning system now relies on fat instead of sugars for energy.
There are some guidebooks such as “The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners” by Amy Ramos and “The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet” by Leanne Vogel.
This diet embraces eating fatty foods, strictly limiting carbs, and can seem extreme.
A healthy diet should leave us feeling fit and having energy for everyday tasks – but which diet plan is best for me? We discussed 9 different diets. The importance is having a diet that is sustainable. One you can make a lifelong way of eating.
Diets come and go, but a healthy lifestyle will last you for many years into the future.
Please Leave a Comment
Have you tried dieting, or are you one who seems perpetually fit? Perhaps you are you a yo-yo dieter. Which diet is the most appealing to you? What kind of eating habits would you enjoy having for the rest of your life?