Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle. With so many different diets out there, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Luckily, experts have weighed in on the best diets to follow. From vegetarian to Mediterranean, there is an option out there that’s right for everyone. We’ve rounded up the top diets that experts recommend so you can make an informed decision about what to eat. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain energy, or just be healthier overall, find out which diet is right for you.
A vegetarian diet is an eating plan that doesn’t include meat, fish, poultry, or other animal products. Vegetarians typically don’t eat foods that come from animals, like eggs, dairy products, or fish oil. You can be a vegetarian for a variety of reasons—from ethical beliefs to environmental issues—but vegetarian diets are often thought to be healthier because they’re typically lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Vegetarians eat a variety of foods, including grains, legumes, and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and beans. Vegetarians can also eat eggs (although they’re not a necessary part of the diet) and some non-dairy products, like soymilk and yogurt. Vegetarians can get all of the nutrients they need, but it’s important to understand that certain nutrients can be hard to get enough of on a vegetarian diet. Iron, for example, is found in meat, but can also be found in beans and other legumes.
## Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets out there. It’s based on the eating habits of people in the Mediterranean region, including Spain, Italy, Greece, and countries in North Africa like Morocco and Tunisia.
The diet consists of a variety of plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. It also limits unhealthy fats like red meat and full-fat dairy products. Experts recommend the Mediterranean diet because it’s rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts, and fish oil. It’s also low in fat and saturated fat while high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s become so popular because it’s thought to help people feel satiated and improve digestion, which can help improve your mood and metabolism.
## Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that promises weight loss by forcing your body into a metabolic state called “ketosis.” Ketosis happens when you have such a low amount of carbohydrates in your diet that your body starts breaking down fats and using them as energy.
The diet has become incredibly popular recently, but it’s actually been around for over 80 years. Back in the 1930s, it was developed to treat epilepsy. Scientists don’t fully understand how it works, but they do know it has a few key health benefits. It can help you lose weight by forcing your body to use stored fat as energy instead of carbs. It can help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and decrease inflammation in the body, which can help with common health issues like arthritis and gastrointestinal problems.
## Whole30 Diet
The Whole30 diet is designed to overhaul your diet and transform your body. It’s based on the premise that unhealthy foods like processed meats, refined grains, and sugary drinks are making you sick and overweight.
The diet forbids these foods for 30 days and instead encourages a high-fiber, low-fat, whole foods diet. It focuses on vegetables, fruit, unprocessed meats, eggs, and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts. Whole30 is the most popular diet based on science, but it’s not the only one. There are many other diets that claim to help you lose weight and improve your health.
## Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is similar to the ketogenic diet, but with a few key differences. Paleo is based on eating foods that were available during the Paleolithic period—the time period between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago, when humans consumed only fresh meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Like the ketogenic diet, the focus is on eating nutrient-rich foods and avoiding foods high in saturated fat, sugar and processed foods. Paleo diets also encourage you to get plenty of exercise. You can eat the Paleo diet whenever you want, but it’s usually best to follow it for a few months to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. People who follow the Paleo diet tend to lose weight quickly because it’s high in fiber and low in sugar and processed foods.
## Dash Diet
If you want to eat healthy and lose weight fast, the Dash diet may be for you. It’s a short-term eating plan that utilizes a “dash” approach to counting calories and macronutrient ratios.
On the Dash diet, you eat a small breakfast of fruit, nuts, or oatmeal and then eat a few small meals throughout the day. This way, you avoid over-eating and consume fewer calories while still getting enough nutrients.
To count the calories, you take a daily “dash” of a macronutrient—protein, fat, or carbs—and you eat that amount for the day. For example, if you want to eat 500 calories, you would consume 100 grams of protein, 40 grams of fat, or 40 grams of carbs.
## Flexitarian Diet
The flexitarian diet is for people who want to eat healthfully, but don’t want to follow a strict diet. Like vegetarian and Mediterranean diets, it emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, and fish.
The difference is that flexitarians don’t eat vegetarian or vegan meals every day, opting for a more flexible approach to healthy eating. You can follow a flexitarian diet as long as you avoid rigid rules, like eating meat every day.
The flexitarian diet has a lot of benefits, including helping you feel satiated and lose weight. It’s also low in sodium and cholesterol, so it can help reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
## Intermittent Fasting
One of the most popular diets out there is intermittent fasting, also known as the 5:2 diet. It’s a strict eating plan that involves fasting for two days per week, eating normally the other five.
Fasting can help you lose weight because it makes your body process energy differently. Your body burns fat and muscle during fasting, so fasting helps you lose weight while expending energy.
The 5:2 diet is a great option for those who want to lose weight quickly because it involves eating small meals throughout the day, which can curb the hunger pangs that often lead to overeating.
## Weight Watchers Diet
The Weight Watchers diet is a popular diet that offers a points system to help you track calories and stay within a healthy range. You can purchase the Weight Watchers program, which includes a guidebook, software, and food items, or you can join a Weight Watchers group and meet with other dieters.
The Weight Watchers diet may be beneficial for people who want to lose weight quickly because it offers a balanced approach to healthy eating. It’s also low in sodium and can curb your hunger by keeping you from eating too much at mealtimes.
If you’re looking for a diet that’s healthy and easy to follow, the Mediterranean diet is for you. And if you want a diet that’s easy to follow, the ketogenic diet is for you. If you want to lose weight quickly, try the 5:2 diet, or if you want to eat healthier, try the vegetarian diet. Whatever diet you choose, remember to fuel your body with the right foods.