Famous diets: Pros and cons

Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of different diets in the world. Some of them are designed to lose body weight, some, on the contrary, to increase body weight, others to lower cholesterol levels, improve overall health, and increase life expectancy. So, for example, the Mediterranean diet reflects the culinary habits of the inhabitants of southern Europe.

The word “diet” comes from the old French word diete and the medieval Latin dieta, which meant the daily amount of food consumed. The Latin word diaeta and the Greek word diaita mean lifestyle and diet.

The diet can be described as a set of nutritional courses, including food and fluid intake, in which the amount and type of food consumed is strictly planned in order to achieve results in the process of getting rid of extra pounds or while maintaining a certain lifestyle.

Atkins diet

The Atkins Diet, or the Atkins Diet Approach to Nutrition, focuses on controlling insulin levels in the body through diet. When large amounts of refined carbohydrates are consumed, the level of insulin in the body rises sharply and then drops just as sharply. An increase in insulin levels encourages the body to accumulate as much energy as possible when absorbing food, however, such an accumulation of adipose tissue in the future for energy metabolism is unlikely. Most patients who follow the Atkins diet consume more protein.

Zone diet

Such a diet helps to maintain a certain ratio of nutrients entering the body: 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, 30% protein with each meal. This diet focuses on controlling insulin levels, which as a result leads to a fairly successful shedding of extra pounds and control of body weight. The Zone Diet mainly consumes high quality carbohydrates: unrefined carbohydrates, unrefined fats, olive oil, avocados, nuts.

Vegetarian diet

Actually, there is no single vegetarian diet, it is divided into different types, for example, lacto vegetarian, fruitarian, lacto-ovovegetarian, live vegetarian diet, ovovegetarian, sandovegetarian or even only half vegetarian diet. Most vegetarians adhere to the lacto-vegetarian principle, that is, they do not eat animal products with the exception of eggs, milk and dairy products and honey. Recent studies have shown that vegetarians are lower in body weight, suffer less from various diseases and generally have a longer life expectancy compared to people who eat meat.

Vegan diet

Veganism is, in fact, more of a lifestyle and philosophy than a diet. Vegans do not consume any animal products, including eggs, milk, dairy products, and honey. In general, vegans not only follow a specific diet for health reasons, but also because of the environment and according to specific ethical standards. According to vegans, modern intensive livestock production is extremely damaging to the environment and is not long-term positive; they believe that with all-plant production, the environment will have some benefit, animals will not suffer, food production will increase, and the population will be in better physical and mental health.

Weight Monitoring Diet

These types of diets focus on losing weight through adherence to a specific daily diet, exercise, and support for followers. The diet was developed back in the 60s by one of the housewives who was able to lose weight, however, was concerned that her previous weight might return. Thus, she created a network of friends who supported her, but now such a network has become a really large commercial corporation with branches in many countries. Followers of this diet can join the network by attending meetings, or simply chatting with other participants online, receiving support and training on losing weight and maintaining optimal body weight.

South Beach Diet

The founders of this diet are recognized cardiologist, Dr. Agatston, and nutritionist Marie Elmon. The diet focuses on insulin control and the benefits of unrefined slow carbohydrates versus fast carbohydrates. Dr. Agatston developed the diet in the 90s as he was frustrated with the low-fat, high-carb diet promoted by the American Heart Association. According to him, low-fat diets are not effective in the long run.

Raw food diet

The raw food diet, or raw food diet, involves eating unprocessed foods and beverages that are purely plant-based and perfectly organic. According to raw food aficionados, approximately three-quarters of all foods consumed should be unprocessed and not cooked in any way. A significant number of so-called raw foodists are also vegans who do not consume animal products. There are four main types of raw foodists: vegetarian raw foodists, vegan raw foodists, raw foodists using plant foods, and raw foodists using meat products.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is the diet of the inhabitants of southern Europe, in particular, it focuses on the culinary habits of the inhabitants of Crete, Greece and southern Italy. Currently, it also includes Spain, southern France and Portugal, despite the fact that the latter has no access to the Mediterranean Sea. the basis of this diet is plant-based foods, fresh fruit for dessert, legumes, nuts, cereals, grains and olive oil as the main source of dietary fats, cheeses and yoghurts as the main source of dairy products, moderate amounts of poultry, about four eggs per week, low amount of red meat, and low to moderate consumption of wine. Fat is about one third of the Mediterranean diet, with less saturated fat than 8% of total calories.

Western diets can shorten your life

According to the sensational statement of Dr. Tasnim Akbarali (Montpellier, France) and her colleagues, their results showed that the so-called Western diet, which is high in sugary and fried foods, increases the individual risk of early death. The shocking results were published in the American Journal of Medicine.

As explained by Dr. Akbarali, the effect of diet on the development of specific diseases associated with aging has been studied quite thoroughly, however, few studies have taken a holistic approach to determine the relationship between diet and overall health in old age. In a recent study, researchers assessed whether diet as measured in middle age using dietary models and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) could be associated with aging phenotypes after 16 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that study participants who had a lower AHEI score also had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death.

The benefits of plant-based diets

The well-known popular magazine Food Technology has published a report that explains that the so-called plant-based diets minimize or completely eliminate the genetic predisposition of people to develop chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and environmental diseases.

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