The 9 best and most popular diets according to science
There are a ton of diet offers out there.
So many that sometimes it is really difficult to find your way around.
It is certainly not known what to interface with, what is the best diet for us.
Today, in this article, I will describe the 9 that have the greatest appeal according to science.
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1. The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet argues that humans should eat following the same dietary dictates that were contemplated in prehistoric times.
The theory behind it is that most modern diseases can be linked to the Western diet and the consumption of grains, dairy products and processed foods.
The diet is based on the use of whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds while completely avoiding sugar, dairy and white grains as mentioned above.
Some slightly softer versions of Paleo also allow unprocessed dairy products like butter or fresh cheese and tubers like potatoes.
The Paleo diet can lead to weight loss because you eat fewer carbohydrates and more proteins and this leads to a reduction in the risk of heart disease such as cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides.
The downside is that a lot of nutrients like legumes are missing from the diet.
2. The vegan diet
The vegan diet was created by a group of vegetarians who chose not to also eat anything that is animal derived including eggs and milk and dairy products.
The vegan way of life tries to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty for ethical, environmental or health reasons.
How it works: Veganism is the strictest form of vegetarianism.
Vegan diets, having vegetables as their fulcrum, are full of fiber and make you lose weight.
In 18 weeks, according to a study, it is even possible to lose 4 pounds more than on a normal diet.
It is also successful in reducing the risk of heart disease and there is a lower risk of cancer or Alzheimer’s.
The downside is that a lot of vitamins are missing and supplements are sometimes needed.
3. Low-carb diets
Low-carb diets have been popular for many decades, especially for weight loss.
There are several types of low-carb diets but the most popular ones limit the use of carbohydrates to 20-150 grams per day maximum.
The primary purpose of the diet is to force the body to use more fat as an energy source than carbohydrates.
The diet works by consuming proteins and fats rather than carbohydrates.
The body can then use carbohydrate-free fatty acids and ketones as its primary energy source.
Yes, you lose weight but you have to be careful about the risk of ketosis , which is a disease that leads the metabolism to eat its muscles at the expense of new energy deriving from food. This is because the body is deficient in sugars so badly that it feeds itself.
Low-carb diets are used to lose weight because they tend to take away the sense of appetite a little. At the same time they are also a bit worrying due to the few nutrients ingested and the risk of ketosis, which I wrote about above.
4. The Dukan diet
The Dukan diet (download in pdf format ) is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
It is a low calorie diet and can be broken down into four phases – two weight loss phases and two weight maintenance phases.
Let’s see how it works.
The weight loss phases are mainly based on the unlimited consumption of high protein foods and the obligatory oat bran.
The other phases, the maintenance ones, involve adding non-starchy vegetables at first, then adding some carbohydrates and fats. Thereafter, there will be fewer and fewer “pure protein days” to maintain the new weight.
The advantages of the diet, in addition to weight loss, are in the increased sense of satiety, found in some people on the Dukan diet (here you can read the vegetarian version ).
The disadvantages are related to the limitations of fats and carbohydrates typical of a really important calorie restriction.
And that could lead to a not-so-pleasant loss of muscle mass.
Then the body, going into economy mode, tends to immediately regain weight when you eat a little more.
5. The low fat diet
A low-fat diet limits the consumption of fat to less than 10% of the calories consumed.
In general, a low-fat diet contains about 30% of its calories in fat.
These diets are considered ineffective in the long term.
The diet is based on the consumption of vegetables but is high in carbohydrates and low in protein.
Recommended for severely overweight people, it can also help with diabetes, despite the high consumption of carbohydrates.
In reality, however, the body gets used to this poor diet and it is very difficult to follow it for a long time.
6. The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet is the best known of the low-carb diets.
Its supporters claim that you can lose weight by eating protein and fat in your preferred amount by completely eliminating carbohydrates.
The main reason low carb diets are so effective for weight loss is that they reduce appetite.
This makes you eat fewer calories, of course.
The Atkins diet is broken down into four phases. It starts with an induction phase, during which you eat less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for two weeks.
The other phases are based on reintroducing healthy carbohydrates back into your diet, the closer you are to your weight goal.
It is scientifically proven that the Atkins diet leads to faster weight loss.
And it is also true that, only in rare cases, it can lead to imbalances but in general it keeps the body healthier.
7. The HCG diet
The HCG diet is an extreme diet that leads to losing even a pound of weight per day.
Its supporters claim that it increases metabolism and sheds all the pounds while also increasing the sense of satiety.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that is present at high levels during the beginning of a pregnancy.
The diet is divided into three phases.
The first phase lasts two days and in these two days you start taking HCG supplements.
The second phase is the weight loss phase, during which you follow a very low calorie diet of only 500 calories per day, along with HCG supplements.
The third stage is when you stop taking HCG and start eating a little more.
I say this with great confidence: injecting hormones into the body is bad, this diet is dangerous, don’t do it.
8. The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet is a low glycemic index diet in which you are limited in carbohydrates and proteins and fats.
It is recommended that you only eat low-glycemic carbohydrates.
The glycemic load (GL) of a food is an estimate of how much a food will bring sugar into our blood, so it is always preferable to choose those with a low glycemic load.
The Zone Diet was initially developed to reduce the possibility of chronic diseases related to poor diets.
The Zone Diet, in fact, recommends balancing each meal with a third of protein, two thirds of fruit and vegetables and a pinch of fat.
However, you do not actually lose a lot of weight but it improves the health of our body in general.
9. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that alternates fasting with eating.
Instead of limiting food, it is based on the idea of deciding when to eat.
There are various ways of fasting:
On 16/8: skip breakfast and eat for 8 hours, then fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
Eat-Don’t Eat: Based on 24-hour fasts once or twice a week on non-consecutive days.
On 5/2: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only 500-600 calories are eaten. In the remaining five days we eat normal.
The Warrior’s Diet: It is based on eating small amounts of raw fruit and vegetables during the day and a large meal at night.
Intermittent fasting is good, I also say this very clearly. Obviously you have to get used to your body gradually but it brings with it numerous advantages, so it is worth trying.
This article is about the 9 most popular diets around, it’s an informative article and it’s also right that you have all the means to choose what’s best for you.
But remember that the diet will have to be right for you and only for you, personalizing it to the extreme because it has to be right for me.