The main types of diets are low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, lifestyle change, fad, and special condition diets. Low-carb dietary plans restrict the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods and emphasize eating protein, fat, and fiber-rich foods. Scientifically demonstrated and reported benefits include weight loss, lower blood pressure, better insulin sensitivity, and increased energy. Examples of low-carb plans include the Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Caveman Diet.
Low-fat diets limit the consumption of products that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Some plans recommend replacing one or more meat dishes with a vegetarian meal each week. Other diets are more restrictive. There are different low-cholesterol, low-fat plans such as the Pritikin, TLC, Prevention, Reversal, and other diets. The benefits of these diets include weight loss and reduced risk for heart disease, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
Low-calorie diets limit the amount of calories consumed. Dieters consume between 800 and 1,500 calories a day, which is said to improve conditions such as high cholesterol levels, hypertension, and diabetes. Some diets reduce the calorie intake drastically and are known as fad diets. They limit calories to less than 800 a day. Other types of fad diets include the Liquid, Magic Food, Cabbage Soup, Junk Food, and Beverly Hills Diet. Unlike them, there are medically supervised programs such as nutritionist and registered dietitian plans, hospital-based programs, and physicians’ weight loss centers.
In addition to these types of diets, there are special plans designed to help people to manage or overcome certain conditions. The Gluten Free, Dialysis, Diabetic, Gout, and Diuretic Diets fall in this category. The Arthritis Diet, for example, offers nutrition guidelines for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Dieters are encouraged to eat foods that are rich in vitamin E and C, including oranges, peaches, and kiwi. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants are recommended. Dieters should consume oily fish such as sardines, salmon, and tuna and foods rich in carotenoids and selenium. Elimination diets are designed to identify food intolerances and allergies. Dieters eliminate certain foods for a period of 1 week to 1 month. These include processed foods and products that contain gluten and eggs. The list also includes dried fruit, corn, dairies, and citrus fruits.
Special diets aim to manage digestive disorders such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel disease, and others. Other diets are designed to help people to overcome emotional problems such as compulsive overeating, stress eating, and emotional overeating. The Stress Eater Diet is based on several pillars – foods that boost serotonin levels, calming and stress relieving techniques and exercises, and proper nutrition.
The list of recommended foods includes bananas, cottage cheese, fish meat, turkey and red meat and products that are rich in certain minerals and vitamins. These include avocados, eggs, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables. The solution is a dietary approach that focuses on the reasons for overeating. The Beck Diet is another plan that helps people to overcome problems such as negative thinking, binge eating, and emotional eating.
Other diets are designed to improve heart health, reduce cholesterol levels, and manage cardiovascular disease. Developed by the U.S. health authorities, the Dash Diet aims to improve cholesterol levels and control hypertension. The diet includes foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other important nutrients. People who suffer from hypertension should consume foods such as olive oil, nonfat and low fat dairies, lean poultry, and vegetables and fruits. Regular exercise is recommended because it improves blood circulation and heart health and lowers blood pressure.
Maria is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about health and nutrition. Favorite topics are weight loss and low carbing.