Healthy eating trends come and go. But, there are a few that most Nutritionists, including me, can stand behind. With so many diets out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. After all, we see friends and social media influencers dropping pounds or adopting supposedly “healthy lifestyle.” But are these diet fads really a good idea? You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. SheKnows spoke with several nutritionists to get the level scoop on which diets are good for you and which really don’t work.
Here’s what you need to know.
Healthy Eating Diets
Healthy eating diets are not difficult to identify and they are backed up by plentiful research.
With an emphasis on cooking styles from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes eating plenty of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and red wine.
- Good fats like those from fish are beneficial and encouraged on the diet because of their high omega-3 content.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA from fatty fish, are nutrients that play a key role in heart, brain and eye health throughout life.
- The American Heart Association has gone so far as to include at least two servings of fatty fish per week in their dietary recommendations.
- The best way to stick with the Mediterranean Diet is by making it a lifestyle choice.
- There is a wide-variety of foods, no elimination of foods or food groups, and exercise is encouraged.
- Plus, it’s relatively easy to follow.
- I purchase these Mediterranean foods every time I head to the supermarket: boneless chicken breasts, salmon, hummus, Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, fresh herbs and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet focuses on vegetables, fruit and whole grains with lean proteins, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
- It is commonly prescribed to people with high blood pressure, but really, anyone can benefit from following its guidelines.
- It’s simply a healthy way to eat. In addition to including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
- The DASH diet limits sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets, as well as foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel and palm oils.
Though not a diet in the traditional sense, there has been a recent trend towards what many call “intuitive eating.”
Melissa Giovanni, a nutritionist at Balance Nutrition Counseling, explains:
- This practice involves learning to listen to and honor your hunger and fullness cues, as well as what makes you feel good mentally and physically.
- This isn’t meant to be a diet at all.
- Rather, it’s a shift in perspective that moves away from restriction and embraces body positivity.
- Most people find that when they recover from restrictive eating and eat the foods they really love, this is a way of eating that works in the long term.
Unhealthy Trends to Avoid
There are a number of reasons to avoid certain trendy diets, even when you’re hearing other people’s “success stories.” This includes:
Carb-restricting diets. The ketogenic diet. While a low-carb diet like keto may help you drop the pounds, it’s not necessarily healthy or sustainable.
Here’s why: The body requires carbohydrates for proper fueling, and rather than cutting carbs and adding fat, it is more beneficial to take in wholegrain carb sources and healthy fats. Also, it eliminates a healthy food group.
Calorie restrictions. Avoid focusing solely on reducing calories. Food selection matters as much as not more than caloric intake. Also, healthy food will keep you full much
We all know that a balanced, healthy diet is our best bet to look and feel better in the long term. There is no quick weight loss magic diet that will slim you down quickly, keep you feeling full, and improve your health. The good news is that so much has been written on the Mediterranean and DASH diets that there’s no shortage of food plans and recipes out there, so you won’t get bored any time soon.
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