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December 12, 2018

All the major diets explained

Healthy Eating Diets

Content sponsored by IBC - Native (195x33)

Fried fish over vegetables on teal plate Valeria Boltneva/

These days, it seems like fitness gurus and dieticians are constantly inventing new ways to diet. Whether it’s the Ketogenic diet, Atkins, or veganism, choosing which dietary regimen may work for you can certainly feel like a daunting task – especially with so many gimmicks and unhealthy “lose weight fast” programs on the market. That’s why it’s important to discuss this decision with a professional before embarking on a whole new way of eating. A dietician can craft a personalized nutrition plan that embraces aspects of specific diet plans in a healthy and responsible way.

To help make sense of the dietary landscape, we’ve summarized what each major diet has to offer below. Familiarize yourself with each before consulting with a registered dietician to help you create a plan that works best for you.

Raw Food Diet

As the name implies, the raw food diet involves eating unprocessed and uncooked fruits, vegetables, and grains to your heart’s content. This diet is based on the idea that cooking food causes it to lose valuable nutrients and enzymes, which may be detrimental to your health because enzymes are what boost digestion and fight major diseases.

Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet, otherwise known simply as “Keto,” is based on eating foods that are very high in fat and low in carbohydrates. By eliminating carbs altogether, you enter a state of ketosis, which forces your body to burn excess fat rather than carbs. Because this diet relies so heavily on burning fat for fuel, people who opt for the Keto way of life may end up losing a considerable amount of weight. It should be noted, however, that the Ketogenic diet is not for everyone, and that, if not properly monitored, it can lead to increased cholesterol levels.

Atkins Diet

Similar to the Keto diet, the Atkins plan, first formulated by a well-known cardiologist by the name of Dr. Atkins, is based on greatly reducing your carbohydrate intake. Low carb diets like Atkins are purported to decrease your system’s reliance on sugar, which it gets from things like carbohydrates. Many people have been able to lose weight and keep it off by adhering to this high-fat, low-carb diet, but again, it is important to talk things over with your doctor before embarking on this or any other diet plan.

Plant-based Diet

An all-plant diet is exactly what it sounds like, and is composed solely of plants, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Those who only eat food derived from plant material are known as vegans. Vegetarians, on the other hand, skip the meat but will eat things like dairy products and eggs.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is arguably one of the most balanced, heart-healthy diets out there. The Mediterranean way of life is based on eating foods like fish and poultry, and replacing unhealthy fats like butter with olive oil. Research has shown that benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Additionally, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

In the end, a diet is only successful if it works with your body chemistry and metabolism, and if it is complemented by a robust exercise routine. Ready to get started? Consult with your health care provider or a licensed nutritionist to engineer a diet and exercise regimen that suits your specific needs. If you’re an Independence Blue Cross member, your plan may cover up to six nutrition counseling sessions annually with a participating registered dietician, your primary care provider, or another network provider.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider on any matters relating to your health.

Want to learn how to make some new, nutritious recipes? Attend a Healthy Cooking Class at Independence LIVE

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