Diet, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is ‘The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.’
Diet is our daily consumption of food. Every individual has the right to select what they wish to consume during the day, but it should also be noted that along with the selected one has to make sure the right nutrients are being supplied in the apt quantity, and the daily requirement of nutrition is being fulfilled.
Just as a healthy tip would also like to urge all the readers to consume healthy food which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein for optimization of health. It may not be necessary that a diet plan is followed, eating healthy in itself is a basic necessity.
Types of Diets
Based on the selected food items, the diet of several people can be categorized into various fields by what is being consumed most often and what are the restrictions imposed.
Diets are also imposed on one due to certain health issues or religious beliefs or simply to gain or to reduce weight. The various types of diets known are:
• Vegetarian Diet
A diet in which a person consumes no meat, fowl or fish and seafood and only consumes plant products like legumes, grains, vegetables, and fruits along with dairy products is called a vegetarian diet.
It is often considered healthy as processed meat adds processed fat to our diet which in turn has many ill effects on our health.
A vegetarian diet can further be broken into various types, these are:
- Lacto Vegetarians
- Ovo Vegetarians
- Lacto Ovo Vegetarians
- Low-Fat Vegetarians
• Semi-Vegetarian Diet
The various diets in which a person occasionally though rarely consumes meat.
This type of diet is further categorized as:
- Pollotarian: One consumes poultry products though only rarely.
- Pescatarian: The one who follows this diet might consume seafood.
- Kangatarian: Kangatarian is an Australian Specific as people might consume kangaroo though again very occasionally.
- Pollo – Pescatarian: A person on this diet might consume either poultry or seafood once in a while.
• Dukan Diet
A dukan diet is four phase diet to lose weight.
In the first two phases, a high protein diet is consumed along with a compulsion on the inclusion of oat bran followed by the other two phases where slowly proteins are cut on and non-starchy vegetables followed by carbs and then fats are added back to your diet.
It is believed that this diet makes you feel fuller for longer and also decreases the release of hunger hormone in our bloodstream.
• High Protein Diet
This diet aims to build muscles by consumption of proteins, unlike the other diets where the protein is consumed to cut on the carbs for controlling weight.
• South Beach Diet
This diet plan was introduced to initiate healthy eating habits in people. It educates us about good carbs and also helps us understand the carbs that we should avoid.
This diet includes a wide range of good fats, lean proteins, and good carbs. It helps in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle and not just a diet.
• Ultra Low Fat Diet
A low-fat diet generally cut down our fat levels to around 30% of the total carb intake, but this is an ultra – low-fat diet. The fat intake is brought down to under 10% of the total carbohydrate intake.
It is a plant-based diet with hardly any intake of meat.
• The Zone Diet
This diet is a low glycemic load diet. It puts a limitation of 30% for proteins and fats while 35 to 45% on carbohydrates. Glycemic load is the increase in the glucose level after consuming a particular amount of food.
This diet was introduced with the aim to reduce the inflammation induced in our bodies due to diet, lead to weight loss and also to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
• Raw Food Diet
This diet focusses on avoiding the consumption of cooked and processed food items. Laying stress on consumption of raw food. It helps in creating higher energy levels and decreases inflammation.
Less processed food leads to a decline in consumption of carcinogens, and thus we are prevented from the risk of many deadly diseases.
• Intermittent Fasting
This diet refers to the restrictions on calorie intake. It usually means fasting at regular intervals and then non-fasting for some time. It is a method which cuts on the calories and thus, helps in weight management.
• Detox Diet
Usually, many detox diets are available, and they vary from each other. But the primary aim of them all is to detoxify our body. It is done by fasting and consuming strictly only raw vegetables, fruit and drinking water and fresh fruit juices.
Two famous types of detox diets are:
- Juice Fasting: Juice fasting does not only help in detoxifying but also in helping to refuel our nutrition supplies.
- Master Cleanse: Master cleanse is a strict diet regimen in which liquid intake replaces the calories and nutrients which we receive from food.
• Belief-Based Diet
This type of diet primarily is a part of your belief or religion that you follow. Like Jainism promotes Lacto vegetarianism, Islam prohibits consumption of pig, Hinduism prohibits animal consumption, etc.
More than a choice, these diets are a part of us being nurtured.
Some of the examples of belief-based diets are:
- Buddhist Diet
- Hindu and Jain Diet
- Words of Wisdom
- Kosher Diet
- Islamic Dietary Laws
• Alkaline Diet
When too much acidity is felt in our system, then alkaline diet helps us rejuvenate by avoiding relatively acidic foods. This diet is known to have been beneficial for the overall body.
• Mediterranean Diet
This diet focusses mainly on high vegetable intake though it does not eliminate meat consumption.
