Various Types of Diet
An individual’s diet is the sum of food and drink that he or she habitually consumes. Dieting is the practice of attempting to achieve or maintain a certain weight through diet. People’s dietary choices are often affected by a variety of factors, including ethical and religious beliefs, clinical need, or a desire to control weight.
An omnivorous diet is one in which both animal and vegetable foods are eaten. Most people of the world are omnivorous, and this is the type of diet that is the easiest to balance, as there are no limitations. Of course, the knowledge of how much and what specific foods to eat is needed. These types of diets will be discussed more in the sections on the specific cultural diets. In the animal kingdom, though, many species are either vegetarian or carnivorous; some, such as bears and crows, are omnivorous.
A carnivorous diet is one that contains animal flesh—that is, meat. From a vegetarian viewpoint, anyone who eats meat is a carnivore, but truly most people who eat meat are omnivores. True carnivores who eat only meat are hard to find; in the animal kingdom, they include the wolf and cat families, which naturally subsist on the flesh of other animals
This is the most common of the vegetarian diets, one that does not include animal flesh but does use the by-products of the chicken and/or cow—eggs and milk products (vegans, or strict vegetarians, do not eat these foods). Some vegetarians are lacto and not ovo, because of a moral aversion to eating unborn chickens. And some may be sensitive to milk but find eggs okay. However, usually the vegetable foods are the largest part of the diet, which consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
This is the strict, or pure, form of vegetarianism. No animal products are consumed, only fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. No eggs, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, or other milk products are eaten.
This diet is not suggested for children unless the parents can painstakingly oversee it and select the right foods. It is difficult with this diet to obtain a balanced intake of all the nutrients that are needed during growth; however, it can be done. This is true also in pregnancy and lactation, where higher intakes of most nutrients are needed. I am not suggesting that this cannot be done; it just is more dangerous in its risk of creating deficiencies and subsequent health problems.
A macrobiotic diet consists almost exclusively of cooked foods. Raw foods are felt to be difficult to digest and too cooling for our system. A minimum of fruits is consumed, less than 5 percent of the diet, and most of those should be cooked. Dairy foods and eggs are usually avoided; the only animal products recommended are whitefish such as halibut, trout, and sole, and these are also kept to less than 5 percent of the diet. Thus, it is primarily a vegetarian, almost vegan, diet, but it seems to contain more protein and nutrients than the standard vegetarian cuisine.
Most popular diets:
The word diet comes from Old French diete and Medieval Latin dieta meaning “a daily food allowance”. The Latin word diaeta and Greek word diaita mean “a way of life, a regimen”.
A diet can be described as a set course of eating and drinking in which the kind and amount of food one should eat is been planned out in order to achieve weight loss or follow a certain lifestyle.
- Atkins Diet
- The Zone Diet
- Vegetarian Diet
- Vegan Diet
- Weight Watchers Diet
- South Beach Diet
- Raw Food Diet
- Mediterranean Diet
The Atkins Diet, or Atkins Nutritional Approach, focuses on controlling the levels of insulin in our bodies through diet.1
If we consume large amounts of refined carbohydrates our insulin levels will rise rapidly, and then fall rapidly. Rising insulin levels will trigger our bodies to store as much of the energy we eat as possible – it will also make it less likely that our bodies use stored fat as a source of energy.
Most people on the Atkins Diet will consume a higher proportion of proteins than they normally do.
The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet aims for a nutritional balance of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fats, and 30% protein each time we eat.
There are various types of vegetarian: Lacto vegetarian, Fruitarian vegetarian, Lacto-ovo-vegetarian, Living food diet vegetarian, Ovo-vegetarian, Pescovegetarian, and Semi-vegetarian.
The majority of vegetarians are lacto-ovovegetarians, in other words, they do not eat animal-based foods, except for eggs, dairy, and honey.
Studies over the last few years have shown that vegetarians have a lower body weight, suffer less from diseases, and generally have a longer life expectancy than people who eat meat.
Veganism is more of a way of life and a philosophy than a diet. A vegan does not eat anything that is animal based, including eggs, dairy, and honey.
Vegans do not generally adopt veganism just for health reasons, but also for environmental and ethical/compassionate reasons.
Vegans believe that modern intensive farming methods are bad for our environment and unsustainable in the long term. If all our food were plant based our environment would benefit, animals would suffer less, more food would be produced, and people would generally enjoy better physical and mental health vegans say.
Weight Watchers Diet
Weight Watchers focuses on losing weight through diet, exercise, and a support network.
Weight Watchers Inc. was born in the 1960s when a homemaker (housewife) who had lost some weight and was concerned she might put it back on. So, she created a network of friends. Weight Watchers is a huge company, with branches all over the world.
