Different Types Of Diets – An Overview

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Over the years I shared plenty of recipes with you on my blog. At the moment they mostly fall into 3 different categories of diets:

Low Carb Diet
Paleo Diet
Vegan Diet

As I want to make it as easy for you as possible to find what you are looking for I regrouped the different diets for you. While we’re here I will use this space to give a short explanation of the key ideas of each of the diets.

Balanced Diet

What’s A Diet?

There are several basic definitions of what a diet is. I suggest to divide it into four ideas:

  1. The basic idea is the one people tend to overlook. A diet is your daily intake and variety of foods that you eat on a habitual basis. It literally comes down to your usual food consumption.
  2. Then we have what most people think of it if they hear diet, which restricts the amount of food they eat in order to lose weight. This means a diet based on a caloric deficit.
  3. Next, we have a diet that restricts the types of food allowed in a given diet. This can be more ethical, philosophical, religious and/or medical reasons.
  4. Lastly, we have a combination of 1-3. People often go “on a diet” because they want to lose weight and cut calories and restrict the foods in their diets.

The key to any successful and sustainable diet though is to find a combination of foods that you enjoy, make you feel great and support you in your long-term goals.

Diet For Weight Loss

Before we go to more specialized diets we have to establish what and how most people eat in the Western world. That’s why. So let’s have a look at the standard western or American diet.

Standard Western or American Diet

This diet is what most people in the Western world or the USA eat on a daily basis. It is usually high in carbohydrates, fat (especially refined vegetable oils), dairy and red meat. The carbohydrates are mostly refined sugars as this diet is often based on processed foods and fast/junk food. Furthermore, it has a very low intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Fast Food Diet

In case you haven’t ralized it yet, the acronym for the Standard American Diet is SAD. This says it all.

Low Carb Diet

In a low carb diet, you’ll eat fewer carbohydrates compared to a standard Western diet. To compensate for the decrease in calories you’ll eat a higher amount of fat. That’s why low carb diets often are labelled as low carb, high-fat diets (LCHF for short) or more restrictive LCHF diets are called a ketogenic diet.

Aspargus

There is no official guideline or rule of when a diet is considered low carb and in often depends on your lifestyle. A strictly ketogenic diet though restricts the intake of carbohydrates to 20-30 grams of net carbs a day.

Don’t be afraid to eat more fat, fat is your friend. The important part is to eat healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, fatty cuts of meat and fish. Don’t eat highly processed oils such a vegetable oils.

Healthy Fats Diet - Avocado

Don’t jump blindly into any new diet. Evaluate what you want to achieve and do some research. Here is some research to start with:

Ask your doctor and nutritional for advice concerning changes in your dietary lifestyle. There is no perfect diet and not every diet fits your circumstances.

Here are all my low carb recipes!

Paleo Diet

Another popular diet is the Paleo diet. It’s claimed to be the “best”, “healthiest” or as the “only diet that works” (some further reading material for your research). The general idea is to eat like our ancestors a few hundred years ago would have eaten and that therefore it works with our body best.

Vegetables Make the Paleo Diet

Basically, if you’re favourite cavemen wouldn’t have eaten it, neither would you if you follow this diet.

Between our cavemen and today, a lot of agricultural advances happened. That’s why plenty of calorie sources are to be avoided on a Paleo diet:

  • processed foods and sugar
  • grains
  • starches
  • legumes
  • alcohol.
  • dairy (the philosophies about dairy are divided, but Paleo folks usually avoid it).

This means that on a paleo diet you would eat

  • plenty of vegetables
  • meats
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • some fruit
  • healthy fats

Sounds somewhat difficult but with the core question “would cavemen eat it?” being on a Paleo diet isn’t difficult. As the guidelines are more flexible, it’s more a philosophy or way of life.

Some Seafood for your Diet

This is what people often get wrong about the Paleo diet: it’s not a meat based diet. First and foremost you ought to make vegetables the base of your food pyramid, then you add your protein and fat. And only then some carbohydrates.

Ask your doctor and nutritional for advice concerning changes in your dietary lifestyle. There is no perfect diet and not every diet fits your circumstances.

Here are all my Paleo recipes!

Vegan Diet

With increasing popularity, we have the vegan diet. Similar to a Paleo diet, it’s a philosophical approach to your lifestyle. On a vegan diet, you don’t consume any foods that are made out of or use in any other way animals or animal derived products.

This means that there are no meats, fish, seafood in a vegan diet on the one side. On the other side no dairy products, eggs or honey.

Vegetables for your Vegan Diet

Very often people extend this dietary veganism to a lifestyle of veganism. In this case, people don’t use any material that is made of animals or animal products either. Very often people go on a vegan diet for ethical or animal rights reasons.

Being vegan doesn’t need to be a limiting factor. After getting to know the concept you can have great recipes on such a lifestyle and have a good life.

As with everything, make sure you understand what you do, why you do it and why (in terms of diets and life in general).

Greens

Ask your doctor and nutritional for advice concerning changes in your dietary lifestyle. There is no perfect diet and not every diet fits your circumstances.

Here are all my vegan recipes!

Share this article and the recipes with your friends and give them a few ideas on what to cook next time they are in their kitchen.

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