Mediterranean diet helps in controlling blood sugar levels and also assisting with weight loss. This diet promotes fish over chicken and also encourages the consumption of whole grains, nuts, and herbs in large amounts.
• Ketogenic Diet
This diet is high in fat and extremely low in carbs. It is often considered one of the most strictly restrictive styles of eating.
This diet has been known to be beneficial for people suffering from metabolic disorders and neurodegeneration and even brain injuries.
• Vegan Diet
A popular trend these days which is being followed by celebrities too. Veganism is a way of life in which people completely give up consumption and usage of animals and animal by-products.
If followed by perfection vegan diet helps in detoxifying our body and also benefits us in many other ways.
• Paleo Diet
The paleo diet highlights the fact that our ancestors ate healthier than we do today. It is a way in which we eat almost the same diet that our ancestors used to consume to make us healthy. It thus focuses on the consumption of whole foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and lean proteins while sugar, fat and processed foods are cut on.
The modern and modified versions of paleo diet let us include tubers and some dairy products in our diet.
• Atkins Diet
A low carb diet which begins by letting you consume protein and fat to your heart’s content and cuts down on the carb levels of our diet.
Just like some of the other diet plans, the Atkins diet also functions in four phases:
The Induction phase: In this phase, the carb content is reduced to around 20 grams per day for straight two weeks.
In the next three phases, good carbs are slowly and steadily reintroduced in our diet.
• Hacker’s Diet
Another diet to reduce weight by controlling the calorie intake. It is a whole book published on the base that to control, maintain and manage our weight all we need to do is control our calorie intake.
• Low Carb Diet
Many low carb diet plans are available, but all of them function with an aim to let our body consume its fat for energy production rather than the usage of carbohydrates.
In general, any low carb diet limits our carbohydrate intake to 20-150 grams of carbs per day. As the fat is thus used to dissipate energy, hence the body starts to lose weight.
• Breatharian Diet
This diet is for the people who believe that for human existence food is not essential. It is believed that human life can solely sustain itself on the “prana” or the “soul” which breaths.
• HCG Diet
It is often believed that the HCG diet helps in losing large amounts of fat and boosts our metabolism and all this without us ever feeling hungry.
This diet is not explained in deep detail as the FDA doesn’t approve of this diet plan and labels it as dangerous, fraudulent and even illegal at times.
• Cookie Diet
As delicious as it may sound but this diet does help in controlling weight. It refers to the consumption and substitution of our regular meals with low-fat cookies.
• The Blood Type Diet
This is a fairly new concept wherein doctors are researching diets that will suit our blood types. It will aim at making people fulfill their dietary needs based on their blood type. Like people with blood group O are referred to eat more protein while those with blood group A are referred to avoid meat.
• Liquid Diet
When only liquids are consumed for meals, the diet is referred to as the liquid diet. It can be consumed for medical reasons on the prescription of the doctor or for any other purpose.
• Crash Diets
Any diet undertaken by prescription from a dietician for rapid weight loss and instant results is called a crash diet. The various types of crash diets known to us are:
- Beverly Hill Diet: It is often considered as an extreme diet as it is only based on fruit and finally extends to certain foods by the sixth week of the diet.
- Western Diet Pattern: As the name goes the western diet follows the eating habits of the western culture and thus includes Puddings, Milk, meat and white bread.
- Cabbage Soup Diet: It is considered as a fad diet wherein cabbage soup is consumed in large quantities in place of meals.
Apart from these commonly heard of diets few other diets have also been named here along with the categories they fall in:
• For Weight Loss
- Biggest Loser Diet
- Jenny Craig Diet
- Raw Food Diet
- HMR program
• Best Plant Diets
- Flexitarian Diet
- Ornish Diet
• Other Diets
- Fertility Diet
- MIND Diet
- TLC Diet
- Mayo Clinic Diet
- DASH Diet
These diets and also other medically prescribed diets together not only promote healthy living and prevent obesity but also helps us in living a detoxed life with proper nutritional intake for our bodies.
Though dictionary defines the diet as the food intake but in today’s world diet is also a form of living and controlling your eating habits to live a life full of health. The healthy diet also prevents several rather major illnesses and keeps us disease free.
Finally to conclude let’s just recapitulate that diet is just a way to consume our daily food intake and thus manage our weight, health and majorly our body.
We all should eat the best because it is our prime duty to focus on the health of our body as it is where we reside. A healthy diet does affect not only our healthy well being but also our physical activity, sleep, and lethargic nature is all dependent on the food we consume.
To understand diet the last way to end this article is to quote what Lord Buddha Once said and that; it is our duty to keep our body in good health otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. This statement in itself is the reason why these diets came into existence and are of utmost importance today.