Home Health Best eating practices backed by science to improve overall health and wellness

Best eating practices backed by science to improve overall health and wellness

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Scroll down to learn more about 7 diet plans to pick and choose, as recommended by our in-house nutritionist, M Sowmya, whether it’s for weight loss, better heart health, or just enjoying every bite guilt-free, for a healthy living! Read more…

Diet plans aren’t just about getting rid of excess weight and improving overall well-being. Changing your dietary habits can be one of the best possible ways to lose weight; at the same time, it also serves as an essential tool in optimizing health, improving your eating behavior and leading a more active and disciplined lifestyle.

Nevertheless, the many diets available can make it difficult for you to get started, and the whole process can be exhausting, causing you to give up before you find the best one. Different diets will be more adaptable, maintainable and more effective for different people. Also, a survey by Forbes Health states that 45% of people have not adhered to a diet in the past because they found it difficult to find the food, they enjoyed the specific diet plan.

A few diets focus on curbing appetite to lower your calorie intake, while others may limit carbohydrates or fat. In addition, some diets focus more on eating behavior and lifestyle changes than restricting certain foods, and many diets provide vital health incentives that go well beyond weight loss.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has long been valued as the gold standard for good nutrition, disease prevention, wellness and longevity. This diet is purely based on nutritional value and feasibility.

Also read: Mediterranean diet: know why this isn’t just another fad to follow in 2020

How does it work?

This diet consists of foods from different countries and regions such as Spain, Greece and Italy. The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating natural sources of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean meats, including:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Whole grain
  • Fish
  • nuts
  • lentils
  • Olive oil
  • Poultry, eggs and dairy should be eaten in moderation and red meat is restricted

The Diet Limits

  • Refined grains
  • trans fats
  • Processed meat
  • added sugar
  • Highly processed foods

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

  • Supports weight loss in a healthy and sustainable way
  • Improves heart health and functions
  • Lowers the risk of cancer and fights cancer
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Improve cognitive health and mood
  • Helps keep you calm and relaxed

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The DASH Diet

Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) is a diet designed to treat or prevent high blood pressure. This diet emphasizes eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. While also limiting the intake of salt, red meat, added sugars and fat. Although this diet is not a weight loss diet, many people start to lose a few pounds.

How does it work?

The DASH diet recommends specific servings of different food groups based on daily calorie intake, including:

  • 5 servings of vegetables
  • 5 servings of fruit
  • 7 servings of good complex carbohydrates
  • 2 servings of low-fat dairy products
  • 2 servings or less lean meat
  • In addition, nuts and seeds can be taken two or three times a week

Health Benefits of the DASH Diet

  • Supports controlling blood pressure and lowering risk factors for heart disease
  • Help reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancers
  • Studies show that the DASH diet can also help you lose weight

7 Healthy Foods for Overall Health

Plant-based and flexitarian diets

Well, veganism and vegetarianism are the most well-known forms of plant-based diets, completely avoiding the intake of animal products for health, ethical and environmental purposes.

More convenient plant-based diets also exist, such as the flexitarian diet, where the diet allows for eating animal products in moderation.

How does it work?

This diet generally restricts meat and meat products, but allows dairy products; however, vegan diets completely limit all animal products, including butter, dairy, and other by-products such as honey.

The flexitarian diet does not have a strict recommendation on calories and macronutrients; it is more an less considered a lifestyle modification.

It basically includes:

  • Protein from plants instead of animals
  • fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains
  • Whole and natural foods
  • Limit sugar and sweets

It offers the flexibility to add meat and animal products from time to time.

Health benefits of plant-based and flexitarian diets

Plant-based diets are beneficial for lowering the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as improving metabolic health markers, controlling blood pressure, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and losing weight.

A flexitarian diet has been proven to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, promote metabolic health, control blood pressure and lose a few pounds.

The MIND Diet

The Mediterranean DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet unites the concept of both diets to formulate an eating pattern that pays particular attention to brain health and wellness.

Also Read: The MIND Diet: Here’s Why You Should Be Eating These Top 10 Foods For Brain Health And Memory

How does it work?

The MIND diet does not have a strict meal regimen, but instead emphasizes eating specific foods with brain-stimulating properties. Food groups allowed in the MIND diet include:

  • 6 or more servings of green leafy vegetables
  • 1 serving of starch-free vegetables
  • 5 or more servings of nuts

Furthermore, it also makes it possible to include other foods several times a week:

  • berries
  • beans
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grain
  • Fish
  • Poultry

Health Benefits of MIND Diet

The MIND diet is known to improve cognitive health, lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
diet plan

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Intermittent fasting is an eating strategy that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. There are several forms of IF, including the 16/8 method, which limits calorie intake to 8 hours per day. Also, the 5:2 method limits daily calorie intake to 500-600 calories twice a week. However, it is best known as a weight loss diet and can have incredible benefits for improving both physical and mental health.

Also Read: Intermittent Fasting: Method, Types, Health Benefits & FAQ

How does it work?

Intermittent fasting limits the time allowed to eat, which is easy to reduce calorie intake. So, to support weight loss, this diet expects you to overeat during the allowed eating periods

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been linked to positive anti-aging effects, improves insulin sensitivity, improves brain health and reduces inflammation.

The Volumetric Diet

This diet was put together by Penn State nutrition professor Barbara Rolls Ph.D., which works well for both short-term and long-term weight loss. Rather than focusing on eating less, this diet encourages people to choose foods with a low energy density.

How does it work?

In this diet, you eat foods with a low calorie density, which makes you feel full and lose excess weight. Low calorie density foods are high in dietary fiber and water.

Health Benefits of Volumetric Diet

  • The volumetric diet is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, which help to increase the intake of important nutrients and prevent the risk of nutritional deficiencies
  • Lowers the risk of developing heart disease and cancer
  • Supports Weight Loss

Diet low in carbohydrates

Low-carb diets are among the most popular weight loss diets, including the Atkins diet, the keto diet, and the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

Low-carb diets are known for weight loss, including the Atkins diet, the ketogenic diet, and the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. Some types reduce carbohydrates significantly more than others. For example, the keto diet limits carbohydrates to less than 10% of total calories, while other types reduce carbohydrates to 30% or less.

How does it work?

Low-carbohydrate diets limit the intake of carbohydrates and replace them with proteins and healthy fat, which curbs the appetite, stimulates the metabolism and builds muscle mass. In the keto diet, the body starts to use fatty acids instead of carbohydrates for energy by converting them into ketones, and the process is known as ketosis.

Health Benefits of Low-Carb Diets

  • A low-carb diet lowers risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Improve Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Remarkably helps with weight loss than other low-fat diets

Conclusion

Several science-backed diets help you lose weight and give you clear health boosts. While all diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss, your diet will depend on your lifestyle and dietary preferences. This will ensure you stick with it in the long run.

Also, before starting any new type of diet, it’s always best to talk to your healthcare provider about your health condition, and they can help you choose which plan is best for you. Once you’ve made it a point to start a new diet, consult a dietitian or nutritionist who can help you change new rules and help you plan the meals you want to eat.

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