DASH Diet

The DASH Diet is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet has become quite popular over the years and has been developed specifically to help individuals control hypertension. Hypertension is a major disease in the United States and around the world and one of the primary causes of heart disease. The DASH Diet was not only developed to control hypertension, but has received the recommendations of several health institutes including the NIH (National Institute of Health).

Major Goals of the DASH Diet

One of the major goals of the DASH Diet includes the lowering of sodium in one’s daily diet. Since sodium has been shown to increase hypertension, by limiting one’s sodium intake each day to less than 3,000 mg and optimally less than 2,000 mg, one can help control their hypertension.

In addition to a low sodium diet, it is recommended that the foods one eats are not processed. Processed foods are not only generally high in salt and preservatives, but also high in fat. Choose healthy foods such as nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and of course lots of fruits and vegetables. Stay away from foods with high fat and cholesterol- specifically red meat. Other foods that should be avoided include sweets and dairy products that are high in fat and cholesterol.

Benefits of the DASH Diet

Generally speaking, those that followed the DASH Diet did see a substantial drop in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Other benefits included losing weight and the general increase in energy due to healthier eating habits.

Studies have been conducted on the benefits of the DASH Diet and the results are available by accessing the NIH website. As always consult with your physician first before starting any diet program.

Candida Diet

Candida is found in practically all humans.  It is a yeast like micro organism.  It is usually not harmful for the majority of the population; however for about 20% of the population it can be problematic sometimes causing a variety of different infections.

 Candida can be found in the mouth, throat, genital/urinary tract and intestines.  While usually held in check by other types of bacteria, if overgrowth occurs, it can cause infections including vaginitis, vulvar rush, conjunctivitis, athlete’s foot, jock itch, muscle and joint pain, kidney and bladder infections and other ailments.  While Candida can cause infection, most, if not all can be managed and cured with traditional medicine.  In addition, for those that are more susceptible or have experienced a Candida infection in the past, the Candida Diet can be helpful.

The Basics of the Candida Diet

The Candida Diet was not developed to lose weight, instead it was developed to manage and reduce the risk of Candida.  In the Candida Diet, there are generally 4 stages.  They include:  Detox, Reduce the yeast population in your system, inoculate yourself with probiotics and improve your diet.

 Detox

In this stage, you will want to clean your body of the many toxic byproducts that Candida may cause.  Some ways to detox include fasting, drinking special drinks that include detox herbs (such as teas), drink fresh vegetable juices, etc.

Reduce the Yeast Population in Your Body

In order to keep Candida under control, you must create a balance in your body.  This can be done with anti microbial herbs which can be found in many formulas at your natural food store.

Inoculate Yourself with Probiotics

Probiotics can help you balance Candida in your body.  Probiotics are bacteria that help inhibit harmful bacteria and increase immunity.  They can include: lactobacilli, acidophilus and bifodobacteria.

Improve Your Diet

To ensure that your body continues to manage and keep under control Candida, the Candida Diet can be helpful.  Some of the foods that you should eat to help manage Candida include:  fresh vegetables, foods high in protein, live yogurt cultures, nuts, seeds, oils and grains such as rice, millet and certain types of bran. 

In addition some of the foods that you should avoid include:  alcohol, chocolate, fruits, mushrooms, glutinous grains, foods that contain yeast such as breads, baked goods, cheese and muffins. As always, when starting any diet, consult with your physician first.

BRAT Diet

The BRAT Diet may sound like a fad diet straight from Hollywood, but it was actually developed to help patients with various types of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, gastroenteritis and dyspepsia. 

The BRAT Diet Acronym

The word BRAT is actually an acronym that stands for the types of foods that one should eat in order to avoid an increase risk of diarrhea, dyspepsia and gastroenteritis.  BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Tea.  It should be noted that there are other possibilities such as BRATTY (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast, Tea & Yogurt).

How the BRAT Diet Works

The BRAT Diet works by choosing foods that are bland, easy to digest and have a low amount of fiber.  For those that suffer from the above stomach problems, fiber can actually exacerbate these conditions by causing gas and upsetting the stomach.  Since this diet is also used when a child has diarrhea, make sure that your child is receiving plenty of fluids and salts- especially if their diarrhea is severe.  It may also help to avoid foods and drinks such as gelatin, sugary, processed fruit drinks and carbonated beverages.

