The Mediterranean diet
With plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and seafood, this diet is based on the types of foods traditionally eaten in places like Greece in Italy. The diet restricts refined grains, trans fats, refined oils, processed meats, added sugar, and other highly processed foods. Poultry, eggs, and dairy products are to be eaten in moderation while red meats are limited. Although not strictly a weight loss diet, it can result in reduced calorie intake and can aid weight loss if adopted as part of a healthier more active lifestyle.
Known as the ‘caveman’ diet, Palaeolithic diets are all about eating as our ancestors did, with a hunter-gatherer mentality. The aim is to eat as naturally as possible, opting for grass-fed meats, lots of fruit and vegetables and other wholefoods such as nuts and seeds. Many Paleo followers believe our digestive systems have not adapted to suit ‘modern’ foods such as processed meats, grains, sugar, and dairy. The high protein content means you may feel fuller for longer, which can aid weight loss. It can also reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Vegetarians restrict animal products such as meat, poultry, and fish, with some also choosing to cut out eggs and dairy. Plant-based diets likely aid weight loss because they tend to be low in high-calorie fat and rich in fibre, which can help you stay fuller for longer. Plant-based diets can also lead to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes.
A vegan diet restricts all animal products, including animal-derived products such as dairy, gelatine, honey and whey. Without a properly planned diet, vegans are at risk of missing out on the essential nutrients typically found in animal products, such as iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. A supplement is often recommended to help avoid deficiency.
The Flexitarian diet is a plant-based diet which allows animal products to be eaten in moderation. Flexitarians eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, however there are no clear-cut rules, which makes it a popular alternative to vegetarian and vegan diets.