Dieters can join either physically, and attend regular meetings, or online. In both cases there is a great deal of support and education available for the dieter.
Diets based on Belief (Reference: Wikipedia)
Some people’s dietary choices are influenced by their religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs.
- Buddhist diet: While Buddhism does not have specific dietary rules, some Buddhists practice vegetarianism based on a strict interpretation of the first of the Five Precepts.
- Edenic diet: A diet based on what Adam and Eve are believed to have consumed in Garden of Eden. Usually either vegetarian or vegan, and based predominantly on fruit.
- Hallelujah diet: A form of Christian vegetarianism developed in the 1970s. The creators interpret a verse from the Bible as suggesting that Christians should only consume seed bearing plants and fruits.
- Hindu and Jain diets: Followers of Hinduism and Jainism often follow lacto-vegetarian diets, based on the principle of Ahimsa (non-harming).
- Islamic dietary laws: Muslims follow a diet consisting solely of food that is halal – permissible under Islamic law. The opposite of halal is haraam, food that is Islamically Impermissible. Haraam substances include alcohol, pork, and any meat from an animal which was not killed through the Islamic method of ritual slaughter (Dhabiha).
- I-tal: A set of principles which influences the diet of many members of the Rastafari movement. One principle is that natural foods should be consumed. Some Rastafarians interpret I-tal to advocate vegetarianism or veganism.
- Kosher diet: Food permissible under Kashrut, the set of Jewish dietary laws, is said to be Kosher. Some foods and food combinations are non-Kosher, and failure to prepare food in accordance with Kashrut can make otherwise permissible foods non-Kosher.
- Word of Wisdom: The name of a section of the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture accepted by followers of the Latter Day Saint movement. Dietary advice includes (1) wholesome plants “in the season thereof,” (2) eating meat sparingly and only “in times of winter, or of cold, or famine,” and (3) grain as the “staff of life.”
- Body for Life: A calorie-control diet, promoted as part of the 12-week Body for Life program.[
- Cookie diet: A calorie control diet in which low-fat cookies are eaten to quell hunger, often in place of a meal.
- Hacker’s diet: A calorie-control diet from The Hacker’s Diet by John Walker. The book suggests that the key to reaching and maintaining the desired weight is understanding and carefully monitoring calories consumed and used.
- Nutrisystems Diet: The dietary element of the weight-loss plan from Nutrisystem, Inc. Nutrisystem distributes low-calorie meals, with specific ratios of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
- Weight Watchers diet: Foods are assigned points values; dieters can eat any food with a points value provided they stay within their daily points limit .
Very low calorie diets
A very low calorie diet is consuming fewer than 800 calories per day. Such diets are normally followed under the supervision of a doctor.
- Breatharian diet: A diet in which no food is consumed, based on the belief that food is not necessary for human subsistence.
- KE Diet: A diet in which an individual feeds through a feeding tube and does not eat anything.
- Atkins diet: A low-carbohydrate diet, populised by nutritionist Robert Atkins in the late-20th and early-21st centuries. Proponents argue that this approach is a more successful way of losing weight than low-calorie diets; critics argue that a low-carb approach poses increased health risks.
- Dukan Diet: A multi-step diet based on high protein and limited carbohydrate consumption. It starts with two steps intended to facilitate short term weight loss, followed by two steps intended to consolidate these losses and return to a more balanced long-term diet.
- ITG Diet: A 3-step diet based on limiting carbohydrate consumption combined with low fat protein to maintain muscle, with the objective of returning to a healthy balanced diet for long term weight maintenance.
- South Beach Diet: Named after famous Miami beach :The South Beach Diet is lower in carbs (carbohydrates) and higher in protein and healthy fats than is a typical eating plan. But it’s not a strict low-carb diet, and you don’t have to count carbs.
- Stillman diet: Rapid weight loss diet by controlling carbohydrates intake and body breaks accumulated fat in for the energy.
Main article: low-fat diet
- McDougall’s starch diet is a high calorie, high fiber, low fat diet that is based on starches such as potatoes, rice, and beans which excludes all animal foods and added vegetable oils. John A. McDougall draws on historical observation of how many civilizations around the world throughout time have thrived on starch foods.
Crash diet and fad diet are general terms. They describe diet plans which involve making extreme, rapid changes to food consumption, but are also used as disparaging terms for common eating habits which are considered unhealthy. Both types of diet are often considered to pose health risks. Many of the diets listed here are weight-loss diets which would also fit into other sections of this list. Where this is the case, it will be noted in that diet’s entry.
- Beverly Hills Diet: An extreme diet which has only fruits in the first days, gradually increasing the selection of foods up to the sixth week.
