What is Healthy Diet?
A healthy diet is vital to prevent any diseases, especially cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions. It is necessary so you will feel your best all the time.
But the question is, "What to consider as a healthy diet? ".
When we were still a baby, the only food we need was breast milk. It contains the essential nutrients to remain healthy and function properly. However, as we grow older, our body’s needs become different. A healthy diet includes foods that can provide the essential nutrients needed by your body to work correctly.
Why having a healthy diet is important?
Following a healthy diet is vital because your body organs and tissues require the right nutrition to function properly and to work effectively. The lack of proper nutrition will make you at high risk of diseases, fatigue, and infection. You will also perform poorly.
Kids who are eating a poor diet are likely to develop growth and developmental issues. Their academic performance will also be affected. A poor diet can have many repercussions. These would include cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. These are the top leading causes of death related to diet.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the keys to improve health and quality of life. The other things you must do would be to give up smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and increase physical activities.
The key to eating a healthy diet is a balanced diet. In other words, you need to consume a variety of foods but only in their right proportions. You must eat the proper amount of food and drink to maintain and achieve a healthy weight and body.
What are the types of Healthy Diet?
1. Ketogenic Diet
In a nutshell, keto diet involves high-fat consumption with sufficient protein. Ketogenic or keto diet transforms your body into a fat-burning machine. In this diet, your carb intake is low. When the carbs are not present, your body is forced to use fats as fuel for energy.
This diet was developed in the 1920s. But it was used for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. Although it still being used for this purpose today, research is ongoing to probe its other potential for various neurological diseases and disorders.
How it works?
Typically, when you eat food rich in carbohydrates, your body converts the carbs into glucose to be used as fuel. The insulin in your body moves the converted glucose to the bloodstream. In other words, glucose is the main source of energy with the presence of carbs. When you are on keto, your carbohydrate intake is low. As a result, your body finds another source of energy so you can continue functioning. And that alternative source is fat.
Without carbs, the body goes into ketosis. In here, the liver turns to fatty acids and converts them to ketone bodies or ketones to be used as fuel. And this is the goal of a ketogenic diet.
During ketosis, your body transforms into a fat-burning machine. And it does so in an efficient manner. Ketosis is not dangerous because it is a normal physiological process. Only this time, your eating style puts your body in that state all the time.
To put your body into a state of ketosis, you need a low-carb consumption. That is, your overall daily calories should come from fat and only 20% from protein and 5% from carbs. In other words, you can only eat up to 50 grams of carbs a day.
When on keto, you cannot eat candies, pizza, ice cream and other foods rich in sugar. Rather, you must focus on meat, seafood, and poultry. You can eat butter, cream, cheese, and other full-fat dairy products. Nuts and seeds are also okay. Avocados are ideal too.
As for vegetables, you must only limit your consumption. You need low-carb vegetables, like onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Keep in mind that most vegetables contain a high amount of carbs.
When it comes to fat consumption, you must only eat good fats, like grass-fed beef, extra virgin olive oil, and others. Any form of sugar must be avoided. Pasta, starches, and bread are not allowed. Processed foods are also prohibited.
So, "How will you know that your body is in ketosis when eating those foods?".
The only way to know is to test your body’s ketone levels. It is vital to test it to ensure that you are getting the whole benefits of a keto diet. As your body turns to fats for fuel, the ketones spill over into your urine, breath, and blood. In that case, you can test your urine, blood or breath for ketones.
Why Is It Useful?
Keto diet does not only cause more weight loss but it also improves the health of patients who are at high risk of heart disease. But it is not the only use of a keto diet.
Reduces Insulin Levels
Keto diet is a low-carb diet, which is perfect for patients with diabetes. Research showed that this diet could lower blood sugar levels. It does not only reduce blood sugar but it also lowers insulin levels.
Diabetics who started a low-carb diet might need to lower their insulin dosage by 50%. However, it is still ideal that you talk to your doctor before you follow this diet if you are diabetic.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Keto diet could also lower blood pressure. Hypertension is a contributing factor for various life-threatening diseases, such as kidney failure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Be Used As Treatment For Brain Disorders
Your brain burns glucose. It is the reason your liver converts protein into glucose if you lower your carb consumption. But a huge part of your brain burns ketones when you starve yourself or when your carb intake is extremely low. It is the process being used for years in treating children with epilepsy who are resistant to drug treatment.
In several cases, a keto diet can treat epilepsy in children. In a study, 50% of children who followed a keto diet had a 50% reduction in the number of seizures they experienced. The other 16% were seizure-free.
