Picking The Best Healthy Diet Plan
With so many options to choose from, whom is to say which is the best healthy diet plan available. I think it is mostly a matter of personal preference. So, I did some research and have narrowed down some options that I think are worth taking a closer look at. At this point I would like to mention that although these “diets” include the word diet in their names, I found them to better resemble healthy eating plans rather than a diet for weight loss. I began by looking for plans that would provide the best nutrition, then the wider variety of food choices and finalized with ease of use. Below are my suggestions, along with some basic information about each plan, to help you along with your decision. My hope here is that you pick one of these diet plans and get started on a path to a happier and healthier you.
** Note: This article was written for entertainment purposes only. We at Recipe Critique are not medical professionals and emphatically encourage you to seek the advice of a medical professional before beginning any diet plan. **
My Favorite Healthy Diet Meal Plans Are:
The Mediterranean diet – This is a very healthy diet meal plan that allows you to eat almost everything, within reason. However, there is a strong focus on vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, fish, seafood, and plenty of olive oil. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt should be consumed in moderation, and the occasional red meat is acceptable, although eating fish and seafood is encouraged as opposed to meat. The basic guiding principle lies in whole, single ingredient foods. I like the idea of this diet as it allows a glass of red wine per day! You should not consume sugars, processed meats, refined grains and oils or any other highly processed foods. Whole foods are a strong focus when eating this diet plan.
The Dash Diet – This heart healthy diet plan was originally developed to help people with health concerns. But it was found that the Dash Diet plan worked really well for weight loss. This eating plan claims to help with diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower your risk of certain cancers, heart disease and strokes. The heart of the DASH diet is an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, along with nuts, beans, and seeds. The plan contains a lot of whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans. It is high in fiber and low to moderate in fat. It is a plan that follows US guidelines for sodium content, along with vitamins and minerals. The Dash diet consists of easy to follow guidelines. Eat 3 meals a day and indulge in 2 to 3 snacks every day; Eat a variety of colorful vegetables as the main portion of your dish; Include lean protein-rich foods to enhance satisfaction; Consuming low-fat or nonfat dairy foods. Eat fresh fruits, and nuts and seeds for heart-healthy snacks.
The Leptin Diet – Leptin (the satiety hormone) is a hormone that helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. Leptin counteracts ghrelin (the hunger hormone). Leptin’s primary function is to regulate fat stores.The leptin diet consists of 5 basic principles: Never eat after dinner. Finish eating dinner at least 3 hours before bed. 2. Eat 3 meals a day, with 5 to 6 hours between each meal. Snacking is not permitted. This allows triglycerides to be cleared from your blood stream. A buildup of triglycerides blocks leptin. Exercise portion control. Do not eat large meals. Finish eating when you are slightly less than full. It takes up to 20 minutes for your mind to recognize that you are full. Eat slowly! Eat a breakfast that contains 25 grams or more of protein. This simple act may increase your metabolism by as much as 30% for up to 12 hours. Reduce consumption of carbohydrates. Limit but do not eliminate. While carbs are a necessity, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. (Carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruit, corn, and squash). When you eat in harmony with leptin your head will feel clearer and your energy levels will improve, cravings disappear, and your health will improve.
Is A Low-Carb High-Fat diet The Answer?
The Ketogenic Diet – The keto diet is a low carb diet, where energy is derived by ketones that are produced in the liver as opposed to glucose derived from high amounts of carbohydrates. Many refer to this as the low-carb diet. As the easiest source of energy found in the body, glucose is the first source used to provide energy. The caveat with this is that when glucose is the primary source of energy, the fats in the body are not needed and are simply stored for future use. When we lower the intake of carbohydrates, thereby removing the source of glucose, the body goes in to a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a normal, natural process the body begins when food intake is low. The body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The derived benefits of the keto diet are believed to be numerous. Weight loss – this is reported to be one of the quickest ways to lose weight. Lower blood sugar levels, thereby managing or preventing diabetes, increased mental acuity. Some believe the diet also helps to control blood pressure and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A large concern with this diet plan is the long term effect on your body. Some believe that
due to the high fat consumption you are at greater risk of heart disease. However, much more medical research is required on this. Some know side effects include constipation, possible kidney stones or high levels of acidity.
The Raw Food Diet – Raw foodism or a raw food diet is eating only, or mostly, uncooked, unprocessed foods. Raw food diets may include a selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat, and dairy products. There are two differing types of raw foodism. The first is Raw Veganism. The raw vegan diet is comprised mainly of raw plant foods. Nothing should be cooked at a temperature higher than 40 degrees C or 104 F. The second is a raw Animal Food Diet. This diet plan includes raw meats, raw seafood and eggs. The idea of this one kind of grossed me out, but think steak tartare and sashimi? While I do not do the steak tartare, I absolutely love some sashimi. People who partake of either of these diets tend to believe that cooking foods depletes the food of its natural antioxidants, enzymes and nutrients. Due to the fact that I like hot food, I did not spend too much time on this diet plan. The plan, for me, appears to be time and labor extensive. Another concern is the possibility of food borne illnesses.
The Whole30 Diet – The basic principle of this diet plan is to eliminate bad for you foods completely from your diet for 30 days. While you can and should consume whole, unprocessed, foods you should eliminate added sugars, alcohol, tobacco products, grains, legumes, dairy products of all kinds, and baked foods. In addition to this you are strictly forbidden to weigh yourself or take any kind of body measurement throughout the 30 days. However, there are some dietary exceptions. The following items are all allowed on the Whole30 diet plan. Ghee or clarified butter; Fruit Juice; Legumes – Green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas; Vinegar – all kinds except Malt vinegar; Coconut Aminos (a great replacement for those avoiding soy and gluten) and Salt. You can and should eat reasonable portions of meat, seafood and eggs, an abundance of vegetables, some fruit and natural fats. Aim to eat whole foods with no ingredient list for the entire 30 days. While I do like the foods on this plan I fear that too many are excluded for most people. Also, anything that is done for only 30 days really should be considered a diet. The goal of the best healthy diet plan should be a permanent lifestyle change.
Our intention with this list is that you use this list to narrow down your options and then conduct further research of your own. Please consult a physician or registered dietician before embarking on any drastic dietary changes. There are pros and cons to each of these diet plans. I think the best healthy diet plan for me may just be the keto diet. I already tend to not indulge too much in most carbohydrates. I do not use sugars, eat minimal starches and never drink beer. While I do like berries, due to the sugar content, I do not eat a lot of other fruits regularly. The keto diet allows up to 50 grams of carbs per day and mine will probably be all potatoes. However, maintaining an ideal weight after 40 is a challenge so I will be doing further research and sampling some of the keto recipes available. Please check in with my in the future to follow my keto diet plan journey and maybe find some new keto recipes.