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Diet Trends | The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

We live in a world with massive amounts of information constantly being thrown at us. A big chunk of that information is how to lose weight with diets. There are thousands of diets out there, each claiming to offer the quickest and longest lasting results.

However, instead of focusing on instantly losing weight, we should think about building healthy lifestyles. But, which diets are the best for a healthy lifestyle? Below, we will be debunking some of the most popular diet trends in the United States and which are good, bad, and ugly.

Mediterranean Diet

One of the most heart healthydiets, which focuses on all major food groups, is the Mediterranean diet. This diet encourages you to have a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil, while encouraging a low consumption of eggs, dairy products, and poultry. Red meat is eaten rarely, according to the AHA. This diet originated from countries along the Mediterranean Sea where heart disease occurs less than in the United States.

The diet is packed with fiber, which slows digestion and helps control blood sugar. When your blood sugar is controlled, your chances of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, can decrease, according to Harvard Health.

Monounsaturated fat is also a big part of the Mediterranean diet. Monounsaturated fats are the healthy fats that may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering bad cholesterol. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include nuts, avocado, olive oil and more, staples in the Mediterranean diet.

Low Carb Diet

Low carbohydrate (carb) diets have been all the hype lately. A low carb diet entails restricting carb intake and emphasizing protein and fat. Low carb diets can assist with weight loss. However, when watching your carb intake, it is very important to be aware of the type of carb you are limiting.

Carbs fall into two majorcategories: natural or refined. Refined carbohydrates haveundergone a process that strips them of most of their essentialnutrients such as fiber and b vitamins. Refined carbs can be found in breakfast cereals, white bread, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages. These are the types of carbs you want to cut back on when practicing a low carb diet.

Not all carbs are bad, however. Naturally occurring carbs canbe found in heart-healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. These types of carbs have not undergone processing and provide a myriad of health benefits from improveddigestion to regulating blood glucose. These should not be cut out entirely during a low carb diet.

Liquid Diet

Liquid diets can be one of the worst diets you could put your body through. This diet consists of only consuming liquids or foods that turn into liquid at room temperature. Under a doctor’s instruction, this diet can be beneficial for those suffering from extreme digestive or swallowing issues.

Our lives can become prettybusy, and it may seem easier to just grab a drink and head out the door. However, liquid diets can deprive your body of adequate nutrition, according to Livestrong. Liquid diets can decrease your intake of the good carbohydrates that help maintain your energy and could cause malnutrition; both are negative for your heart health.

If you struggle with a busy schedule, try meal prepping instead. Meal prepping is a great way to save time because you pre-plan and make food ahead of time. Most people store each day’s food in separate containers. For example, on Sunday you make Monday—Friday’s food and store each in separate containers. This way, you can grab and go!

 

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