Eating healthy is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Each year, millions of people begin dieting, hoping to achieve a healthier lifestyle. With the numerous diet options available, it can be daunting to find the most suitable one for you. While there’s nothing like a perfect diet, some stand above the rest. Read on to find out the best diets for your health and fitness goals.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was partly developed by the NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). It encourages eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and fat-free or low-fat dairy, a moderate amount of whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts, and limiting intake of calorie-laden sugary drinks, sweets, alcohol and foods that are high in saturated fat. Although the diet’s main goal is to lower blood pressure, it can also assist in weight loss because it encourages participants to eat clean, more nourishing foods and reduce consumption of empty calories.
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet aims at lowering cholesterol through a combination of diet, exercise and avoiding smoking. It was created by the NCEP (National Cholesterol Education Program). It involves using a chart to know the number of calories you should consume each day. The majority of the calories come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fats form less than 35% of the total intake. The diet limits sodium intake to 2,400mg and dietary cholesterol to less than 200mg per day. It also encourages working out for at least 30 minutes daily.
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a hybrid the DASH and Mediterranean diets. It’s easy to follow and aims at boosting brain health. It focuses on these 10 foods:
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
- Whole grains
It limits red meat and processed food. Researchers found that this diet could reduce the risk of its followers developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 54%.
HMR (Health Management Resources) is a low-calorie diet that you can follow on your own or under medical supervision at a clinic. It includes meal replacement shakes, soups, multigrain cereal, and nutrition bars. You can choose to have the meals delivered to your home. HMR focuses on fruits and vegetables. It also encourages physical activity to promote weight loss.
The Weight Watchers plan was created over 50 years ago. It’s been adopted in over 30 countries worldwide. It’s based on a points system, which allocates values to foods based on their protein, fiber, carbs, and fat content. You get a personal daily and weekly points allowance that you spend on food. The allowances are determined by your age, weight, height, and gender. There’s no cap on the amounts of fruits and most vegetables that you can eat. You also get a safety net if you go above your allowance. The plan promotes healthy, balanced eating and steady weight loss.
The Paleo diet, also known as the stone-age or caveman diet, consists of foods that can be hunted, fished or gathered, for example, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds. It’s based on the eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors. If you choose this diet, you’ll ditch dairy, salt, refined sugars, cereal grains, and any other processed foods. Many participants have found the diet to help with skin issues, gastrointestinal problems, and weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the food choices of the Mediterranean countries. It emphasises on healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. It consists of eating fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, pure oils and whole grains. Lifestyle factors such as leisure activities, drinking wine in moderation with your meals, and making effort to avoid stress are an important component of the Mediterranean diet. Several top scientists have studied the diet and described it as one of the world’s healthiest formulas.
When choosing a suitable diet, you should consider your personal preferences, tendencies, and the diet details. That will help you determine how easy or difficult it will be for you to comply with it.