We are all constantly looking for new ways to improve our diets and eating habits, right? And we are always seeing new diet trends that we want to try, right? But, here’s the thing: diets are not one size fits all. One diet may work great for you and the next, not so much, and that’s okay. When it comes to finding a diet that you want to try, go for one that you know will work for you and that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle.
Here are 5 of the most popular diet trends explained:
1. The Mediterranean Diet
This diet trend is inspired by traditional food in the 1960s that the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea would eat. It has been proven that people in the Mediterranean countries have lower mortality rates, lower risk of cancer and lower risk of cardiovascular diseases than those in America. This can be directly linked to their diets and the amount of physical activity they do. The diet consists of plant-based foods, high intake of extra-virgin olive oil and a moderate intake of fish and poultry. While on this diet, you should try and avoid red meat, and dairy products.
For those wanting to give the Mediterranean diet a try, here is an example of a day of eating:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, nuts and an apple
Lunch: Salad with tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and cucumbers
Dinner: Cod with vegetables and couscous on the side
2. The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet represents the “hunting and gathering” way of life. Meaning, only eating foods that can be found in nature – lean meats or fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This diet really sticks to the basics of the human diet and stays far away from all processed foods. When following this diet, you should try and stay away from grains – like wheat or oats, legumes – like beans or lentils, dairy products, refined sugar or starchy foods – like potatoes. This diet might be for you if your goals include: weight loss, improved glucose tolerance, lower blood pressure, and overall better appetite management. But, do keep in mind, this diet is designed to strip your eating habits down to the bare minimum, which may be a shock to the body at first.
Here is a standard day of eating on the Paleo diet:
Breakfast: A bowl of fresh fruit
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and a handful of nuts
Dinner: Salmon with vegetables on the side
3. The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet is unique because it kind of goes against what a majority of diets say. Basically, to follow this diet your carb intake must be extremely low and your fat intake must be high. By replacing carbohydrates with fat, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. Once the body enters ketosis, it becomes extremely efficient at burning fat for energy. On this diet, there is no need for counting calories or tracking your macros. Some benefits of the Keto diet include lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and acne. While doing the Keto diet, avoid sugary foods, grains and starches, fruit, beans or legumes, and alcohol.
Here is a day of eating on the Keto diet:
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes
Lunch: Beef stir-fry with vegetables
Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese
4. The Whole30 Diet
If you are looking for more of a long-term diet plan, the Whole30 Diet might not be for you. The goal of this diet is to change the way you feel and eat in just 30 days. There are a lot of foods that we eat that may have a negative impact on our bodies, so, with the Whole30 diet, you will be forced to remove them. For example, dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, and alcohol. On the Whole30 diet, you are required to eat three “clean” meals a day. Here are some things you absolutely can eat on this diet: meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Here are the things you absolutely can’t eat: processed foods, alcohol, grains – yes, even quinoa, dairy, soy or beans. While this may sound impossible, it’s incredibly rewarding. Some benefits of the Whole30 diet include weight loss, clear skin, no more digestive problems, improved sleep, and more energy.
Here is an example of three clean Whole30 meals:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with a side of fresh berries
Lunch: Grilled chicken over mixed greens with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and radishes.
Dinner: Salmon with grilled vegetables on the side
5. The Vegan Diet
Being Vegan is not so much a diet, but more of a lifestyle. To be vegan means to exclude all forms of animal cruelty from one’s diet and overall life. Therefore, the vegan diet means to avoid all meat, eggs, and dairy, making your diet mostly plant-based. When you eat a plant-based diet, you are getting a lot of nutrients like magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and E. But, often times, when eating a vegan diet, it can be tricky to get nutrients like protein, iron and the B12 vitamin. The benefits of the vegan diet include a lower risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Here is a standard day of eating following the vegan diet:
Breakfast: Peanut butter and jelly on an English muffin
Lunch: A green salad topped with edamame and beets
Dinner: A baked sweet potato stuffed with black beans, kale and topped with hummus.