Types of Diet

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If you have been wondering how many types of diet there are, here is where to find answers. Trends on how people should eat come and go, making it confusing for diet plans. In this article, we address various dietary patterns and the benefits they may have for the health of your heart.

Why are there different types of diet for us?

People prefer to consume various types of food for lots of reasons. There is one primary reason behind the food choices we make every day, and that is to eat well. Cultural and religious reasons for preferring one food over another are also considered along with ethical and environmental factors. Some individuals eat in a certain way owing to food allergies, or medical and health problems. We also have our tastes with respect to what foods we like and dislike.

Some people assume that if their diet works for them, then that should be the way anyone else should eat. This is partially fueled by the media that leads you to believe that there might be one better way of eating than another. When it comes to eating healthy, there is no single-size-fits-all solution. Nonetheless, there are some specific guidelines that are recommended. 

What are the different types of diet that are popular today? 

Plant-based types of diet  

If you adopt a plant-based diet, the main portion of your calories will come from plant foods such as vegetables and legumes. It’s popular to assume that a diet based on plants is a vegan diet. However, a variety of eating habits are protected by the word ‘plant-based.’ Each kind of diet based on plants depends on how many animal products are included in the diet, such as meat, dairy, and eggs.

Some popular plant-based eating variations include:

  • Flexitarian: Flexitarian, also referred to as semi-vegetarian, requires eggs and milk and can include limited quantities of beef, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Pescatarian: Eggs, fish, and seafood are included while meat and poultry are excluded.
  • Vegetarian: Vegetarian, also known as Lacto-Ovo vegetarian, contains eggs and dairy. It excludes meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Vegan: Excludes all meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and seafood.

It’s normal to assume that any diet based on plants is instantly healthier. Yet some highly processed vegetarian or vegan foods are available, but these foods are not considered part of a balanced eating routine for the heart. 

Concentrate on eating fewer refined foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains as the predominant part of your diet.  Talk with a licensed dietitian if you have concerns about eating a plant-based diet that will give you all the nutrients you need.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a typical 50’s and 60’s diet from the Mediterranean basin.  The modern diet, consumed in this region, contains more red meat and processed food. This is normal in all Western countries and the diet that has been widely studied for the past 20 years. A conventional Mediterranean diet is well-known for including tons of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil every day. It also encompasses:

  • Lots of fruit, cereals, nuts and legumes/pulses, leafy green vegetables
  • Moderate quantities of fish, other meat, milk and red wine
  • Tiny quantities of food that comes from sugar and eggs

The Mediterranean diet is full of olive oil with unprocessed plant foods and heart-healthy fats. The less nutritious saturated fat is poor since there is less meat consumed. All of which fits right into the pillars of a balanced diet for the heart.

This diet has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease in the general population. Risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels have also been found to be increased in people with a high risk of heart disease.

Diet with low carbohydrates (+ high/healthy fat)

Low-carbohydrate diets include limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume, typically with the benefit of consuming more fat. These diets are often referred to as low-carb/high-fat or more recently, low-carb/healthy fat, both known as LCHF.

Low-carbohydrate diets have been around in some form for years. Back in the 70s, the Atkins diet was first discussed. There can be a significant difference in what is and is not included in a diet for LCHF. Generally, followers consume a diet that includes:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Natural fats (such as avocado, coconut oil and butter/cream)
  • Legumes may not be included in some variations of this diet and fruit is generally excluded.

The diet does not contain, or substantially restrict:

  • Refined Foods
  • Sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates and foods of starch (like bread, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables, such as potato, taro and kumara)

How is a ketogenic type of diet different?

A ketogenic diet, or ‘keto diet,’ is a strict type of low-carbohydrate diet that allows almost no carbohydrate foods to be consumed, intending to put the body into ketosis. Ketosis is a situation where the body uses fat as its key source of energy.

Meat (including processed meats such as sausages and bacon), eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, and vegetables are also high in the keto diet. There is evidence to suggest that for people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, or children with epilepsy, a ketogenic diet can be an effective therapy. Nevertheless, it can only be achieved with the guidance and monitoring of a health practitioner to adopt this type of diet.

It is recommended that individuals who adopt a ketogenic diet prefer high-quality foods from the perspective of heart health and consume plenty of plant foods such as vegetables and fruit. This implies preferring good quality heart-healthy fats over processed meats and good quality proteins, such as lean meat, chicken, fish and legumes.

Looking at total low carbohydrate types of diet

There are aspects of a lower-carb diet that could support several individuals. For instance, it’s healthy to consume fewer processed carbohydrate foods such as muffins, biscuits, and white pasta. It is also excellent for your heart when you eat more non-starchy vegetables and some healthy fats. Nonetheless, we do not advocate taking out whole food classes, unless there is a medical justification for doing so. Whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating, which includes not eating any food during scheduled periods. There are various ways that you can try intermittent fasting, and the 5:2 diet is a common one. This means eating ‘normally’ for five days, and the other two days eating less food. There will be some weight loss that will occur just like in diets that require some food restriction.

On the five days of ‘natural’ eating, it is essential to know what foods you can consume. The days without limits are not a free pass for something you want to eat. During this time, it is essential to eat healthily by having lots of plant-based foods and sources of good quality protein.

Some people experience side-effects when they adopt this diet. This varies from person to individual, but may include:

  • Extreme starvation
  • Dizziness
  • Low levels of energy
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Mood swings

This pattern of eating is not recommended for those with insulin-dependent diabetes.

Having the proper information on types of diet

There is plenty of nutritional information available to everyone these days at the click of a button, but it is still important to check:

  • The origins of your data
  • The Credentials of the Author
  • If there are some particular interests behind a post claiming that there is “one” way to eat

Restrictive diets can cause harm to our bodies, whether followed for a short or long period. They tend to make you feel unhappy with your body, cause yo-yo dieting, changes in yo-yo weight as well as disordered eating.

A balanced way of eating inevitably requires a healthy relationship with food and the body. These variables are all closely connected and if overlooked, can become a complex mess.

Types of diet

When thinking about different types of diet and eating habits, what do we consider?

There is no question , which media reports about the diet to pursue and whether carbohydrate or fat is the enemy will go on over the years. It can be difficult to differentiate reality from opinion with this noise, but we need to note that we are consuming food, not only nutrients.

When talking about different eating habits, the most important thing to acknowledge is that we’re all different.  People are not the same and, therefore, people can react differently to one pattern of eating.

A heart-healthy diet is primarily focused on:

  • Whole and minimally processed foods
  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • A few whole grains instead of processed grains
  • Legumes, nuts, seeds and other good fat sources, such as oily fish,
  • It can also contain small quantities of lean meat or poultry and dairy that is not refined.

We agree that no one-size-fits-all solution exists, that’s why there are different types of diet. If we concentrate on getting the foundation for what food we consume correctly, then the nutrients can take care of themselves.

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