UNDERSTANDING 10 POPULAR DIETS

With increasing awareness towards fitness, health and fitness experts have come up with a variety of diets. We have numerous diets these days, some are to lose weight, some to gain weight, some for lowering hypertension or high cholesterol and many more. 

Through this literature, let’s have a quick look at the dos and don’ts of some popular diets that are practised across the globe.

1. DASH (DIETARY APPROACHES TO STOP HYPERTENSION) DIET

This popular diet has an approach to healthy eating and recommended especially to treat hypertension or high blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and promotes weight loss and overall health. Special consideration is given to nutrients like sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium so as to combat high blood pressure.

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

Whole wheat, oats, quinoa, broken wheat, brown rice (6-8 servings per day)

Refined or maida based products

 

All vegetables (4-5 servings per day)

High-fat dairy products

  All fruits (4-5 servings per day)

 Processed meat

Low-fat dairy products (2-3 servings per day)

Limit foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats

  Lean chicken, fish and egg whites (6 servings or less per day)

Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and foods and junk foods

  Legumes, nuts and seeds (4-5 servings per week)

Artificial Sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, Sucralose, etc.

  Vegetable oils, low-fat mayonnaise and light salad dressing (2-3 servings per day)

 Excess salt intake through pickles, chutneys, sauces and added salt

  Added sugars (5 servings or less per week)

 

  Natural sweeteners like Stevia

 

  Salt intake (5-6 grams per day)

 

 

 2. PALEO DIET

This diet emphasises consuming fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and oils. It eliminates dairy products and sugar intake. The only sugar that comes in it is in the form of naturally sweet fruits. Some researchers say that the Paleo diet might be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

All Fruits

All Grains

All Vegetables

Legumes, peas, beans and lentils

Nuts and seeds

Trans fats

Lean meat and chicken (grass-fed not grain-fed)

Added sugar

Seafood

Milk and milk products

Olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil

Soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil and safflower oil

Whole eggs

Processed foods

Natural sweeteners like Stevia

Artificial Sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, etc.

Sweet potatoes

Alcohol

Salt and spices

 

Green tea, coffee and more

 

  

3. MEDITERRANEAN DIET

A traditional Mediterranean diet includes whole grains, legumes, ample fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts with a moderate amount of dairy, seafood and red wine. This diet is based on the foods that are consumed in countries like Italy and Greece. People follow this diet for weight loss and overall wellness.

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

Whole grains

Refined grains

All Vegetables

Processed meat

Nuts and seeds

Trans fats

Dairy foods in moderation

Added sugar

Seafood (twice a week)

Processed foods

Olive Oil, coconut oil and avocado oil

Soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil and safflower oil

All fruits

 

Egg white and poultry in moderation

 

Herbs and spices

 

Red wine (1 glass per day)

 

Tea and coffee without sugar

 

 

4. ATKINS DIET

This diet is popular among people aiming to lose weight. This diet was devised by Dr. Robert C Atkins, who believed that a person can lose weight by eating a high protein, high fat but a low carbohydrate diet. Atkins diet is usually followed in 4 phases. The first phase is called the induction phase in which diet is rich in proteins, fats and carbohydrate intake is reduced to less than 20 grams per day for 2 weeks. In the second phase, a little amount of carbohydrate is introduced into the diet through nuts and low-carb vegetables. This phase is again practised for 2 weeks and carbs intake is increased to 25-30 grams per day. The third phase is termed pre-maintenance in which the person increases the carbohydrate intake additionally by 10 grams. And the last is the lifetime maintenance phase which involves the addition of other carbohydrate-rich sources in the diet gradually.

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs

Sugar-based foods and beverages

Low carb vegetables like broccoli, green leafy vegetables 

Cereals like wheat, bajra, rye, oats, jowar, rice, etc.

Full fat milk and milk products

Breads, pastas, chips, cookies, etc.

Nuts and seeds

Roots and tubers like potato, sweet potato, yams, carrots, etc.

Fats like sunflower oil, avocado oil, olive oil, mustard oil, etc. 

High carb fruits like pineapple, mango, cheeku, grapes, litchi, etc.

Butter

Beans, chickpeas and millets

Green tea and coffee

Vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, etc.

Avocados

Alcohol

 

5. GM (GENERAL MOTORS) DIET

This diet was created for the employees of General Motors in 1985. GM diet has specific food options designated for 7 days. An everyday person needs to consume plenty of water to flush out all the toxins. GM diet is followed by people looking to shed some extra pounds. 

Day 1 - On this day, the person is allowed to eat only fruits for the entire day. Apart from fruits, no other foods from other food groups are allowed.

Day 2 - On the second day, consumption of only vegetables are allowed in either raw or cooked form.

