Keto, Paleo, DASH – A Brief Overview of Three Popular Diets

3-Popular-Diets-Explained

There are hundreds if not thousands of different diets to choose from so it’s no wonder people are having a hard time finding a suitable weight loss plan. Fortunately, some diets are more popular than others as these are often endorsed by celebrities or national health organizations.

Today, I want to take a look at these three popular diets and give you a brief overview of what to expect when following them.

1. Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is essentially a low-carb, high-fat diet that forces your body to produce ketones that will be used for energy. Normally, glucose is the preferred source of energy, but when you restrict carb intake, you’re forcing your body into a state of ketosis.

As explained at Approaching Fitness, ketosis simply means switching from carbs to fat as an energy source. This results in lower insulin levels, decreased fat storage, and increased fat burning, ultimately resulting in weight loss.

Who is it good for?

A ketogenic diet is mostly good for anyone wanting to preserve muscle mass and lose fat. It is very popular among bodybuilders and fitness models. There may be some risks involved, so consult with your doctor if you have any medical issues.

What can you eat?

Meat, fish and seafood, eggs, cheese, natural fats, and low carb veggies are all highly recommended on a ketogenic diet.

What can’t you eat?

Avoid all foods high in sugar (sweets, soft drinks, pastries, fruits) and starches (like pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread).

2. Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is also known as a caveman diet:

You only eat foods that were presumably available to Paleolithic humans aka cavemen who hunted, fished, and gathered foods. This means consuming only real, unprocessed, non-packaged foods.

Who is it good for?

The Paleo diet is a great starting point for people who want to change their dietary habits and lead a healthier life. It can help you lose weight, lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and make you healthier in general.

What can you eat?

The Paleo diet is quite similar to the Ketogenic Diet as you can eat meat, seafood, eggs, and natural fats like seeds and nuts. Additionally, you can eat all types of fruits and vegetables.

What can’t you eat?

You shouldn’t eat dairy products, legumes, grains or any processed foods.

3. DASH Diet

The DASH diet is not actually a diet; it’s rather a healthy way of eating that focuses on portion size, eating a variety of highly nutritious foods, and cutting back on salt. It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and was voted the best diet for 2017 by US News & World Report.

Who is it good for?

Since the DASH diet is not really a diet, it’s great for anyone. However, the aim of the diet is to prevent (and lower) high blood pressure, so anyone having issues in this department should try it. Additionally, it is said to reduce the risk of many diseases, like diabetes, heart diseases, and kidney stones.

What can you eat?

DASH followers should eat more vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole-grain foods, natural fats, lean meats, and fish.

What can’t you eat?

Eliminate foods that are high in trans fats, cholesterol, and saturated fats. Limit red meats, sugary drinks, sweets, and sodium.

Wrapping it Up

Choosing the right diet plan to follow is not an easy task. In my opinion, the key is listening to your body and focusing on how you feel instead of the number on the scale. See “The Principles of Intuitive Eating“.

That said, these three diets can all make you lose weight and avoid a myriad of health problems. If none of them work for you, I encourage you to keep looking. Good luck with finding what’s right for you!

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