Leads to Weight Loss
Limiting carb consumption is beneficial if you wish to lose weight. In several studies, people who are following a low-carb diet have lost more weight than those who are on low-fat diets. What is more interesting is that people restricting their carb intake lost up to three times as much weight and they did not feel hungry.
2. Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet, no matter what form you are following, requires that you restrict your net carbs. Instead, you must up your protein and good fats consumption. However, as you are reaching your weight loss goal, you can add back some carbs to your diet.
The main reason a low-carb diet, like Atkins diet, is effective, is that a reduced carb and increased protein intake could reduce your appetite. As a result, you eat fewer calories.
Keto diet and Atkins diet are somehow similar. These two diets follow a low-carb consumption allowing the body to burn fat stores for fuel. As you lower your carb intake, your body is forced to use fats for energy to help you lose weight.
The whole idea of this diet is for you to restrict your consumption of sugar and refined flour. However, in Atkins 20, whole-grain foods are prohibited and you can only eat them when you have reached the maintenance stage.
How it works?
The Atkins diet involves different phases. The initial phase helps your body in switching your body to become a fat-burning machine. It is where your body enters in ketosis state. You will notice quick weight loss. You will focus on eating protein and fats. The carbs will only be 20 grams and they must be in vegetable form.
During phase 2, you start to add some foods back to your diet. But you can only do so when you know how much carbs you must consume to lose weight. You can then go to the next phase once you only have 10 pounds left to shed pounds. In here, you will know how to keep your weight and shed the last few pounds. The last phase will go on for the rest of your life to make sure that you will not gain back the weight you have lost.
In Atkins 40, the rules are more relaxed. Initially, you can eat 40 grams of carbs, rather than 20. It also does not cancel out other food groups during the initial stage. Although it still limits butter or fats, it does not have any restrictions on meat consumption.
Atkins diet requires that you eliminate white flour and other common carbs during the initial stage. You can eat meat, fatty fish, seafood, eggs, low-carb veggies, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.
Why Is It Useful?
The main goal of the Atkins diet is to modify your eating habits. As a result, you can lose weight significantly. It is a lifelong approach to healthy eating. Beyond weight loss, here are the other uses of the Atkins diet.
Improves Heart Health
The most vital benefit of this diet is that it improves your cardiovascular health. In this study, overweight people who followed a low-carb, high-fat diet had greater chances of reducing their risk of heart attack. The reason for this is that your body uses extra fat in your body to use as fuel as your blood sugar crashes.
As you cut your carb intake, you are lowering your triglycerides level while increasing your good cholesterol, thereby, improving your heart health.
Improve Blood Sugar
Having uncontrolled sugar levels could increase your risk of heart disease. The Atkins diet could improve your body’s way to process sugar properly. As you limit your carb intake, you are preventing blood sugar spikes.
Prevents Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome can be addressed through Atkins diet because you will be eating healthy protein. As a result, your muscle mass is preserved, thereby, allowing your body’s metabolism to run efficiently so you can continue burning fats.
If you need structure in your diet, cutting sugary carbs can assist your weight loss and cut your calories. Atkins is a healthy diet as it focuses on healthy proteins and fats.
Treats Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Patients with diabetes are more likely to have a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The reason for this is that insulin can have a negative effect on hormones leading to imbalnce.
This disorder is a common endocrine disease in women and it is associated with infertility, obesity and insulin resistance. In some studies, researchers found that a low-carb diet, like Atkins diet, could lead to an improvement in weight and free testosterone.
These are just a few of the uses of Atkins Diet. To ensure long-term success with it, pair it with regular exercise and keep your portions small.
3. Low-Carb Diet
As the term suggests, a low-carb diet restricts carbohydrate consumption. It focuses on consuming foods rich in fat and protein. Ketogenic and Atkins diets are just two of the many types of low-carb diets today. Each one has restrictions on the number of carbs you can consume.
The main goal of following this diet is to lose a significant amount of weight. The health benefits of some low-carb diets do not just focus on losing weight. In fact, they could help in reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
How it works?
It is vital to remember that the food options you have when following a low-carb diet will depend on your overall health, physical activities and your current weight. Generally, you need to avoid sugar, wheat, trans fats, seed oils, and other low-fat products. You must also avoid processed foods.
Instead, you need to consume only meat, eggs, fish, nuts, high-fat dairy, healthy oils, non-gluten grains, and fats. Carbohydrates are also a vital nutrients. They are a macronutrient that you can find in various foods and beverages. They are available in simple or complex form.