- Cabbage soup diet: A low-calorie diet based on heavy consumption of cabbage soup. Considered a fad diet.
- Grapefruit diet: A fad diet, intended to facilitate weight loss, in which grapefruit is consumed in large quantities at meal times.
- Israeli Army diet: An eight-day diet. Only apples are consumed in the first two days, cheese in the following two days, chicken on days five and six, and salad for the final two days. Despite what the name suggests, the diet is not followed by Israel Defense Forces. It is considered a fad diet.
- Junk food diet: A diet largely made up of food considered to be unhealthy, such as high-fat or processed foods.
- Subway diet: A crash diet in which a person consumes Subway sandwiches in place of higher calorie fast foods. Made famous by former obese student Jared Fogle, who lost 245 pounds after replacing his meals with Subway sandwiches as part of an effort to lose weight.
- Watermelon diet: Liberace and his handlers covered up the entertainer’s AIDS diagnosis by publicly attributing his suffered severe weight loss and health problems to anemia brought on by a strict watermelon-only diet; they later reversed those claims to publicize that Liberace was gravely ill from anemia, emphysema and heart disease.
- Western dietary pattern: A diet consisting of food which is most commonly consumed in developed countries. Examples include meat, white bread, milk and puddings. The name is a reference to the Western world.
Detox diets involve either not consuming or attempting to flush out substances that are considered unhelpful or harmful. Examples include restricting food consumption to foods without colourings or preservatives, taking supplements, or drinking large amounts of water. The latter practise in particular has drawn criticism, as drinking significantly more water than recommended levels can cause hyponatremia.
- Juice fasting: A form of detox diet, in which nutrition is obtained solely from fruit and vegetable juices. The health implications of such diets are disputed.
Diets followed for medical reasons
People’s dietary choices are sometimes affected by intolerance or allergy to certain types of food. There are also dietary patterns that might be recommended, prescribed or administered by medical professionals for people with specific medical needs.
- Best Bet Diet: A diet designed to help prevent or mitigate multiple sclerosis, by avoiding foods with certain types of protein.
- Colon Cancer Diet: Calcium, milk and garlic are thought to help prevent colon cancer. Red meat and processed meat may increase risk.
- Diabetic diet: An umbrella term for diets recommended to people with diabetes. There is considerable disagreement in the scientific community as to what sort of diet is best for sufferers.
- DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension): A recommendation that those with high blood pressure consume large quantities of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and low fat dairy foods as part of their diet, and avoid sugar sweetened foods, red meat and fats. Promoted by the US Department of Health and Human Services, a United States government organization.
- Elemental diet: A medical, liquid-only diet, in which liquid nutrients are consumed for ease of ingestion.
- Elimination diet: A method of identifying foods which cause a person adverse effects, by process of elimination.
- Gluten-free diet: A diet which avoids the protein gluten, which is found in barley, rye and wheat. It is a medical treatment for coeliac disease.
- Healthy kidney diet: This diet is for those impacted with chronic kidney disease, those with only one kidney who have a kidney infection and those who may be suffering from some other kidney failure. This diet is not the dialysis diet which is something completely different. The healthy kidney diet restricts large amounts of protein which are hard for the kidney to breakdown but especially limits: potassium and phosphorus rich foods and beverages. Liquids are often restricted as well- not forbidden, just less of.
- Ketogenic diet : A high-fat, low-carb diet, in which dietary and body fat is converted into energy. Used as a medical treatment for refractory epilepsy.
- Liquid diet: A diet in which only liquids are consumed. May be administered by clinicians for medical reasons, such as after a gastric bypass or to prevent death through starvation from a hunger strike.
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet: A diet that aims to restrict the intake of complex carbohydrates such as found in grains and complex sugars. It is promoted as a way of reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease and autism.
- Strict Avoidance Diet: Once someone has been diagnosed with a food allergy, being that there is no validated cure yet (2013), they must follow a strict avoidance diet to those specific foods they are allergic to. (i.e. if you have been diagnosed with a peanut, fish, tree nut, ginger allergy you must not consume even the smallest portion of those items or it could evoke a life-threatening reaction. Every person reacts differently to different allergens but at any point the reaction could become more severe and it is best to strictly avoid these items.
- Alkaline diet: The avoidance of relatively acidic foods – foods with low pH levels – such as grains, dairy, meat, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fungi. Proponents believe such a diet may have health benefits; critics consider the arguments to have no scientific basis.
- Blood Type Diet: A diet based on a belief that people’s diets should reflect their blood types.
- Eat-clean diet: Focusses on eating foods without preservatives, and on mixing lean proteins with complex carbohydrates.
- Feingold diet: A diet which attempts to combat hyperactivity by avoiding foods with certain synthetic additives and sweeteners.