Day 3 - Third day allows the combination of fruits and vegetables.

Day 4 - On this day, the dieter is allowed to consume only milk and banana. Maximum 6 large bananas are allowed.

Day 5 - This day feels like a feast in which the dieter is allowed to have a bowl of rice with cottage cheese. Non-vegetarians can include a lean protein source like chicken breast or fish. It is also required to consume 6 large tomatoes.

Day 6 - This day is almost similar to Day 5 and a person can consume plenty of vegetables with rice. Chicken, fish or cottage cheese are also allowed.

Day 7 - On the last day of this diet, a person can consume fresh fruit juices. Other options allowed are fruits, vegetables and brown rice. Alcohol, tea and coffee are completely eliminated. 

6. KETOGENIC DIET

The word ketogenic has been derived from ketones, which are produced when our body derives energy from a non-carbohydrate source. This diet also involves increased intake of proteins and fats with little or no intake of carbohydrates. The only difference between Atkins and Keto is that the Atkins diet involved a gradual introduction of carbohydrates in phases. But if a person is on the keto diet and he/she needs to avoid carbs all the times. Both diets are popular among the weight loss category.

7. GLUTEN-FREE DIET

As the name says, this diet involved the exclusion of gluten protein. So a person needs to avoid all the grains which contain gluten. A gluten-free diet is helpful for people who are gluten-intolerant, allergic to wheat, suffer from celiac disease and other gluten-related diseases. 

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

All fruits

Wheat and bran

All vegetables

Barley

Nuts and seeds

Rye

Low-fat dairy products

Triticale

Eggs, chicken, meat and fish

Wheat products like bread, pasta, malt, noodles, cakes, cookies, biscuits, etc. 

Grains like amaranth, rice, maize, corn, sorghum, buckwheat, arrowroot, quinoa, oats, soy, gluten free millets, etc.

Alcohol

Gluten-free breakfast cereals

Semolina (suji)

Potato

Sauces and seasonings containing gluten

Lentils

Malt products

 

8. VEGAN DIET

A vegan diet is completely plant-based. Vegan people do not consume any animal-based product like eggs, meat, seafood, chicken, milk and milk products. The diet only consists of vegetables, fruits, cereals, pulses, nuts, soy products, oils and seeds. 

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

All fruits

Poultry and meat

All vegetables

Milk, cheese, paneer, curd, yogurt, etc.

Nuts and seeds

Honey

Soy products like soy milk, tofu and soy flour

Eggs

All grains

Seafood

All pulses

Gelatin

Oils

Ghee

Yeast and algae

Any product listing above mentioned foods as its ingredients

 

9. LC (THERAPEUTIC LIFESTYLE CHANGING) DIET

This heart-friendly diet is followed to reduce bad blood cholesterol levels and to lose weight. The focus is given on the consumption of fat. Total calories provided by dietary fat intake should be between 25-35%, including less than 7% of calories coming from saturated fats. Dieter is advised to avoid trans fat and excess saturated fat intake.  

FOODS ALLOWED

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

All fruits

Excess egg yolk

All vegetables

Butter, cheese, cream and mayonnaise

Nuts and seeds

Packaged foods like cakes, chips, cookies, donuts, etc.

Soy products like soy milk, tofu and soy flour

Processed meat

All grains

Shellfish

All pulses

Artificial sweeteners, use stevia instead

Oils like refined oils, olive oil, etc. 

Sugary foods and beverages

Lean chicken, eggs (only 2 yolks per week)

 

Seafood

 

Low fat milk and milk products

 

 

10. SOUTH BEACH DIET

This low-carb diet is popular for losing weight and maintain a healthy heart. It was created by a cardiologist - Dr. Arthur Agatston. South Beach diet is followed in three different phases.

Phase 1 - This phase lasts for 14 days. A person needs to avoid all high-carbohydrate based foods like grains and fruits. Foods allowed are lean proteins, low carb fruits, non-starchy veggies, nuts and oils. 

Phase 2 - This phase starts on the 15th day and can be followed till the target weight is achieved. This phase allowed whole grains in addition to phase 1 foods.

Phase 3 - Once the target weight is achieved, the third phase which is the maintenance phase begins. The person is allowed to consume all foods wisely and avoid over-indulging. 

CONCLUSION

To conclude, it is clearly visible that each diet has its own specifications, hence pros and cons. It is always better to lose and maintain weight by following a healthy well-balanced diet along with a proper exercise schedule and rest. This makes it easy for us to follow for the long term without any adverse effects and treat our taste buds occasionally. In case the person is planning to follow any specific diet, it is wise to take an expert opinion before, especially during any medical condition. 

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