By: Riley Pult
That healthy lifestyle that everyone seems to be looking for nowadays comes in many variations. Some try exercise, others work by bettering their relationship with food, and some partake both. In the past decade the topic of food dieting has been on the rise. With an estimated 45 million Americans going on a diet each year, food is constantly being discussed. Many people try diets for weight loss while others do it to feel good and improve their overall health. Whatever the case may be, educating yourself on the different types of diets out there is important so you can make the best choice for yourself.
In a vegan diet you won’t find any traces of animal-based foods. The food that these people eat is strictly plant-based. Often they extend this way of life to the products they use. There are now clothing and cleaning supplies that are coined “vegan” because they don’t use animals either in their product or to test it. Foods that can be eaten in this diet range from fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, plant-based alternatives to dairy, and more. People who adopt this diet are eating foods full of fibers, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. These nutrients can improve blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. While there are many benefits, because you are missing out on animal-based food, these dieters have to make sure they are getting calcium, iron, and B12 vitamins, as they are hard to come by in only plant-based items.
Oftentimes vegetarian diets and vegan diets are grouped together but there is a difference between the two. A vegetarian diet is not strictly plant based. Vegetarians can indulge in items like eggs and cheese that vegans can not. The thing that vegetarians exclude is meat, fish, and poultry. This makes it slightly more popular than veganism because there is a wider variety of food options. There are different varieties of vegetarian diets and it depends on the different foods a person decides to cut out of their diet. People choose this diet often for environmental reasons and as a way to lower carbon emissions and gasses. The health benefits of this diet are very similar to those of a vegan diet. People get lots of fibers, vitamins C and E, and magnesium. Vegetarian diets are known to level out blood sugar, reduce risks of cancers, cause weight loss, and enhance heart health. Also similar to the vegan diet is that you start to miss out on some essential vitamins, but this can be made up for by increasing your consumption of non meat proteins.
A pescatarian diet is another type of diet that has become very popular in recent years. In this diet your risks of nutrient deficiencies, like those that can be found in veganism and vegetarianism, is much lower. This is because in a pescatarian diet fish and seafood is added to a vegetarian diet. This means the only thing excluded is meat and poultry. This diet is usually considered a subcategory of a vegetarian diet. The health benefits to a diet like this are a lower risk of obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. Some people choose meatless diets as a way to oppose animal slaughter, lower inhumane factory practices, lower poor labor conditions, and environmental reasons. With fish still on the menu, a drawback of this diet is that it’s common for people to overeat carbs and our seafood friends also have mercury and other toxins in them which can be harmful.
A keto, or ketogenic diet, is a low-carb diet. The point is to consume less food that is high in carbs like sugary foods and sodas. Majority of the time, those on a keto diet use it as a way to lose weight in a healthy way. Your body starts to break down protein and fats to use for energy which causes weight loss. Benefits to a keto diet are that they can potentially reduce cancer, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and ance. It’s important to slowly transition into this type of diet because it’s common for those who start it to experience low energy, fatigue, headaches, or weakness. A keto diet is more up to the individual on how they want to choose to cut out carbs to increase calories. Often though, people usually get their calories from foods that are high in protein or fat.