Diet: Everything you need to know

Diet
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The word diet first came into being in the 13th century. It originated from the Greek word ‘diaita’ which means ‘to lead one’s life’. In early and modern English periods, it meant ‘a way of living’. The original meaning of the word translates to a habitual pattern of consuming foods and drinks. 

Philosophically speaking, it means the way we live our lives and the way we lead our lives. The impact food has on our ability to lead our lives is immense. ‘We are what we eat’ is an ancient saying, and it still stands undeniably true. What we put inside our bodies is what we will create. What goes in is what comes outsides. 

 

The food we eat

The food we eat, when we eat, how we eat it and how much we eat is a part of our diet. Everything is connected. And so, our relationship with our food reflects the relationship we have with ourselves and everything else. If you want to improve your relationship with yourself or others, you can start by improving your relationship with your food. 

The food we eat is an essential part of our lives. Food gives us nourishment and energy to live life to our best capacities. If you can come in harmony with it, everything else in your life will fall into place. 

Fasting and detoxification are also an essential part of our diet. A balanced diet is not only what we include in it but also what we exclude from it. This is where fasting and detoxification come into the picture. As there are different types of fasts, there are also different types of diets. 

 

Types of diet 

Diet is a multi-billion-dollar industry. There are hundreds of diets for different purposes. There are diets for heart health, skincare, weight reduction, anti-ageing, and so much more. No one diet fits all. The way each of us functions is different. And so, our diet too will vary. As what may be suitable for one person can harm another. Here is a list of 5 most effective diets:

  • Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet is designed for places that are located by the Mediterranean Sea. Spain, Italy, France, Greece and the other 18 countries spread across Asia, Europe, and Africa practice the Mediterranean diet. As the grace of the ocean blesses these countries, seafood is an essential part of their Mediterranean diet. 

The government of Greece first researched this in 1948. They did this to improve the health of their population post world war 2. The research found that the people who ate this way were much healthier than people who had other eating habits. 

The Mediterranean diet includes eating a large number of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, legumes, grains, herbs, spices and seafood. It also includes red meat but in tiny proportions and on rare occasions. It excludes processed foods, processed meat and foods that contain added artificial sugar which makes it one of the most effective diets in the world. 

  • Paleo Diet

Other names for the paleo diet are Palaeolithic diet or the stone age diet. It is based on the idea of eating foods that were available during the hunter-gatherer days during the Palaeolithic age. When we started to farm, grains and dairy products is when our diet became imbalance. This imbalance is what lead to modern problems like obesity, heart-related diseases and diabetes. 

And so, this way of eating includes foods like fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat, fish, nuts and seeds and oils from nuts and seeds. It excludes farmed foods like grains, legumes, dairy products, refined sugar, processed foods and salt.  This kind of meal is beneficial for weight loss and to control blood pressure. It also helps in improving glucose tolerance. 

  • Vegan Diet 

The basic idea of the vegan diet is not to eat anything that has to do with animals. It includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, rice, grains and oils. This way of eating excludes all meat, fish, all dairy products and honey. As a replacement for dairy products, the vegan diet includes milk like soymilk, almond milk and coconut milk. Many vegans also prefer sunflower seed and pumpkin seed milk. 

Eating this way has proven to improve heart health and obesity-related issues. 

  • Flexitarian Diet

The flexitarian way of eating is excellent for you if you want to become a vegetarian but still eat meat sometimes. It is the called ‘flexitarian’ because it allows you to be flexible with your food. The central premise of this diet is based on eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds most of the time and eating grass-fed meat sometimes. 

Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner created this way of eating. He intended to help people enjoy the benefits of vegetarianism but also enjoy eating meat in moderation when the urge arises. It helps in managing and preventing heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. It also helps in achieving weight loss goals. 

  • Raw food and fruitarian diet 

Diet

This is one of the healthiest diets. But it is also one of the most challenging diets. 

It involves eating only raw vegetables and fruits. It excludes all dairy products, cooked foods, oils, meat, grains and processed foods. Raw vegetables and fruits are the primary and only source of nourishment in this diet. 

The raw food and fruit diet is rich in fibre. It is based on the idea that our body doesn’t need extra proteins, fats and carbs. Our body can obtain everything it needs from raw foods and vegetables. 

This way of eating is excellent for detoxification of the body. That’s because the fiber from the fruits and vegetables clean the colon and digestive tracks. 

This diet is extremely challenging if you are addicted to fats, carbs and proteins. And so, it is not for everyone. If you decide try it, ease yourself into it. First, start by cutting dairy products and slowly cut off legumes and grains. You can learn more about transitioning into this diet here. 

Also known as the mucus free healing diet, this diet can help to heal diabetes, heart diseases, mental and psychological disorders, weightless and cancer. 

 

What is a balanced diet?

We spend lots of time trying to figure out the best diet for us. It is a process of trial and error. As we try different diets and foods, we learn more about our bodies. We learn what suits our body and what harms it. It is best to not waste time and energy by trying to keep a count of calories. Trying to monitor calorie intake can be tiring and exhausting. 

Instead, to find a balanced diet for yourself, learn to listen to your body. Your body is always speaking to you about what it wants and what it doesn’t want. 

A balanced diet is that which is good for your gut health and microbiome. When the microbiome in the gut is in balance, the mind, thoughts, and emotions are at peace. When the microbiome is imbalanced, it adversely affects the way we live our lives. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and small amounts of cold-pressed oils are excellent to maintain a healthy microbiome. 

A balanced diet is 80 per cent fruits and vegetables and 20 per cent meat, grains, dairy products and oils. Meat can be consumed but in small amounts. And grass-fed meat is better than grain-fed, farmed meat.

A balanced diet is a simple diet. Strive to bring simplicity to your diet and don’t forget to enjoy the ride and the pleasures of eating delicious food. 

 

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