It is important to realize that the BRAT diet while being helpful to reduce stomach problems, is not a comprehensive diet and lacks food such as protein.  For this reason, foods that are high in protein must be consumed.  Tofu is one suggestion as are lean meats such as turkey.  An alternative to the BRAT diet that includes more protein and fat is the CRAM Diet.  The word CRAM is an acronym for Cereal, Rice and Milk.

The BRAT Diet was not developed for weight loss; it was developed to treat specific stomach conditions.  As always, consult your doctor before starting any diet program.

Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet was developed to help reduce hard to treat epilepsy in children.  At first glance it looks the opposite of many diets available; however, it was not developed for weight loss.  The Ketogenic Diet emphasizes consuming high fat, moderate to high protein and a low amount of carbohydrates.

The Ketogenic Diet works similar to the Atkins Diet in that it forces the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.  In general, the body generates glucose for the functioning of the both the body and brain, however, when carbs are restricted, the liver has no choice but to convert fat into ketone bodies.  As more and more ketone bodies are created, the body goes into a state of ketosis.  The excess amount of ketosis is actually quite beneficial to those children that suffer from hard to treat epilepsy, because ketosis acts as an anti-convulsant.

Results of the Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet is backed by scientific studies that show a substantial reduction in epilepsy by those children that go on the diet.  However, if your child is experiencing seizures it is best to consult with your doctor if the Ketogenic Diet is right for him or her.  For many children, the Ketogenic Diet can be an extremely effective tool, helping to reduce seizures.

Low Glycemic Index

The Low Glycemic Diet is based upon the glycemic index (GI).  The glycemic index is a tool that was developed to help people with diabetes better control their sugar level.  The glycemic index measures how a 50 gram serving of a specific food (carbohydrate) raises an individual’s blood sugar level.  This index is measured against a control which is either white bread or pure glucose.

When a person digests carbohydrates, it usually turns into glucose and causes a temporary rise in blood glucose levels.  The glycemic index uses a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being pure glucose.  Foods that have a high glucose level are usually found from 70 to 100, those with moderate glucose levels are found to have an index score of 56 to 70 and those with a low index score range from 55 to 1.

Low Glycemic Foods are Not Necessarily Healthier For You

It should be noted that just because a certain food has a high or low glycemic score, doesn’t mean that it is healthier for you.  For instance, potatoes generally have a very high score, where a Snickers bar may be rated with a score of 55.

Foods that One Should Eat on the Low Glycemic Diet

One way to eat healthy and avoid foods that have a high glycemic rating is to choose foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, foods that are made with whole grains, legumes and lean meat.

Foods that One Should Avoid Eating on the Low Glycemic Diet

Generally speaking, processed foods are usually higher in their glycemic rating.  Foods such as snacks, processed baked goods, sugared drinks, sugar juices, etc all generally have a high glycemic index rating.

Getting an Accurate Reading of a Food’s Glycemic Level

It can be quite confusing trying to figure out the exact glycemic level of food.  For instance, rice can range from 55 to the low 90’s.  One way is to look at the nutritional label of products.  Some food manufacturers may list the glycemic level.  Another way is to choose organic or unprocessed foods- these foods are not processed and generally have a much lower score than processed foods.  It should also be noted that there are many books that are available that can help you figure out the glycemic level of a certain food.

Another method of figuring out the glycemic level of a food (especially if you are a diabetic) is to test your blood sugar level after you have digested it.  Usually you can see if there is a spike in your blood sugar level or if your blood sugar level stayed under control.   As always when starting a new diet, consult with a physician first.

Macrobiotic Diet

The Macrobiotic Diet has been growing in popularity over the last couple of decades in the United States.  The word Macrobiotic comes from Greek meaning long life.  For many that practice the Macrobiotic Diet, it is not only about eating healthy, but this diet also meshes with spirituality and planetary health.