The main source of fuel of your body is the carb. During digestion, complex carbs are converted into simple sugars to be absorbed in the bloodstream. Generally, your body digests complex carbs slowly. They also cause less effect on your blood sugar. Beyond fuel, they can serve other body functions.
If you have an increased blood sugar level, it activates the release of insulin that helps in proper absorption of glucose by the body cells. Glucose is utilized for energy so you can perform various activities. The extra glucose will be stored in your cells, muscles, and liver or it is converted into fats.
With low-carb diet, you are decreasing the number of carbs in your body. Because of that, the body uses the stored fat for fuel. It will lead to weight loss.
As you follow a low-carb diet, you must opt for foods with healthy proteins and unsaturated fats. Do not eat saturated and trans fats. These fats can be found in dairy products, meat, and pastries.
Why Is It Useful?
One of its main benefits is to help you lose weight. Low-carb diets are said to be more effective than any other diets, according to some studies. They also lead to burning more calories than other available diets.
Normalize Blood Sugar
It can be useful in managing your type 1 diabetes. Because it can assist in reducing or normalizing your blood sugar, it may help in reversing type 2 diabetes.
Reduce IBS Symptoms
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, like cramps, pain, and diarrhea, then low-carb diet can help in making your gut healthier. It also helps in reducing your sugar cravings. It is especially beneficial if you struggle to stop yourself from eating sweet foods. It may reduce or eliminate sugar cravings.
Apart from these benefits, low-carb diets can also help you focus more and assist you to achieve a calmer digestive system. Furthermore, you get to experience improved health symptoms, better skin, and fertility.
4. Paleo Diet
The paleo diet lets you eat any foods that humans consumed millions of years ago. Generally, it is a dietary plan used by humans in the Paleolithic era. This diet may help in improving overall health as it eliminates high-fat foods. It also gets rid of processed foods with little to no nutritional value.
It focuses on fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber that can fill you up faster. In that way, you will eat less, thereby, curbing weight gain.
In this diet, you will eat lean meats and fish, as well as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. You cannot or must only limit foods that came when farming emerged. These food choices would include legumes, grains, and dairy products.
The logic of this diet is that the human body is not compatible with modern diet when farming practices started. Farming modified how people ate. The incompatibility is one of the contributing factors to the prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
How it works?
Paleo diet aims to help you lose weight as it restricts some food groups and reduces calorie intake. Then, if you exercise regularly, you are burning more calories, thereby, resulting in weight loss. In a review, the researchers uncovered that paleo diet resulted in the risk factors for chronic disease.
The diet also eliminates sugar. If you are consuming your sugar from fruit, this diet is not for you. Sugar can cause a spike in your energy. As a result, it crashes your system. As you consume fewer calories, your body is now in a calorie deficit. Your body gets its energy from fat stores.
Why Is It Useful?
Paleo diet is high in nutrients. It highlights protein and healthy fats. You will supplement your body with a lot of healthy fats, nuts, berries, vegetables, and fruits. All of them are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Maintain Weight Loss
As you continue to follow a paleo diet, you will sustain your weight loss. You will experience muscle growth, as long as you keep an active lifestyle. It also helps in keeping your gut healthy. Plus, it helps you sleep better and allows you to manage stress well.
This diet gives your body plenty of fiber. With sufficient amount of water, this diet can decrease bloating that you typically experience when you are on a Western diet.
It is a combination of being hungry and angry. It is a typical symptom of people who suffer from chronic hyperglycemia. When you have a low blood sugar level, you will be easily irritated. There is also the onset of fatigue and a foggy mind.
When your body turns to fats and protein for energy, the blood sugar levels become stable. And this is the goal of Paleo. You will still feel hunger. But it develops gradually. Plus, you will not feel any crazy mood swings.
High in Healthy Fats
Paleo also promotes eating healthy fats from poultry, grass-fed meat, butter, and coconuts, among others. Furthermore, you will consume a healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These healthy fats are vital in keeping healthy brain function and skin.
Other uses of the Paleo diet would include improved sleep, mental clarity, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved lipid profiles, and healthier gut flora, and several others.
These healthy diets restrict carb intake. It is vital to remember, though, that carbs are not bad. Your body needs them. However, you must ensure that you are consuming complex carbs and not those simple carbohydrates that you find in processed foods.
Before you even start one of these healthy diets, make sure to talk to your doctor. It is especially true if you have a medical condition, like diabetes.