Popular diet plans and benefits of a healthy diet

Asesh K. Chowdhury
March 02, 2020
Views : 3929
Popular diet plans and benefits of a healthy diet

There are various diet plans out there and here we'll discuss some of the most popular and beneficial diet plans. There is on one single diet plan that is suitable for everyone. This is quite obvious considering the fact that everybody's anatomy is different, even the anatomy of identical twins is different.

What is dieting?

Dieting is the regulation of the intake of food for the attainment of certain goals. It may be for the purpose of improving one's physical condition or to combat certain diseases. Dieting may be an effective way of combating obesity which is a growing problem in the current day scenario. Dieting plans are mostly aimed to reduce or increase the consumption of certain micronutrients like proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These micronutrients constitute a major portion of our diet other than water. There may be various approaches to following a diet and some of them are mentioned below:

  • A controlled and balanced diet- in this approach the aim to attain an optimum level of all-round development through a balanced diet. This type of dieting will include the consumption of nutrients, fibres, vitamins in a controlled and balanced manner.
  • A prudent diet- this approach is aimed to control cholesterol and blood lipid levels for patients who are at risk of coronary artery diseases. Here the focus is to reduce the consumption of saturated fats and increase the consumption of unsaturated fats.
  • A formula diet- this is a popular form of diet popular among athletes and bodybuilders. It comes in the form of powered or liquid supplements which is to be a taken a number of times every day.
  • A high fibre and high carbohydrate diet- the consumption of nuts, fruits, whole grains and vegetable are considerably increased.

What is a balanced or healthy diet?

Unlike diet plans, a healthy diet is for everybody. In order for the body to function at an optimum level, the body needs all the necessary nutrients which come from the food we eat. A balanced diet is of utmost importance and keeps the body free from diseases and at the same time keeps the mental and physical functioning of the body at an optimum level. Our body can be compared to a machine and just like a machine needs regular oiling, out the body, needs to be nourished with the intake of proper and regulated amounts of water, protein, carbohydrates, fats and sugar. Consuming a balanced and healthy diet on a regular basis may have a number of health benefits. A healthy weight can be maintained, the immune system gets a boost and the digestives system is also improved.

There are certain parameters to following a healthy and balanced and they are as follows- the calorie intake should be equal to the amount of calorie spent by the body, your daily diet should contain lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, the intake of fat should be limited and healthier unsaturated fats should be consumed instead of unhealthy saturated fats, intake of granulated sugar should be limited and all sources of sodium and salt should also be limited.

A balanced diet gives the body all the required nutrients and vitamins that it needs to function properly. The following is a list of foods items that should be completely avoided or limited-

  • Pizza
  • Burgers
  • Energy drinks
  • Cheese
  • Sausages
  • Unhealthy fats
  • Sodas
  • Sports drinks
  • Doughnuts
  • Candies
  • Cakes

These food items provide little to no nutritional value and are sources of empty calories. Empty calories are calories that usually come from solid fats and sugar. Instead, our diet should incorporate food items like-

  • Fruits- they are an excellent source of nutrition and are tasty to eat. Although they are high in sugar, it is not harmful to the body as they are considered to be natural sugar. But if you are a patient of diabetes then you should go for low-sugar fruits.
  • Vegetables- they are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. The most amount of nutrients can be found in dark leafy vegetables, and can also be consumed in every meal.
  • Whole grains- they are a good source of nutrition.
  • Nuts- an excellent source of healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Proteins- are essentially required for the proper development of the muscle and brain. Lean meat and beans are good sources of protein. Healthy alternatives to meat can be tempeh, soy-based products or tofu.
  • Dairy- they are a good source of essential nutrients, vitamin D and calcium.

These food items provide all the required nutrients and vitamins required by the body to function properly.

