With so many diets out there, it’s hard to know where to begin, and nutrition is crucial now more than ever. During 2020, the majority of the population has quarantined, been unemployed, or simply has been inactive; such stressors can cause us to overeat and indulge in fatty foods with little to no nutritional value. These eating habits can lead to sluggish behavior, bloating, increased cholesterol, a weakened immune system, and a general lack of energy. To get you back on track, here are three trending diets that, with the right direction, can help optimize your health.
Have you ever heard of the peasant diet? If not, you may have heard it called the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has risen to fame over the past few years. For those pursuing a healthy lifestyle and looking to reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes, the Mediterranean diet offers a plethora of well-balanced meals, including the daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Studies conducted in the U.S., as well as Europe, connect the Mediterranean diet to the reduction of type 2 diabetes. Eating patterns associated with lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes were characterized by higher intakes of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. The studies compare this diet with a diet consisting of high intakes of red meat, sugar-sweetened food and drinks, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products (the Standard American Diet, known as the SAD diet).
- Individuals whose diets consisted of reducing their total meat and dairy intake by 50% and replaced them with fruit, vegetables, and cereals contributed the most to reducing the risk of mortality. During the study, fruit and vegetable consumption was increased by 63% and saturated fat and salt were decreased.
- It is important to remember that the Mediterranean Diet is more plant-based than meat-based. Under this diet, it is advised to limit your red meat intake and replace it with fish, poultry, beans, and eggs as protein sources. Instead of choosing butter for bread or general cooking, choose olive oil as your primary fat source. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat and has been found to lower total cholesterol.
- When it comes to choosing seafood, some good options include fatty fish: mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, lake trout, and albacore tuna (rich in omega-3 fatty acids).
- Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation in the body, as well as help reduce blood clotting and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure. Do You Know Your Omega 3 and Vitamin D Levels?
The Keto diet is high in fat (making the body work to burn it off, entering ketosis) and low in carbohydrates- 20-50 grams a day. But be careful that you do not cut out carbohydrates to the point of constipation, headaches, or bad breath.
- The Keto diet benefits vary person to person, depending on how much carbs people have stored/consume. That being said, the reduction of carbs (less than 20-50 g per day) can help individuals lead the body into a state of ketosis. Hence the keto diet. The intake of foods high in fat and low in carbs will have your body using the fat stored to burn for energy instead of carbs. Rich in proteins and fat, the keto diet consists of lean meats, eggs, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.
- While the keto diet has many benefits, there are a couple of things to remember: The keto diet is a restrictive diet, with the primary goal being weight loss. Individuals who suffer from kidney disease should consult their doctor before starting. This diet can bring on bad breath, nausea, and a general lack of energy.
- If you find yourself lacking in protein, try our Cypress Pharmacy’s Perfect Protein Powder. Animal protein can contain appreciable amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats. Additionally, they can also be sources of antibiotics, hormones, and other undesirable elements inherent in our food supply. Plant-based proteins have no cholesterol or saturated fat and, when properly formulated and enhanced, can provide protein with a nutritional value comparable to animal-derived proteins.
- Rice to cauliflower rice or shirataki rice
- Pasta to vegetable noodles made of zucchini, palmini, cabbage, and fennel
- Potatoes to rutabaga, turnips, radishes, and winter squash
- Cereals to nuts, seeds, and coconut
- Bread and wraps to lettuce wraps (for sandwiches), nori sheets (for sushi), collards
- Regular milk to nut, seed, or coconut milk
- Instead of butter or canola oil, try avocado oil or coconut oil
The Mediterranean Diet and the Keto Diet are healthy choices to consider if you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting. Both diets can give you fresh, lean meals to try out and keep you on track to your health goal.
- Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
- Once you’ve checked with your doctor to confirm this diet is safe for you, a simple approach would be attempting 16/8 fasting. What this means is that you’ll be eating for eight hours and fasting for sixteen. There is also 5/2 fasting, where you eat regularly for five days a week, then the other two days you consume 500-600 calories. While partaking in this fast, it’s important to remember to limit not only sugar intake in foods but as well as beverages. Drinks such as water and zero-calorie drinks are encouraged, as well as black coffee and tea, which hold little to no calorie or sugar intake.
- Consider adding Cypress Pharmacy’s Balance Meal Complete to provide additional nutrients and improve gut health.
- Top Benefits: improved memory, increased heart health, and physical performance.
In all, these trending diets reveal that with a little push and some dedication, we all can be on our way to a healthier version of ourselves. If you’ve wanted to try the Mediterranean and Keto diets or intermittent fasting, take a look at our easy outline. With the help of these tips, we hope you’ll find it easier to make meals for you and your loved ones that optimize your health. Remember to always check with your doctor or health care professional before making any changes.