Popular Diets 2014

Here is a brief look at some of the most popular diets this year. I do not go into detail in this list and I do not tell the pros and cons of each. It is meant to spark your interest so you can do research on each one if you are considering going on one of these diets.

Gluten free: Meant for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, this eliminates gluten from the diet which is a protein composite found in wheat, barley and rye. It is the only treatment for those with celiac disease but for those with gluten sensitivities, it helps to eliminate unpleasant symptoms that may go along with eating gluten such as dermatitis, digestive issues, and inflammation.

Paleo Diet: This diet is based on the diet of humans during the Paleolithic Era. This diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture-raised meats, eggs, nuts, vegetables and fruit. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, refined sugars and salt, processed oils, and potatoes. 

Raw food: This diet consists of eating only uncooked and unprocessed foods. The raw food diet may consist of raw fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds, non-pasteurized and non-homogenized dairy products, and sprouted whole grains that are not heated to more than 116 degrees F.

Intermittent fasting: This is a diet that consists of periods of fasting or extremely limiting calorie consumption along with days of an unrestricted diet. There are variations within this pattern but the premise is that the body is meant to survive a feast and famine diet and can thrive in that situation.

Weight Watchers: This company focuses on “using a science-driven approach to help participants lose weight by forming helpful habits, eating smarter, getting more exercise and providing support”. This international company is based in the US and offers various products and services to assist in weight loss.

Mediterranean Diet: This way of eating is inspired by the eating habits of those living in the Mediterranean region. There is high consumption of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and unrefined cereal. There is moderate consumption of fish, cheese, yogurt and wine while meat consists of a low proportion of consumption. Several sources agree that this is one of the best diets for an overall healthier lifespan.

DASH Diet: DASH stands for “dietary approach to stop hypertension”. Controlling blood pressure with this diet is more than just eating low sodium. “It is based on an eating plan proven to lower blood pressure, a plan rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. It emphasizes whole grains and contains less refined grains compared with a typical diet. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.” http://dashdiet.org/what_is_the_dash_diet.asp

Vegan: “Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Most vegans also avoid the use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products.” http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/Vegan.htm

Volumetrics: This diet plan “focuses on the energy density of foods. According to [the founder] Dr. Rolls, awareness of the energy density of food (the number of calories in a specific amount of food) is the key to achieving healthy, long-term weight loss. This low-calorie, high-volume eating plan includes foods with a lot of water and fiber, since both supposedly increase your sense of fullness. Nothing is banned, and calorie-packed foods can be enjoyed as long as you stick within the recommended calorie intake. Low-energy density foods include: fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, beans, and lean meat”. ” http://www.healthline.com/health/volumetrics-diet

Ideal Protein: This diet focuses on both weight loss and education for keeping the weight off. Each person has a coach that they meet with weekly to get measured and set goals. Since many obesity problems stem from insulin dysfunction due to overindulgence in sugar, increased insulin leads to the body storing the sugar as fat and not having it available for fuel. That in turn causes sugar cravings due to low blood sugar. Ideal Protein has different phases of the diet and focuses on initially cutting out sugars while eating high quality protein. The first phase consists of meal replacement for breakfast and lunch while consuming lean meat and certain vegetables for dinner. 

*http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-overall-diets is a website that outlines the top rated diets.