 The Macrobiotic Diet was developed in Japan by George Ohsawa, he believed a diet should be as simple as possible.  There are 10 stages of the diet, however as the diet increases in stage, it also becomes more restrictive.  For instance, the 10th and final stage includes a diet of only water and brown rice.

Guidelines of the Macrobiotic Diet

For the most part the Macrobiotic Diet is a high fiber, low fat diet that has many of the attributes of other diets.  While mainly a vegetarian diet, the Macrobiotic Diet does allow fish. 

Typically speaking, whole grains make up a large percentage of the Macrobiotic Diet with about 50% or more found in each meal.  Whole grains include brown rice barley, buckwheat, corn and rye.  As far as other grains are concerned, baked goods, pasta and noodles are allowed occasionally.

The Macrobiotic Diet also encourages a person to consume one to two bowls of soup per day.  The most popular soups are either Miso or Shoyu.  These soups are made from soybeans.

Vegetables are another type of food that should be consumed on the Macrobiotic Diet.  Generally speaking vegetables should make up about 25% to 35% of food consumed daily.

 Beans are also another food item that is consumed on this diet and they should consist of about 10% of the food one consumes daily

Other foods that can be eaten are seeds and nuts, fruit, sesame oil and deserts are permitted within reason.  Foods generally to be avoided include meat & dairy products such as eggs, most types of milk and beef and poultry.

The Macrobiotic Diet offers dieters a healthier menu of food to consume- especially if you live in the West.  While there is a choice of many different types of healthy foods that can be consumed on this diet, there are some types of food that are avoided including foods that are high in protein, potassium and iron.  For people that have specific health conditions, this diet should be avoided.  As always, consult with your physician before starting a new diet program.

Gout Diet

Gout is classified as a type of arthritis.  It is mainly caused by high levels of uric acid found in the body.  This uric acid crystallizes in the joints causing not only inflammation, but lots of pain.  The Gout Diet was not necessarily developed to lose weight, instead it was developed to reduce the risk of gout and for those already with this condition, lessen the inflammation and pain.

Foods to Avoid

Generally speaking there are several types of food that can be associated with gout.  While these food are not necessarily unhealthy (in many cases they are part of a nutritional and healthy diet), they can increase the risk of gout and/or make symptoms of this disease worse.  Foods that are high in purines and high in protein should generally be avoided.  These foods can include:

  • Meat, such as bacon, veal, turkey and pheasant
  • Fish, such as scallops, anchovies, sardines & Mussels
  • Sweetbreads and foods that contain lots of yeast
  • Alcoholic beverages

Foods OK to Eat

Here is a list of foods that one can eat when on the Gout Diet:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach (it should be noted that although these foods contain purines, they have shown not to increase the risk of gout).
  • Coffee & Tea

Considerations

It should be noted that most people that suffer with Gout are now able to take specific medications that reduce their uric acid and inflammation in the body.  In many instances, a person can eat a normal diet due to these medications instead of following the stricter Gout Diet.  However, it is best to consult with a physician for your specific case.

As with all diets, talk with your physician before starting a new diet program.

Flat Belly Diet

One of the biggest complaints by many individuals looking to lose weight is that most of their fat is stored in their stomach region.  With summer quickly approaching, many individuals look for a way to not only lose weight, but to lose fat specifically in the stomach region to enhance a flat belly.  The Flat Belly Diet has taken advantage of this desire and for many it has proven to be considerably helpful.

The Basics of the Flat Belly Diet

Generally speaking, the Flat Belly Diet involves replacing saturated fat and many types of polyunsaturated fat with much healthier monounsaturated fats (MUFA- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids).  With the Flat Belly Diet, you should eat a MUFA with every meal and strictly regulate eating other types of fats-especially saturated fats found in many processed foods, butter, etc.

Monounsaturated fatty acids can be found in a wide range of food, but popular foods that include this substance are olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, sunflower oil and flax oil.  In addition to eating MUFA’s with every meal, the Flat Belly Diet calls for eating other healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat.  It is also advised that the dieter restrict daily calories consumption to about 1600 per day.  The Fat Belly Diet has been described to be very similar to other types of diets- specifically the Mediterranean Diet. 

