Is there a best diet? Here are 5 things to consider

Diet culture is a very profitable business in the United States. According to LinkedIn, Americans spend more than $66 billion each year on weight loss products and programs, purchasing everything from diet pills and meal plans to luxury gym memberships.

Deciding you want to go on a diet is one thing, but deciding which diet is right for you can also be difficult.

While there are many legitimate and affordable diet methods and products, it is essential to approach diet culture seriously and seek evidence-based advice when considering dietary changes. drink.

Below is a list of five popular diets in the United States and a little information about each of them.

1. Mediterranean diet

US News ranked the Mediterranean diet the best diet overall for 2023: The Mediterranean diet focuses on dietary quality rather than a single nutrient or food group. best.

Plus, many studies have shown that it reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, while promoting longevity and improving quality of life.

A study published on PubMed Central found that people living in Mediterranean countries generally have better health and are less likely to suffer from many chronic diseases than those who adhere to a typical American diet.

This diet emphasizes ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil.

2. DASH diet

Similar to the Mediterranean diet, both are recognized for their health benefits, but they have different origins, main goals, and specific recommendations.

The DASH diet was created by the National Institutes of Health to help fight high blood pressure.

Scientists believe that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure may benefit from this diet is because it reduces salt intake, according to Healthline.

The DASH diet emphasizes foods low in sodium and rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

3. Paleo diet

This diet aims to include whole foods and eliminate processed foods, grains, and dairy.

The Paleo diet, often called the caveman diet, is based on the hypothesis that humans should eat more like our Paleolithic ancestors, because our genetics and biology are compatible. with that style of eating.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common characteristics of the paleo diet include an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, lean meats and avoiding processed foods. But there is little research on paleo diets compared to studies on balanced diets with more diverse food groups.

UC Davis Health emphasizes that a bland diet is not recommended for continued weight loss and that health problems may occur:

Over time, people following this diet may see increased cholesterol, especially less healthy cholesterol. This can increase your risk of heart disease,

In addition, not getting enough calcium also increases the risk of osteoporosis, rickets and bone fractures.

4. Keto diet

The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet designed to force your body into a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

According to Food Insight, Keto includes high amounts of fat, low to moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbohydrates.

Plus, the keto diet is often rich in foods like butter, cheese, eggs, meat, nuts, oils, seafood, and seeds. That means it doesn’t include a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, sweets or other carbohydrate-rich foods.

Because the Keto diet is restrictive, Debra Sullivan, chair of the KU Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at KU Medical Center told KU Medical Center that the diet is not healthy for everyone.

As dietitians and nutritional scientists, we typically don’t want to cut out entire food groups. And it’s not something I would recommend to everyone. But certain populations could benefit, Sullivan said.

Keto ranked 20th overall on US News’ list of the best diets of 2023.

5. Be vegetarian

Vegan diets have gained traction for both health and ethical reasons. While a vegan diet eliminates all animal products, a broader plant-based diet focuses primarily on plants but may occasionally incorporate animal products.

With proper planning and knowledge about the components of a nutritious vegan diet, you can ensure your body is getting all the essential nutrients it needs.

A vegan diet is based on plants (like vegetables, grains, nuts, and fruits) and plant-based foods. According to the National Health Service, if you don’t plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin B12, iodine and selenium.

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