· By Anya Kaats
The 411 on Popular Diet Plans
Diets seem to come and go. We’ve all tried so many of them, some with great results, others… not so much. There are a few diets floating around nowadays that seem to have been sticking around for a while. To help everyone figure out what might work for them, here is a summary of 4 of the most popular diets – Vegan
- What you can eat: Anything that does not come from an animal. This includes vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, Seeds, grains, sugar, potatoes, non-dairy “milks”, soy, tempeh, tofu, all oils, herbs & spices.
- What you cannot eat: Anything that comes from an animal. This includes beef, poultry, pork, seafood, honey, gelatin, dairy, eggs, caviar.
- Quick facts: Veganism is different from vegetarianism as it does not allow for any animal products. People who are vegetarian often still eat eggs and dairy whereas those who are vegan avoid all animal products, even if it isn’t the animal itself. Vegans also often chose not to wear animal products such as suede, leather, wool & silk. Additionally, many will not use any products that have been tested on animals for ethical reasons.
- What you can eat: Organic/Grass-fed/Pastured animal products including beef, poultry, pork & eggs, wild-caught seafood, nuts, seeds, vegetables, low-sugar fruit, eggs, some oils including olive oil & coconut oil, herbs & spices.
- What you cannot eat: Grains, legumes, refined sugar, fruits high in sugar, potatoes, dairy, soy, tempeh, tofu, refined vegetable oils including canola and safflower.
- Quick facts: While most people on the paleo diet do not eat dairy, some do but often stick to raw & grass-fed varieties. Many people often confuse the paleo diet with the Atkins diet. However, there is a large difference between the two in that the Atkins diet does not specify the quality of food you are supposed to be eating. In a paleo diet, Organic & grass-fed beef is considered a completely different food than processed, non-organic & grain-fed beef which is often full of hormones and antibiotics. People who follow a paleo diet often refer to it as a “paleo lifestyle”. Along with dietary guidelines, those who follow a paleo lifestyle also adopt specific fitness, activity & sleep routines.
- What you can eat: Anything that does require cooking including raw vegetables, raw fruit, raw nuts, raw seeds, raw oil, raw nut “milks”, raw soy, raw or sprouted grains, raw spices & herbs.
- What you cannot eat: Anything that requires cooking or that is heated included cooked vegetables or fruit, roasted nuts and seeds, oil that’s been heated, cooked soy products, cooked grains.
- Quick facts: People who follow raw diets often utilize special kitchen tools to help them make a wider variety of meal options. These include high-powered blenders such as a Vitamix to make raw soups, sauces, dressings & smoothies. Additionally, people who follow a raw diet often use dehydrators, which heat food just slightly to remove the water, but not heat the food so much that it loses its nutritional value. Using a dehydrator enables you to make things like raw granola, dried fruit, kale chips or other raw, vegetable and nut chips.
- What you can eat: Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, seafood, olive oil, organic/grass-fed/pastured animal products, minimally processed dairy, herbs & spices.
- What you cannot eat: Refined sugar, processed animal products, refined grains.
- Quick facts: The Mediterranean diet varies quite a bit. While some chose to avoid all grains, many chose to avoid only processed grains. The main goal of the diet is to focus on nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits & nuts, while avoiding the majority of processed foods.