If you’ve ever tried to eat a healthy diet, you probably know how difficult it can be. Popular diets like the keto diet and the Mediterranean diet promise they’ll make it easier for you to eat a healthy, balanced diet—but they’re not always what they seem on the surface.
Popular diets are often based on science fiction concepts and myths. The keto diet may help you lose weight quickly, but it’s only effective in the short term—and it can cause serious health problems in the long term. The Mediterranean diet is excellent for heart health but is not enough to keep your heart healthy forever. So why do people love these diets?
First, let’s discuss the:
Popular Diets and Eating Plans
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Usually, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain function. However, if carbohydrates are cut off sources of insulin in the body, this policy can lead to ketosis. This condition causes the body to use fat as its primary fuel instead of glucose.
The ketogenic diet was also once used as a weight loss therapy. More recently, however, it has become a popular way of increasing fat burning and reducing hunger. Today there are many different variations of this diet available for both men and women with different goals.
The paleo diet is a way of eating that mimics what our bodies are genetically adapted to eating over the course of human evolution. It excludes processed foods high in sugar, grains (like bread), legumes (like beans and peanuts), and dairy. The diet focuses on eating only foods that can be hunted, fished, or foraged by humans. The paleo diet also eliminates salt, refined sugar, alcohol, coffee, and tobacco.
The paleo diet is not a quick weight loss solution. It can take up to two months to see results from this restrictive diet.
The Mediterranean diet has been proven beneficial for heart health and weight loss. It is a plant-based diet that emphasizes eating fruits in the form of healthy smoothies, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. It also includes fish, poultry, and other healthy fats.
The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and monounsaturated fat (found in olive oil). The food choices emphasize fish and poultry; red meat is avoided. The typical Mediterranean diet contains nearly no processed foods (such as refined flour, sugar, or junk food) or red meats. This diet is rich in vegetables and fruits but also legumes (beans).
Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted feeding, is a dieting method that restricts the amount of food you eat in a certain period of time. It’s based on the idea that your body can only process so much food at a time and that if you give it more than it needs, it will store some of it as fat.
Intermittent fasting works by restricting your eating window to several hours daily. For example, if you have an 8-hour eating window, you’ll only eat during those hours. You’ll still be able to get all your essential nutrients from other sources like proteins and fats.
Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegetarianism can be considered as a subset of veganism.
Vegan diets are based on grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Many vegan diets also limit or avoid dairy products, eggs, honey, and other animal-derived foods.
Popular diets have become very popular due to their benefits. They have been used for many years and are still used by different people in different ways.
Benefits of Popular Diets
Many popular diets and eating plans can help you achieve weight loss. For example, low-carb diets such as the keto diet and Atkins diet, and the Mediterranean diet can all contribute to weight loss. By limiting the intake of certain foods or following a specific eating pattern, these diets can help individuals achieve a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss. Losing weight can lead to various health benefits, such as improved heart health, reduced joint pain, and better blood sugar control.
Improved Energy Levels
Eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet can help improve your energy levels and overall vitality. Foods high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help provide your body with the necessary nutrients and energy to carry out daily activities. Moreover, eating small, frequent meals throughout the day, as some diets suggest, can also help maintain energy levels.
Specific diets and eating plans, such as the Mediterranean diet, can help improve digestion and reduce digestive issues. The Mediterranean diet, for example, emphasizes consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, which can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Moreover, fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, can also promote healthy gut bacteria growth.
Lowered Risk of Chronic Diseases
Some diets, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The DASH diet emphasizes consuming whole, unprocessed foods low in sodium and potassium, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This diet can help improve blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
When it comes to popular diets and eating plans, there are also some cons to consider, such as:
Disadvantages of Popular Diets
Many popular diets and eating plans are highly restrictive, making them challenging to follow long-term. This restriction can often lead to feelings of deprivation and may cause individuals to develop unhealthy relationships with food. For example, the low-carb keto diet eliminates or limits certain food groups, such as grains and fruits, making it difficult to stick with the diet long-term.
Difficulty Adhering Long-Term
Some diets and eating plans can be challenging to maintain over an extended period, making it difficult to stick with them. This difficulty can be due to various reasons, such as limited food options, strict rules, or social limitations. For example, the Whole30 diet involves eliminating several food groups, including dairy, grains, and legumes, for 30 days, which can be challenging to maintain for an extended period.
Specific diets, like the vegan diet, can lead to nutrient deficiencies if not appropriately planned. This can be particularly true for diets that eliminate entire food groups. A vegan diet can be deficient in vitamin B12, mainly found in animal products. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to health problems if not appropriately addressed.
Potential for Disordered Eating Patterns
Highly restrictive diets and eating plans can potentially lead to disordered eating patterns or eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Restricting certain foods or food groups can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with food, which can spiral into more severe eating disorders.
Any diet’s success mainly depends on how it’s chosen and implemented. To help in your decision, we’ve included a few kinds of diets that are popular, proven to work, and safe for beginners. Spend time studying them, reach out to a dietician, and you should have no trouble finding the proper diet!
Bea is a copywriter specializing in adept research and creating all kinds of content. She’s all about getting creative, developing relationships, and contributing to making businesses succeed through her writing.
When she’s not writing (professionally), you can see her binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race or writing film reviews on Letterboxd.