Healthy diet – You are what you eat. If you want to be healthy and fit, you need a healthy diet. Diet is often associated with weight loss, but there is much to it than losing weight. Do you not know what diet strategy to use? We got you covered. Here, we tell you 6 diet plans, how they work, their benefits, and their downsides.
6 Healthy Diet Plans
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy that includes cycling between periods of eating and fasting. There are different variants of this healthy diet.
For example, the 16:8 method or the 5:2 method. The 16:8 means that you are limiting your calorie intake to 8 hours per day. While 5:2 implies you restrict your calorie intake to 500 – 600 calories two times per week.
How it works: This dietary strategy restricts the time you are allowed to eat. Which, in turn, it will reduce your calorie intake.
Weight loss: It is a kind of healthy diet for weight loss. Since it is an effective strategy to lose weight. That is unless you overeat food during periods where you are allowed to eat.
Benefits: Some benefits of intermittent fasting for your body are including improve your metabolism, anti-aging effects, reduce inflammation, improve brain health, increased insulin sensitivity.
Downsides: This diet strategy is safe for most healthy adults. If you are sensitive to drips in your blood sugar levels, talk to a health professional before trying this strategy.
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2. Low-carb Diets
If you want an effective and healthy diet for weight loss, you might want to take a look at low-carb diets. Low-carb diets are pretty famous for those wishing to lose weight.
These healthy diets come in many forms, such as the low-carb with high-fat (LCHF), ketogenic (keto), and Atkins. Not all low-carb diets are equal, however. Some reduce carbs more significantly than others.
How it works: These diets work by restricting your carb intake in favor of fat and protein. Low-carb diets typically include protein-rich foods than low-fat ones.
Weight loss: It is effective for weight loss. It has been found that low-carb diets are much more effective than low-fat diets.
Benefits: The benefits of low-carb diets are including improve blood sugar levels and improve insulin levels.
Downsides: In some cases, these diets may raise LDL cholesterol levels or cause digestive upset.
3. Low-fat Diets
Low-fat diets are diets that involve restricting fat intake to about 30% of daily calories. However, some variants aim to limit fat intake much lower than that, to under 10% of daily calories.
How it works: Restricting fat intake while meeting the daily calorie intake with carbs and protein instead.
Weight loss: This diet is also effective for weight loss, although not as effective as low-carb diets when you compared both daily.
Benefits: The benefits of low-fat diets include reduced inflammation, reduced risk of stroke and heart disease, and improve markers of diabetes, among others.
Downsides: Fat is vital in nutrient absorption, hormone production, and cell health. If you restrict fat too much, these functions can be disrupted. Very low-fat diets are also associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome.
4. The Paleo Diet
The next on our list is the paleo diet. The paleo diet is rather unique. It involves eating foods that are allegedly eaten by your hunter-gatherer ancestors.
This menu is based on the theory that modern diseases are linked to modern diets. Its proponents believe that the human body has not evolved to process grains, dairy, and legumes.
How it works: The diet advocates you to eat whole foods, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. In addition, it restricts you from consuming grains, dairy, processed foods, and sugar.
Weight loss: Many studies have proven that the paleo diet helps you lose weight and reduce harmful belly fat.
Benefits: Other than helping in weight loss, the paleo diet has been shown to reduce heart disease risk agents such as high cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and triglyceride.
Downsides: Although the diet strategy is healthy, the paleo diet restricts nutritious food groups such as whole grains, dairy, and legumes.
5. The Mediterranean Diet
What kind of diet is the Mediterranean diet? Well, the answer lies in its name. The diet is based on foods that people in Mediterranean countries (like Greece and Italy) eat. The diet was designed to reduce heart disease risk, but it has been found that it can also help you to lose weight.
How it works: This healthy diet strategy includes eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish, seafood, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.
Other foods such as eggs, poultry, and dairy products can still be eaten but should be done in moderation. Red meats, however, are limited.
The diet also restricts processed meats, trans fats, refined oil, added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods.
Weight loss: The Mediterranean diet is not specifically designed for weight loss. However, lots of studies have proven that it can help you to lose weight.
Benefits: As the diet includes healthy diet foods rich in antioxidants. It brings benefits to your health such as reduced heart disease risk, help against oxidative stress and inflammation.
Downsides: The diet is not specifically designed for weight loss. So, unless you also reduce your calorie intake, you are unlikely to lose weight.
6. Healthy Diet Pregnant
What about diet for pregnant women? Eating healthy should be done at any time, especially so during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, eating healthy food becomes much more important as your baby depends on you.
So, how do you manage your diet when pregnant? The diet of a pregnant woman should include at least:
- 5 servings of vegetables and fruits (this includes at least 1 serving of a dark orange vegetable, 2 servings of dark green leafy vegetables, and 1 serving of citrus fruit.
- 6 servings of enriched, whole-grain cereals and bread and 3 servings of low-fat or nonfat milk or milk products
- 2 – 3 servings of extra-lean meats, fish, cooked dried beans, or chicken without the skin
- 8 glasses of water
As we have shown above, there are various ways to plan your diet. Each healthy diet plan works differently, brings different benefits, and has additional downsides. So, what do you think? Which diet strategy are you interested in trying?