It’s seems like there’s always a new fad diet popping up this time of year. The mercury rising coincides with the frantic search for a safe and effective diet that can help us shed a few pounds left over from the winter. But with so many popular diets out there, it can be hard to decide which is the best to follow.
To help make your choice easier, we’ve gathered all of the info you need to evaluate three of the hottest diets. Here’s the rundown on the DASH diet, Paleo diet, and the Whole30 diet:
DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The plan started out as a way for people to lower their blood pressure, but it was also found to be effective for weight loss. The diet focuses on limiting your sodium intake and increasing your potassium, calcium, and magnesium intake. These are the elements that will help lower your blood pressure – possibly by a few points in just two weeks.
The weight loss benefit comes from the plan being rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, some whole grains, high in fiber, and low to moderate in fat. The meal plans are also designed to prevent hunger between meals, so it’s easier to adhere to.
The Paleo diet is about eating like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did during the Paleolithic era. The diet is based on research that says that chronic illnesses of today – obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases – didn’t exist in hunter-gatherer society. Like the DASH diet, the Paleo diet encourages lower sodium and higher potassium intake. Unlike DASH, Paleo doesn’t allow you to eat dairy. It’s mainly about eating grass-fed meat, fish/seafood, fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils, like olive, flaxseed, and avocado. If you are against making meat and seafood a major part of your diet, then this plan isn’t for you.
Whole30 is a month-long plan that’s meant to cleanse your system of all sweeteners and artificial ingredients to boost your metabolism, reduce inflammation, and balance your hormones. Every meal should be natural and unprocessed – no small feat in today’s society. The diet consists of meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, some fruits, and plenty of good fats from oils, nuts, and seeds. No added sugar – real or artificial – no alcohol, grains, tobacco, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, or anything with carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. So, needless to say, it’s very important to carefully read food labels with this plan.
Which of these diets have you tried? Tell us below.
Sources:dashdiet.org, mayoclinic.com, thepaleodiet.com, and whole9life.com