Importance of a healthy or balanced diet:

In order for your organs, tissues and muscles to work properly your body need the proper intake of nutrients and vitamins and this can be achieved through a balanced diet. Without a healthy or balanced diet, the body becomes prone to disease, fatigue, infection and poor mental and physical performance. Growth and development problems usually occur among children who have a poor diet. This can further result in poor academic performance and eating disorders. The following are some of the benefits of a balanced diet:

  • Helps in losing weight- a balanced diet helps in maintaining healthy body weight. Being overweight may lead to certain conditions like heart problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and poor bone density. In order to lose weight, calorie consumption must be reduced. Vegetables and fruits are low in calorie and high in nutritional values.
  • Improves quality of sleep- a balanced and a healthy diet helps to improve the quality of sleep. Sleep disorders usually occur due to obesity, high alcohol consumption or due to an unhealthy or sedentary diet.
  • Improves the digestive system- a diet which is low in fibre affects the functioning of the digestive system and in turn, results in poor bowel movement. On the other hand, a diet rich in fibre improves the digestive system and eases the bowel movement.
  • Promotes better memory- a diet containing food items like vitamin D, E and C, omega-3 fatty acids, fish, flavonoids and polyphenols may help prevent problems like cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Helpful for diabetics- a healthy diet can be beneficial for a diabetic patient as it helps to maintain a healthy weight, manages blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and may prevent or delay complications of diabetes.

Here are some popular diet plans that you can follow:

  • Ketogenic Diet

This is essentially a low carb diet where the intake of fat and protein is increased. The focus is to attain energy from fats and proteins rather than from carbohydrates. This diet is similar to a normal low carb diet and Atkins diet.

The aim is to attain a metabolic state known as ketosis. This can be attained by drastically reducing the intake of carbohydrates and replacing it with fats and protein. When we reach this stage, the body becomes extremely efficient in burning fats and using them for energy. Energy is supplied to the brain as the fats turn to ketones in the liver. This is turn helps to lose weight more efficiently. Numerous benefits can be achieved by following this diet and can cause huge reductions in insulin and blood sugar levels. The body's metabolism is shifted away from carbs and towards ketones and fat. Usually a Ketogenic contains low- carb vegetables, cheese, eggs, butter, fish, avocados, nuts, heavy cream, etc. At the same time essentially all sources of carb are eliminated which would include high carb vegetables, milk, potatoes, rice, grains, beans, sweets, cereals, etc.

  • Vegan Diet

This type of diet essentially restricts all animal products due to health, environmental and ethical reasons. This is also known as the strictest form of vegetarianism and is also a form of resistance to animal cruelty and exploitation. In additions to eliminating all non-vegetarian products it also eliminates all animal products like dairy products, honey, gelatine, casein, whey, etc. This diet is known to be highly beneficial for weight loss.

  • Atkins Diet

This a well-known tried and tested diet plan. This is a low carb diet plan aimed at weight loss. The proponents of this diet insist that weight can be lost even when consuming fats and proteins as much as you like while restricting the intake of carbs. This diet is divided into two phases. The first phase involves the consumption of under 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. In the second phase, you slowly start introducing healthy carbs into your diet.</p

  • HCG Diet

Also known as the human chorionic gonadotropin diet is an extreme form of dieting where you lose 1-2 pounds per day. Without inducing hunger, it boosts metabolism and weight loss.

  • Dukan Diet

This diet is divided into four phases focusing on weight loss. The first two phases focus on weight loss while the next two phases are known as the maintenance phase. This is a low-carb, high-protein diet where each phase has its own dietary pattern. During the first two phases of the diet, you are allowed to incorporate unlimited protein into your diet. The next two phases involve the incorporation of non-starchy vegetables, carbs and fats.

These are some of the popular diets people around follow and you too can incorporate the diet plan best suited to your lifestyle. Being on a healthy diet can be beneficial to your body in various ways.

Asesh K. Chowdhury

Asesh K. Chowdhury

Asesh is a content writer at Healthmug. He's a voracious reader accompanied with a vivacious personality. Asesh is an aspiring sociologist with a love for sports. Simplicity is at his core and this is reflected in his writing which is effulgent and far from being sybaritic.

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