Different Types of Diets
By Kayla Collett
When it comes to healthy eating one thing is certain, you have a vast array of dietary options to choose from. It is important to stay healthy in order for our bodies to simply function adequately and for them to detoxify themselves from all the (possible) junk food that we might have consumed.
Dietary needs naturally differ from person to person, so finding the right diet plan for you can be a bit of a tricky process at first, plus it can also seem extremely daunting and intimidating. That is why I am giving you a basic breakdown of five well-known dietary plans which will hopefully help you understand which plan is the right one for you, if of course; you plan on following one of these diets.
The paleo diet
The paleo diet follows a rather simple concept. The idea is to minimize the amount of carbohydrate-based foods you consume. This normally involves not consuming any sugar-based products along with any carb-heavy products like processed foods and grains. You do not necessarily have to follow this to the T, but the simple idea behind it is to limit the number of carbohydrates in your system which will, in turn, reduce your glucose levels. So instead of glucose, your body will burn your fat reserves instead in order to produce energy.
The vegan diet
To no surprise, the vegan diet is probably the most popular of all the dietary choices on this list, since it has combined with the massive global movement for animal rights and welfare. Simply, a vegan diet eliminates the consumption of all meat and animal-based products. By doing so, you greatly reduce the cholesterol and saturated fat levels in your system which limits the risk of heart disease and obesity-related issues. Word of warning, however, getting into a vegan diet is no easy picnic.
There is a reason why you might know friends who have struggled to keep to a vegan diet at times without taking breaks, as the diet requires you to find a sufficient alternative for protein and vitamins since you no longer eat meat. Plus living in Sri Lanka and being vegan can have its perks and easy routes (dhal, brinjal, okra curry, and cucumber salad with rice is amazing for one!).
However substitutes for basic dairy items such as cheese are almost impossible to find in Sri Lanka and if you do find them, such as almond milk, it is much more of a steep price in comparison to regular milk. Eliminating meat is arguably easy, but it’s the dairy that I love – so perhaps it’s difficult for me, but it might not be for you!
The Atkins diet
This one is similar to the ‘Paleo Diet’ albeit with a few differences. The Paleo Diet pretty much requires you to cut off dairy consumption as part of the plan to reduce your carbs whereas the Atkins diet relaxes that rule a bit. With the Atkins Diet, you can freely eat whatever you want as it does not require you to restrict the consumption of any particular food type. The only main rule is limiting your carb intake to a certain degree. Switching to low-carb based dairy products is a good way of going about this if you still like to have milk at breakfast every morning. Ideally, you will want to consume less than 20 grams of carbs per day for the first two weeks of your diet, so it is important to keep track of what you consume to make sure you get the best results.
The macro diet
Now take the ‘Atkins Diet’ and go up the other extreme, because you will need a calculator to keep track of this dietary plan. Unlike the Atkins diet which allows you to eat protein- and fat-based products freely since it only requires you to moderate your carb intake, the Macro Diet focuses on keeping track of all the nutrients you consume. So proteins, carbs, and fat all have to be counted since the idea is to keep your daily consumption within your total calorie limit. Suffice to say; prepare to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains if you want to venture down this path.
The intermittent fasting diet
This is actually not much of a ‘diet’ as it is an eating pattern, because as you can already guess, it is a health plan that focuses more on when you should eat rather than what you should eat. By sticking to a cycle plan, you ensure that you do not consume extra snacks and munchies that you might often do already without realizing it. It is a simple dietary plan to follow since you pre-plan your meals beforehand and what you plan to eat on a given day, eliminating any extra foods and liquids that carry carbs and fat which will negatively impact your body. Small disclaimer though, you can still consume as much water and other liquid-based products whenever you like if they have zero carbs in them. After all, it is important to stay hydrated at all times.