5 Popular Diets Explained: Keto, Paleo, DASH, Flexitarian & Mediterranean

5 Popular Diets Explained: Keto, Paleo, DASH, Flexitarian & Mediterranean

Thanks to the internet and having information at the touch of our fingers we are regularly flooded with new fitness and dietary trends that can make it difficult to keep up. From fitness magazines to celebrities and Instagram influencers, there are a number of diets that we end up hearing about on repeat. So what are some of the top diets of 2018 and what are they all about? From Keto and the DASH diet to Paleo, the Mediterranean and the Flexitarian diet, we have a roundup of all of these and how they may benefit you. Here are five popular diets explained.

Keto Diet

The Keto Diet was one of the most googled diets in 2017 but it is not without controversy. The keto diet is short for ketogenic and it is a high-fat, low carbohydrate and adequate protein diet that eases your body into a state of ketosis. When your body enters a state of ketosis, it begins to burn fat for energy instead of sugar. The keto diet requires that 70% of your diet is fat, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates. The jury is still out on this one and if it is effective long-term. Although some of the listed short-term benefits include weight-loss, reversing type two diabetes, improved blood pressure to name a few.

Foods to Eat:

Meats (beef, lamb, poultry, fish, etc), dairy (cheese, milk, cream, butter), avocado, berries, nuts and seeds, high-fat salad dressings and leafy greens

Foods to Avoid:

Grains, fruit, sugar, potatoes, and yams

DASH Diet

The DASH Diet stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension.’ The diet’s main focus is to reduce blood pressure, but studies have also documented that it helps with weight loss. The DASH Diet is similar to Canada’s Food Guide with an emphasis on consuming vegetables, fruit, grains, low-fat or no-fat dairy, lean meats, nuts, and healthy fats.

Foods to Eat:

Grains (7-8 servings), vegetables (4-5 servings), Fruits (4-5 servings), low-fat/fat-free dairy products (2-3 servings), lean meats (2 or fewer servings), nuts and seeds (4-5 servings weekly), fats and oils (2-3 servings)

Foods to Avoid:

Sweets, sodium-rich foods, and red meat

Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is based on the premise of eating like a “caveman,” in that we should eat like our prehistoric ancestors. The diet focuses on a high-protein and high-fiber eating plan to lose weight without cutting calories.

Foods to Eat:

Fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, eggs, fish and seafood, and grass-fed meat

Foods to Avoid:

Legumes, cereal grains, potatoes, processed food, refined sugar, refined vegetable oils, salt, and dairy

Meditteranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is based on how people in places like Italy and Greece eat, with the main focus being on a predominately plant-based diet. Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet can lead to weight loss, and help to prevent strokes, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes.

Foods to Eat:

Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, legumes, spices, fish, seafood, red meat (rarely) and healthy oils

Foods to Avoid:

Refined sugar, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and most processed foods

Flexitarian Diet

A flexitarian diet is based on a predominately vegetarian diet with the occasional consumption of meat and fish. The flexitarian diet focuses on consuming more fruits, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables while eliminating most meat and fish products. Studies have shown a flexitarian diet can lead to weight loss and a lower rate of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Foods to Eat:

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meats and fish (occasionally)

Foods to Avoid:

Red meat, processed food, refined sugar

References:

Health Line

Heart and Stroke

Diet Doctor

Greatist

Paleo Diet 

K. T. Edwards

K. T. Edwards graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in Media Production and English. She also studied Creative Writing at Oxford University and contributes to various media outlets. IG: @k.tea.edwards

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