Updated on July 3, 2021
4 Popular Types of Diets Explained & Who Are They Suitable For
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 to see if they are suitable for you.
1. Ketogenic diet
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 that fats are unhealthy and should be reduced in our meals. Actually, fat is a source of energy but our bodies don’t use them because of the amount of carbs we usually consume. This results in our bodies using carbs for our daily energy requirement while converting the unused consumed fats to fat tissue in our body. By lowering our carbs intake, this ketogenic diet forces our body to produce ketones (the product from the breakdown of fats) from the fat consumed and fat stored in our body thereby helping us to lose weight.
- The diet has very low carbohydrate and high fat content
- It shares many similarities with the Atkins diet
- The standard ketogenic diet contains around 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs
- Some people are able to lose weight following this diet
Click to view Diet Doctor video on What do you eat on a Keto diet
2. Paleo diet
Palaeolithic diet (also known as the caveman diet) means only consuming food that the pre-historic Paleolithic hunter-gatherers ate. This means lots of fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fish and lean meat but NO cheese, grains and coffee. It is also means cutting down on food made from grains, processed food and dairy products. The good thing about this diet is that you will not be consuming any processed food at all which can improve your health. The paleo diet also requires you to be more active and exercise regularly.
- Avoid processed or refined foods which have high calories but little nutritional value
- Avoid sugared or flavoured drinks
Click to view Scholar Idea video on What is a Paleo Diet
3. Mediterranean diet
Known for being good for heart health and to reduce the risk of strokes, the Mediterranean diet involves eating food items commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. This means a lot of fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, nuts, grains, fish with some dairy products but very little red meat and NO refined sugar and saturated fats.
- Try to include 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables in your daily intake
- Choose whole grains bread, rice or pasta
- Include more seafood such as omega-rich fishes such as sardines, trout or salmon
- Reduce red meat and substitute with fish, poultry or beans for your protein requirement
- For daily products, choose low-fat yogurt or small amounts of a variety of cheeses
- Use healthy fats such as olive oil (instead or butter or margarine)
Click to view BHF video on Why Mediterranean diet is good for your heart
4. Macrobiotics diet
Macrobiotic diet focuses on eating locally grown food that is in season and to consume meals in moderation. Foods recommended include whole grains, vegetables (including sea vegetables like seaweed, kombu or nori), beans and pulses but with limited amounts of seafood, dairy, poultry and other types of meat. Food seasonings should be natural such as garlic, ginger or turmeric while avoiding excess salt, refined sugars or spicy ingredients. You are also to have a positive outlook on life and exercise regularly. This is why people who follow this diet call it a lifestyle instead of a just a diet plan.
- Around 40-60% are whole grains, 20-30% vegetables and 10-20% beans or bean products
- Most foods are prepared by being baked, steamed or broiled
- Chew each mouthful of food slowly (up to 50 times) before swallowing
- Eat 2-3 times a day but stop eating just before you feel full
- Avoid caffeinated or flavoured drinks
Click to view Healthy Life Project video on The Macrobiotic Plate
Individualised meal planning should include optimisation of food choices to meet Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) / Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for all micronutrients. Discuss your condition with your dietician, nutritionist or wellness coach
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If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
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