Most people want to lose weight but battling the scale is no mean feat. A lot of people struggle to have a healthy relationship with food and fitness. With many fad diets out there, it gets difficult to know which one is right for you. An ideal choice is the one that helps you lose weight without causing any long-term damage to the body. Not only should the diet you choose be healthy, it should also be scientifically proven to be effective. In this article, we explore four different types of healthy organic diets backed with strong scientific evidence that will help you find the one that’s best suited for you in the long run.
Types of Healthy Diet
The most significant step in a weight loss journey is to select a diet that is not only healthy, but also sustainable. When we use the word ‘sustainable’ to describe a diet, we mean the one that doesn’t involve any ‘quick fixes’. We often choose a diet that has worked for someone else. However, we forget that everyone’s body is different, and hence from that standpoint, the diet they choose must be unique to their body and health profile as well.
A fad diet usually focuses on drastically restricting calories, which will undoubtedly trigger rapid weight loss. However, a reasonable and healthy weight loss plan should focus on a diet that allows a weight loss of ½ - 1 kg per week, without compromising on your health. The different types of healthy, sustainable organic diets that we will be exploring in detail here include Mediterranean, low-carb (whole food), vegan and paleo diet.
The Mediterranean diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, whole grains, dairy products, legumes and extra virgin olive oil. It predominantly comprises anti-inflammatory foods, with a low intake of meats and dairy products. Simply put, it is based on the predominant diet that people of the Mediterranean region have. When compared to the American diet, the Mediterranean diet is considered to be more healthy with a low risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. There are numerous studies that show that those on a Mediterranean diet are relatively healthier, with an increased ability to lose weight, prevent heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, thereby reducing the risk of premature deaths.
Low-Carb (Whole Foods Diet)
As the name suggests, a low-carb, whole-food diet is a meal plan that restricts or limits carbohydrates (starches, processed foods, and sugars) such as the ones found in breads, pasta, and desserts, among other things. Consequently, the diet comprises more whole foods such as healthy vegetables, lean meat, other forms of protein, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.
While there is no rigid definition, you can consume somewhere between 100-150 gm of carbohydrates in this type of diet. However, if you are on a keto diet and want to get into ketosis - a process that takes place when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy and burns fat instead, which the body uses as fuel - then you must reduce the carb quantity even more. While a ketogenic diet gives faster results, it may not always be sustainable.
Studies show that a long-term low-carb diet is more sustainable, helps lose weight and lowers the risk of chronic diseases. It is a flexible diet and you can adjust your carb intake depending on how much exercise you do and how much weight you want to lose.
The vegan diet has come up in a big way in the past decade. As people continue to get more and more health conscious, they are deliberately choosing to make the shift towards adopting a plant-based diet, sourcing their proteins from legumes, pulses, nuts, beans, and soy products in place of eggs, meat, fish and dairy foods due to the low health risks associated with them. Not only does it help lose weight, but studies show that a vegan diet also helps improve heart health and get better blood sugar control. Along with this diet, you can try out Wellbeing Nutrition’s plant-based products that help to fill in the gaps in your nutrition and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.
This is a very popular diet that is extremely effective for weight loss and your overall well being. Research shows that a paleo diet helps raise your metabolism, reduce your appetite, manage hormone levels and regulate your weight. This diet emphasizes on consuming unprocessed foods that resembles those available in the paleolithic age. Simply put, you can eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils. What you can’t eat includes processed foods, soft drinks, grains, sugar, most dairy products, artificial sweeteners, legumes, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
Not everyone shares a healthy relationship with food and fitness and for these people it gets even more difficult to stick to a diet that is sustainable and healthy. The aforementioned organic diets are just a few of the ones that will help you stick to your weight loss journey. There are other diets like the gluten-free diet, flexitarian diet, ultra-low fat diet, zone diet, HCG diet, and the like, but we have tried to provide you with options that are there for the long haul. You can pick and choose the one that best suits your body.
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- Effect of a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented With Nuts on Metabolic Syndrome Status One-Year Results of the PREDIMED Randomized Trial, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, MD, PhD; Joan Fernández-Ballart, MD, PhD; Emilio Ros, Archives of Internal Mediicne, MD, PhD; et al,2008, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/773456)
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- Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes remission: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data, Joshua Z Goldenberg, Andrew Day, Grant D Brinkworth,Junko Sato, Satoru Yamada, The British Journal of Nutrition,2020, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4743
- A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment, Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Trisha Mandes, and Anthony Crimarco, Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 2017, doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.002
- Paleolithic nutrition for metabolic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis, Eric W Manheimer, Esther J van Zuuren, Zbys Fedorowicz, and Hanno Pijl, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.113613 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588744/)