It’s New Year’s resolution time, which means everybody’s trying to lose weight. There are dozens of diets to choose and each promise to shed pounds fast. We examined three of the most popular diets to help you find your key to weight loss.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, meaning it’s calibrated to lower your blood pressure. You don’t have to have hypertension to follow it, though; it can also be a preventative plan to keep your blood pressure low—especially helpful if you have a hereditary history of poor heart health. Promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, DASH-compliant meals comprise of vegetables and fruits of all kinds, whole grains like brown rice and farrow, lean protein like white-fleshed fish and beans as well as low-fat dairy products. The trick is to keep eating foods high in calcium, fiber, potassium and protein nutrients that help fight high blood pressure and cutting down your salt intake to as low as 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day.
During the metabolic state of ketosis, your body burns stored fat reserves. By starving your body of carbs you really starve it of sugar, so you begin to rely on your stored fat for energy instead. While it mandates lowering your carb intake to 20 carbs per day or less (so, like, half a slice of pizza), you can eat all the high-fat foods you want and even drink alcohol (but not your favorite craft beer). While the medical community has used this diet as therapy, particularly to help reduce seizures in children, many experts caution against prolonged adaptation due to its heavy reliance on fatty foods—especially dangerous for those with a history of heart problems in their family.
Are you trying to eat less red meat and sugar and more fresh produce and nuts? Then you’ve already started down the path towards the Mediterranean diet. When U.S. News & World Report’s ranked 41 popular diets, they deemed the Mediterranean Best Overall Diet. It’s very easy to follow and overwhelmingly good for you. It’s more of a way of eating than a diet per se as in there are no strict guidelines about calorie intake, but rather food groups to focus on. Olive oil, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits, herbs and spices make up the majority of what should be on your plate, with fish and seafood mixed in a few times a week and dairy, poultry and eggs sprinkled in here and there. Meals like burgers and ribs and treats like ice cream and cake should be reserved for very special occasions, but you are encouraged to have a glass or two of red wine each day. And that’s certainly something we can get behind.