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Diet Behavior Food As Medicine Health Tips

4 Diets That Are Supported by Science

1 year ago

8173  0
Posted on Apr 27, 2021, 4 p.m.

There are so many diets that it will make your head spin to try and find the one to try.

Begin by setting a goal. If you’re looking to lose weight or treat the symptoms of your health condition, you can ease into a diet that will fit your needs and be supported by science.

Take your time in studying these four diets among others, do a bit of trial and error, sample each diet, or concoct your own with help from your physician, dietician, or certified medical professional, it’s a gratifying way of meeting your weight and health goals.

Low-carb, Whole-food Diet

A low-carb diet aims to lower the carbohydrate intake found in sweet foods, pasta, and bread. Rather than carbohydrates macronutrients, you’ll eat whole foods high in protein and fat. It is worth noting the possible long-term health risks caused by a low carb diet may include nutritional deficiencies, loss of bone density, and gastrointestinal problems. Not everyone will benefit from this type of diet, those considering it should consult with a doctor beforehand, as it may not be the best way to achieve long-term sustainable health goals, especially for those with kidney disease. 

Basics of Low-carb, whole-food diet:

Foods to eat

  • Lean cuts of meat, grass-fed animals are best
  • Fish, wild-caught fish is best
  • Eggs, pastured eggs are best
  • Vegetables such as leafy greens, cauliflower, and broccoli
  • Fruits such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries
  • Nuts and seeds including nut butters
  • Unsweetened dairy products such as plain whole milk and plain Greek yogurt
  • Fats and oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil

Foods to avoid

  • Added sugars
  • Refined grains
  • Trans fats
  • Diet and low-fat products
  • Highly processed foods
  • Starchy vegetables

Benefits of Low-cab, Whole-food diet

There are many forms of this diet, to lose weight this diet suggests that you restrict your daily calorie intake and increase physical activity. This diet also suggests that you should feel full with the additional protein and fat, which causes you to eat less and shed the extra pounds. The healthy sources of fat, carbs, and protein from low-carb diets may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart conditions.

Mediterranean Diet

Science is showing that the Mediterranean diet may be one of the best diets to follow. Back in the ‘60s people in the Mediterranean countries, like Italy and Greece, with coronary heart disease suffered fewer deaths than Americans and those from northern Europe. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular disorder.

Basics of the Mediterranean diet:

There is no single way of preparing the Mediterranean diet, each country in the Mediterranean Sea has its own method of preparation. It is typically a concoction of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain, seeds, and olive oil. This is not a vegan diet, but it is largely plant-based, and as always before making any dietary changes one should consult with a physician. 

Foods to eat

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tubers
  • Whole grains
  • Fish and seafood, buy seafood in a fish market for the freshest catch
  • Poultry
  • Eggs in moderation 
  • Dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy Fats

Foods to avoid

  • Added sugars
  • Refined grains such as white breads, white pasta, and white rices
  • Trans fats
  • Refined oils such as soybean oil and canola oil
  • Processed meat such as deli meats and hot dogs 
  • Highly processed foods, anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or made in a factory

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

The results of a study show that persons assigned an unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet. This supports the belief that the Mediterranean diet prevents cardiovascular disease.

The healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish can help lower the level of cholesterol, triglycerides, and prevent inflammation. The high fiber content helps regulate the blood glucose level which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Paleo Diet

Paleo diet food brings you back to the stone age when cavemen ate anything they’ve hunted and gathered and still managed to be, for the most part, healthy which in part was also due to the rigorous physical demands of foraging for food and living outdoors. The downside to this diet is the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Those considering this type of diet should consult with their physician beforehand.

Basics of Paleo diet:

Technological advancement in farming and food production produced additional staples in the human diet like refined grains, legumes, and dairy. This rapid change outpaced the body’s ability to adapt to the new form of eating. The mismatch resulted in the health conditions of today such as obesity, diabetes, and heart ailments.

Foods to eat

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Oils from fruits and nuts

Foods to avoid

  • Grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas
  • Dairy products
  • Refined sugar
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods

Benefits of Paleo diet

Paleo diet may help to reduce the insulin resistance of a diabetic, the impelling cause of type 2 diabetes, and may allow patients to cut medication. Obese people might lose weight by avoiding prepackaged and processed foods leading to lower sodium and sugar intake, as well as lower carbohydrates intake.

  • Improved heart health
  • More energy
  • Less inflammation

Vegan Diet

If you are having a vegan guest for dinner, you can show courtesy by following two basic rules.  Only serve them food from plant sources and do not serve them food from animal sources including egg, cheese, milk, and honey.

Basics of Vegan diet:

Veganism is strictly only food derived from plants and excludes all forms of food from animal-based sources.

Foods to eat

  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds
  • Calcium-fortified plant-based kinds of milk and yogurts
  • Algae
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals
  • Sprouted and fermented plant foods
  • Fruits and vegetables

Foods to avoid

  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Bee products
  • Animal-based ingredients

Benefits of Vegan diet

Typically, vegans are thinner and have a lower body mass index (BMI) than non-vegans. Most people who turn to veganism tend to lose the extra pounds, while abstaining from the use of any animal-based products including those used in food, clothing, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products among others for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. 

This diet suggests that skipping meat can help to lower the risk of becoming overweight, developing heart disease, or high blood pressure. Vegan foods are typically high in antioxidants that may help to protect against diabetes and some types of cancer. However, going vegan does not automatically guarantee good health, one can be overweight and be vegan, and one could also be malnourished or have certain nutritional deficiencies, and vegans may experience a higher risk of stroke possible due to a lack of vitamin B12. As with any strict dietary change, anyone considering going vegan should consult with their physician beforehand. 

This article was written by Ian Baker, blogger and health advocate.  

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

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