- Fit for Life diet: The dietary aspect to Fit for Life, a book by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Its recommendations include not combining protein and carbohydrates, not drinking water at meal time, and avoiding dairy foods.
- Food combining diet: A nutritional approach where certain food types are deliberately consumed together or separately. For instance, some weight control diets suggest that proteins and carbohydrates should not be consumed in the same meal.
- F-plan diet: A high-fiber diet, intended to facilitate weight loss.
- Gerson therapy : A form of alternative medicine, the diet is low salt, low fat and vegetarian, and also involves taking specific supplements. It was developed by Max Gerson, who claimed the therapy could cure cancer and chronic, degenerative diseases. These claims have not been scientifically proven, and the American Cancer Society claims that elements of the therapy have caused serious illness and death.
- The Graham Diet : A vegetarian diet which promotes whole-wheat flour and discourages the consumption of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. Developed by Sylvester Graham in the 19th century.
- Hay diet: A food-combining diet developed by William Howard Hay in the 1920s. Divides foods into separate groups, and suggests that proteins and carbohydrates should not be consumed in the same meal.
- High-protein diet: A diet in which high quantities of protein are consumed with the intention of building muscle. Not to be confused with low-carb diets, where the intention is to lose weight by restricting carbohydrates.
- High residue diet: A diet in which high quantities of dietary fiber are consumed. High-fiber foods include certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.
- The IF Diet : A diet using 3 kinds of Intermittent Fasting.
- Inuit diet: Inuit people traditionally consume food that is fished, hunted or gathered locally; predominantly meat and fish.
- Jenny Craig : A weight-loss program from Jenny Craig, Inc. It includes weight counseling among other elements. The dietary aspect involves the consumption of pre-packaged food produced by the company.
- Locavore diet : A locavore is a person interested in eating food that is locally produced, not moved long distances to market. One common – but not universal – definition of “local” food is food grown within 100 miles of its point of purchase or consumption. The locavore movement in the United States and elsewhere was spawned as a result of interest in sustainability and eco-consciousness becoming more prevalent.
- Low carbon diet : Consuming food which has been produced, prepared and transported with a minimum of associated greenhouse gas emissions. An example of this was explored in the book 100-Mile Diet, in which the authors only consumed food grown within 100 miles of their residence for a year. People who follow this type of diet are sometimes known as locavores.
- Low-fat diet
- Low glycemic index diet : Consuming food that are low in glycemic index
- Low-protein diet: Restricted protein intake
- Low sodium diet: Less or no salt consumption
- Low-sulfur diet: Less or no sulfur containing food consumption
- Macrobiotic diet: A diet in which processed food is avoided. Common components include grains, beans and vegetables.
- Master Cleanse: A form of juice fasting.
- Medifast Diet: A weight-loss diet based on foods sold by Medifast, Inc.
- Mediterranean diet: A diet based on habits of some southern European countries. One of the more distinct features is that olive oil is used as the primary source of fat.
- Montignac diet: A weight-loss diet characterized by consuming carbohydrates with a low glycemic index.
- Negative calorie diet: A claim by many weight-loss diets that some foods take more calories to digest than they provide, such as celery. The basis for this claim is disputed.
- Okinawa diet: A low-calorie diet based on the traditional eating habits of people from the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawans are the longest lived people in the world.
- Omnivore: An omnivore consumes both plant and animal-based food.
- Organic food diet: A diet consisting only of food which is organic – it has not been produced with modern inputs such as chemical fertilizers, genetic modification, irradiation or food additives.
- Paleolithic diet: Can refer either to the eating habits of humans during the Paleolithic era, or of modern dietary plans based on these habits.
- Prison loaf: A meal replacement served in some United States prisons to inmates who are not trusted to use cutlery. Its composition varies between institutions and states, but as a replacement for standard food, it is intended to provide inmates with all their dietary needs.
- Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise: A diet which focusses on the consumption of unprocessed food.
- Raw foodism: A diet which centres on the consumption of uncooked and unprocessed food. Often associated with a vegetarian diet, although some raw food dieters do consume raw meat.
- Sugar Busters!: Focuses on restricting the consumption of refined carbohydrates, particularly sugars.
- Swank diet: Focuses on restricting the consumption of saturated fat.
- Warrior diet: Focused on timing of meals – Slogan is ‘when you eat, makes what you eat matter’. Intermittent fasting consisting of a fasting/feeding cycle with 1 meal per day, ideally at night.
- Zone diet: A diet in which a person attempts to split calorie intake from carbohydrates, proteins and fats in a 40:30:30 ratio.
- Pregnancy Vegetarianism: Temporarily during pregnancy period ladies go for vegetarian diet.