Pick a Diet Right for You

Pick a Diet Right for You

Most people, particularly Americans, will tell you they could do well to lose a few (or more) pounds. Just for the fact that for every pound gained, four pounds of pressure are put on the knees alone, dropping weight has been linked to a variety of health benefits. The problem, however, lies with the many diets there are to choose from and how they might apply to each individual.

Pick a diet that is right for you when it comes to specific goals, health concerns and schedule allotment. Once you have a gauge on the best food preparation and application that are a match you may find it easier to reach a goal and/or enjoy a better quality of life.

Mediterranean Diet

This is currently one of the most popular and most recommended diets for people that want to follow what is considered the ‘gold standard’ for nutritional and beneficial health. It comes from countries that border the Mediterranean such as Italy and Greece where food has been revered as more of a health medicine rather than a gluttonous experience. As a result, generations of people from these areas report a longer life with less disease, generally speaking. The Mediterranean Diet consists of less animal products such as poultry, dairy, and red meat as well as less or eliminated processed foods, trans-fats, refined grains, and added sugar and replacing them with foods such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Lentils

One study of former smokers on the Mediterranean Diet (MD) by combined work that included research from the Department and Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran concluded that,

High adherence to the MD is associated with a lower risk of lung cancer, especially in former smokers.

Another study by the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA in conjunction with Spanish researchers from Madrid, Spain stated that,

“A higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of renal function decline in older adults, suggesting benefits to health of this dietary pattern in Mediterranean countries.”

The only drawback to the Mediterranean diet is that calcium and vitamin D should be supplemented due to low dairy intake.


With so many studies showing the health risks of consuming excessive meat and dairy, the  vegetarian and vegan diets have been two longtime alternatives. However, connotations  associated with these two labels have described those that follow such a diet as being weak and anti-masculine. Therefore, to get around such a stigma and to be able to get “red blooded meat eating Americans” to eat more healthy, the industry has a new label called plant-based or flexitarian.

This is eating low on the food chain by incorporating similar foods as the Mediterranean diet. A vegetarian diet includes dairy and eggs but no meats or fish and a vegan diet is eating anything other than meat, dairy, fish, eggs and even honey.

A flexitarian or plant-based diet consists of, as reported by Healthline,

  • Consuming protein from plants instead of animals
  • Eating mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains
  • Eating the least processed, most natural forms of foods
  • Limiting sugar and sweets

In a nutritional update for physicians published The Permanente

“The major benefits for patients who decide to start a plant-based diet are the possibility of reducing the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions, lower body weight, decreased risk of cancer, and a reduction in their risk of death from ischemic heart disease.”

The DASH Diet

This diet is helpful if you are struggling with high blood pressure (hypertension). It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and revolves around incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats while reducing or eliminating excessive salt and sugar, red meats and bad fats.

This is an example of what you would eat on a DASH diet as posted by Healthline,

  • Five servings of vegetables
  • Five servings of fruit
  • Seven servings of healthy carbs like whole grains
  • Two servings of low fat dairy products
  • Two servings or fewer of lean meats

The DASH diet is an easy way to treat your body right especially when it is struggling with high blood pressure.

These are three examples of how to pick a diet right for you. If you don’t match with these take a look around as there are many ways to eat food and get health benefits just the same. Rathe than go on a “see food” diet, where whenever you see food you eat it, choose a healthy path from this point on so your body fires on all cylinders, all the time.