The Flat Belly Diet Includes Exercise

This diet also helps reduce weight and hopefully flatten your stomach by recommending a regular exercise program of brisk exercise that lasts about 30 minutes per day.  Exercise can include walking, strength training, calisthenics, aerobics, etc.

The Flat Belly Diet Makes the Following Claims

Some of the claims that the Flat Belly purportedly makes is that a dieter can lose up to 15 pounds in about a month’s time, that one can trim up to 12 inches of fat from the waist and that in about a month’s time you should see a flatter, sexier belly.

Pros of the Flat Belly Diet

It is no surprise that one can lose weight eating the type of foods that this diet suggests.  Choosing foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and lean meat while substituting your saturated fat with MUFA’s has been suggested by many other diets that work. 

Cons of the Flat Belly Diet

This diet does suggest an exercise regiment which is good, but in order to gain true insight on the diet, you will need to purchase the book, which will set you back over $30.  However, for those looking to have a flat belly this summer, there are far worse diets on the market than this one.  As always, consult with a physician before starting a diet or exercise program.

Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet is a growing food trend in America.  While it can simply mean eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, many raw food purists include raw milk and many wild grains which can require some preparation.  As far as weight loss goes, the Raw Food Diet can enhance weight loss by helping a person consume, fresh, usually organic foods instead of highly processed foods which generally include lots of fat, cholesterol and sugar.

The Basics of the Raw Food Diet

There are many ways to participate in the Raw Food Diet.  Many dieters usually stick to foods that are easy to prepare and stay away from raw foods that may have parasites or other bacteria that can be harmful.  Generally speaking you can easily participate in a raw food diet by eating nuts, fresh fruits & vegetables and simple grains.  However, some raw food dieters include fish, raw eggs and milk to their diet while others tend to remove these foods from their diet.

Pros of the Raw Food Diet

Generally speaking, advocates for the Raw Food Diet state the virtues of it as being similar to the diet humans consumed as gatherers and that a raw food diet can raise the energy of a person by keeping their glycemic level steady throughout the day.  Advocates of the Raw Food Diet also suggest that raw foods can help with immunity by giving a person a variety of bacteria that can aid in digestion and health.

Cons of the Raw Food Diet

While certain raw foods are proven to be good for you, scientists and many medical experts state that cooking your food doesn’t take away any health benefits and that humans have been cooking their food for tens of thousands of years.  Many experts also agree that without proper food preparation, some types of food can be extremely dangerous to consume.  It should also be noted that some foods in their raw state can be toxic (buckwheat greens and kidney beans).

As always before you start a new diet, it is always best to consult with your physician first.

Suddenly Slim Diet

The Suddenly Slim Diet is considered to be a fad diet.  There is a choice of two programs.  The first is a 10 day program in which one can reportedly lose about 6 to 10 pounds and there is a phase II program that lasts for 28 days where a dieter can lose much more weight.  The Suddenly Slim Diet promotes itself as more than just a fast way to lose weight, but also an effective way to cleanse your body.  The Suddenly Slim Diet is said to be created by dieticians and medical experts and requires the dieter to buy various products.  It should be noted that the diet does come with a 100% money back guarantee.

The Suddenly Slim Diet requires that the dieter replace one meal with a combination of its shakes and special diet pills.  There are many products which you can replace your meal with.  Suddenly Slim offers Slim ‘N Up, Reneu, Body FX and Slim ‘N Up Free.  These products can contain a combination of herbal supplements including ephedra extract, chromium picolinate and green tea.

Suddenly Slim Diet Cons

The general goal of the Suddenly Slim Diet is to increase your body’s metabolism, suppress hunger and cleanse the body.  It should be noted that many of the herbal supplements found in Suddenly Slim Diet can be potentially dangerous to some dieters.  It is advised that you consult with your doctor before going on this diet.

While the Suddenly Slim Diet offers to help you lose weight quickly, it also doesn’t include an exercise program.  While you may lose weight, you will most definitely lose a little bit of muscle as well.  The Suddenly Slim Diet products can be found online and wherever diet products are sold, however there are much better ways of losing a few pounds without resorting to products that can be potentially dangerous.