A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can vary greatly, depending on who you are asking. There are many varieties of healthy diets but they all have one thing in common – they are better for you than diets that are high in saturated fats, preservatives and sugars. Their differences, however, may affect your personal diet choices as well as how easily you can implement your new diet. Here, some of the most common healthy diet options will be outlined.

USDA Guidelines

The USDA guidelines is a really great place to start when considering a healthy diet. Recent changes in the picture model, now known as “My Plate” has made it evident that the majority of your nutrients should come from vegetables and fruits. Americans often eat more protein – particularly animal protein – than they need. The same goes for dairy products. The main problem, however, is that it can be difficult to determine by looking at the model, which foods qualify under a particular food group. A clear understanding of what protein and dairy means can help you effectively implement the USDA food guidelines.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diets

Vegetarian diets are primarily plant-based diets. Vegan diets are completely plant-based. Both avoid animal meat products. There are many reasons why people choose to become vegetarians – from animal humanity to hormone use in animals. Vegetarian or vegan diets often seem lacking in iron, protein, calcium or B12 to those who do not understand the parameters of a plant-based diet. If researched well and implemented carefully, a plant-based diet can be very healthy – very low in saturated fats and high in vitamins and minerals.

Many plant eaters also affirm that this diet may have been the reason they were cured from a number of ailments –  from eczema to obesity to diabetes. There are evidences which showed that most vegetarians and vegans suffer from less heart attacks, strokes and experience less obesity and other health related conditions than their meat-eating counterparts.

Carb-Free/Low Carb Diets

A Healthy DietMany people also swear by what is known as a carb-free or low carb diet. In this diet, all foods are allowed except foods that belong to the  carbohydrates group. Protein is often the core of the meal. Sadly, however, scientists have started to discover some serious long-term health complications from eating this type of diet.

Constipation, fatigue, halitosis, constipation and ketosis are just a few of the health complications that can be experienced while following a carb-free or low carb diet. Some of these complications are potentially life-threatening. Those wishing to start a carb-free or low carb diet should talk to their doctor about long-term effects.

Low Fat Diets

Individuals who eat a low fat diet avoid fatty foods. This type of diet is low in saturated fats which has positive effects on the heart. Certain fats, however, are essential for bone and joint health, brain function and more. One example would be omega-3 fatty acids. Excluding these fats from your diet can also have negative health ramifications. Before starting a low fat diet, you should talk to your doctor about the types of fats that should be in your diet as well as the amount of these fats that you should consume on a daily basis.

Raw Diets

Raw diets consist of eating only raw foods. Raw diets can either include all food products or just plant-based foods. The mentality of the raw food consumer is that nutrients are depleted during the cooking process and that by eating foods raw, you receive more nutrients from the foods you eat. While this is true, there are some considerations that must be made before starting on a raw food diet.

Raw food diets that include all foods can be dangerous. Some foods contain pathogens like E Coli and salmonella. Cooking kills these harmful pathogens, making the foods safe to eat. Animal products are the foods in which these pathogens are most commonly found.

While you can exercise a raw plant-based diet with very little risk in the way of pathogens, you must also recognize that in order to achieve certain vitamins and minerals commonly found in animal products, you have to be conscious about the foods you eat. Removing animal products from your plate does very little for your health if you do not replace the nutrients found in animal products with the right plant-based foods.

Any healthy diet has a certain amount of limitations. Some have risks. Understanding what a healthy diet consists of, what nutrients you need to help your body function properly and where those nutrients are found are key in the success of any healthy diet.

Before you start on any diet, you should first talk to your doctor, especially if you have certain health conditions. The wrong diet can quickly agitate certain health conditions and in some cases, this can be fatal. With your doctor, you can devise a healthy eating plan that will ensure that you receive the nutrients you need and achieve the results you are looking for.

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