Gluten free is still the way to be. Ancient grains such as spelt, quinoa, and flaxseed are making a trendy comeback. Kale, coconut, chia seeds, and olive oil are in. Eat less, exercise more is key. Here are a few hot diet trends that people are talking about now.
DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
The DASH Diet is based on research studies sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It is similar in nature to the Mediterranean Diet, wherein you eat foods that include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts. Sodium intake is limited. Red meat should be consumed in moderation, as should sweets, sugar-sweetened drinks, and alcohol. Portion control is important, as is exercise. DASH helps lower or control blood pressure and also lowers LDL cholesterol, with the potential for reducing the risk of heart disease.
For more information, visit http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf
Volumetrics is being touted as a balanced diet and was developed at Penn State University. It’s a different approach to eating than what is typically considered dieting. It’s about food density and divides food into 4 groups. Category 1 is super low density and includes non-starchy fruits, vegetables, nonfat milk, and light soups. Category 2 is low density and includes more fruits, vegetables, beans, and low-fat recipes. Category 3 is medium density and encompasses meat, cheese, fried foods, breads, ice cream, and cake. Lastly, Category 4 is high density and is all about cookies, chocolate, nuts, butter, oils, and high-fat snacks. Nothing is off limits in this diet but the focus is on eating foods that are full of fiber and water.
Raw Food Diet
Based on information from decades ago, what’s old is new again. Raw food is defined as having not been cooked, genetically engineered, or processed. Following this plan usually adds up to significant caloric reduction, leading to weight loss. A large part of this diet is vegan, though you could theoretically consume raw fish, unpasteurized milk, or cheese made from the same. On the Raw Food Diet, you eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Grains such as raw flaxseed are acceptable, as are dried legumes (chickpeas, edamame). You can use virgin olive oil and raw coconut oil. Herbal teas are welcome here. Using a juicer is important.
Here you eat whatever you want during an 8-hour window, then fast the other 16 hours. The theory behind this is that your body will be burning fat and not proteins or carbs for fuel. It is similar to the Eat-Stop-Eat Diet of fasting to lose weight. There are no restrictions on what you can eat.
This diet has you refrain from eating sugary or processed foods. It’s a 32-day regimen that consists of 4 phases. In Phase 1, during first 5 days, you identify the sugar-containing foods you regularly consume and eliminate them from your diet. This would include fruits, whole grains, and processed foods. Phase 2 lasts for 6 days, and low-sugar fruits and whole grains with low glycemic index get reintroduced into the diet. Phase 3 adds in more sweetened foods and lasts 6 days, and here you get to eat pasta. Phase 4 is the remaining 6 days of the diet and lets you start eating sugar in moderation again. The aim of his program is that you will learn methods of eating smarter with less sugar
Wheat Belly Diet
Developed by cardiologist Dr. William Davis, this diet says that completely removing wheat from your diet will prevent and reverse health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, acne, cataracts, and arthritis. The premise is to eat more like our (healthier) ancestors, who ate only what was found in nature, and not foods grown for production and processed for sale. It’s similar to the Paleo Diet. You can eat vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, and olive oil. Fruit is cut back to 1 or 2 servings per week because of the naturally occurring sugar. Obviously, you cut out any products that contain wheat. You can still enjoy plain yogurt, brown rice, and some cheeses.
There is no one diet that works for everyone. It’s a matter of lifestyle, personal choice, health issues, and other considerations.
- Alexander A. One nation under sugar. Prevention website. October 2013. http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/one-nation-under-sugar-sugar-smart-diet.
- Hammond P. Wheat belly by William Davis (2011). What to eat and foods to avoid. Chewfo website. March 9, 2013. http://www.chewfo.com/diets/wheat-belly-by-william-davis-2011-what-to-eat-and-foods-to-avoid-food-list/.
- Is the 8 hour diet worthwhile? Dr.Weill website. June 27, 2013. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401303/Is-the-8Hour-Diet-Worthwhile.html.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH. NHLBI website. NIH Publication No. 06-4082. Originally printed 1998. Revised April 2006. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf.
- The science of raw food. Raw Food Life website. http://www.rawfoodlife.com/#axzz34XKxlyQL.
- Volumetrics diet overview. U.S. News & World Report website. Updated September 13, 2013. http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/volumetrics-diet.