4 Popular Types of Diets Explained & Who are They Suitable For
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Ever heard of the ketogenic diet, or the Mediterranean diet? We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of at least one, and at least a person you know is on the other diet. These diets are made popular by celebrity nutritionists, Hollywood A-listers who swear by them, and some local fitness influencers who promote them.
All these diets sound healthy, and you’ve probably read that all of them can help with weight loss. But which of these should you choose? Read on to learn more about these diets and who they’re suitable for:
1. Ketogenic diet
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Also known as the Low Carb High Fat diet, going on a ketogenic diet means you’ll be eating very little carbohydrates, but more fats. No rice and pasta, but more healthy fats like avocado, butter, and flaxseed.
This might sound odd to many as we are used to thinking fats are unhealthy and should be reduced in our meals; whereas carbs should be consumed more as they provide the body with energy. Actually, fats can be a source of energy too; but our bodies don’t use them because of the amount of carbs we consume. Thus, this results in our bodies suing carbs for energy, while also storing the unused fats.
By lowering our carbs intake, the ketogenic diet forces the body to produce ketones – the product from the breakdown of fats. The body then burns ketones to provide us with energy.
Suitable for: Most adults, unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have chronic diseases, or have a BMI below 20.
2. Paleo diet
Image credit: The Paleo Diet
Short for “paleolithic diet”, it’s also nicknamed the caveman diet because it means only consuming food that Paleolithic humans ate. This means lots of fruits, vegetables, and meat, but no cheese, grains, and coffee.
It is believed that the the types of food our Paleolithic ancestors consumed are ones that are genetically suitable for us. Going on a paleo diet means cutting down on food made from grains, processed food, and dairy products. This is different from the ketogenic diet because you are supposed to consume carbs for the paleo diet. However, instead of getting carbs from rice and bread, you’re getting it from vegetables like sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
The good thing about this diet is that you will not be consuming any processed food at all, which can improve your health greatly. The paleo diet also requires you to be more active, so you’ll be hitting the gym more often and getting stronger too.
Suitable for: Everyone, unless you have heart, kidney, liver, and pancreatic diseases.
3. Mediterranean diet
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Known for being good for heart health, the Mediterranean diet involves eating food items commonly used in Mediterranean cuisines in the 1960s. This means a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and dairy products; but very little red meat, and no refined sugar and oil.
This diet is famous for having lots of health benefits. The selective intake of proteins ensures the body has very low levels of what is commonly called “bad cholesterol”. It is also linked to cancer prevention.
Suitable for: Everyone
4. Macrobiotics diet
Image credit: Healthline
Following the macrobiotic diet may be difficult. It focuses on eating locally grown food that are in season, whole grains, and fresh seafood; but no dairy, poultry and other types of meat. Oh, and no spicy food. We can hear you groan already.
Besides the food selection, this diet plan is strict even when it comes to how you eat your food. You are supposed to chew your food well and eat regularly. You also need to have a positive outlook in life and exercise regularly. This is why people who follow this call it a lifestyle instead of a mere diet plan.
Suitable for: Anyone. People who are allergic to seafood can substitute it with other types of vegetables.
It’s difficult to say which is the best diet as each one has its own pros and cons. You should not eat too much of any type of food, as too much of something is never healthy for your body. Regular exercise is also the key to a healthy lifestyle, and even more so if you want to lose weight. It’s advisable to consult a nutritionist or dietitian first before starting any of these diets as some of them may not be suitable for your health condition or body type.
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