What Are The Best Diets for Overall Health?
The right diet can do more than lower numbers on your bathroom scale and make your clothes fit looser. It can also improve your health and with that, improve your longevity.
While there are many dozens of diets you can follow, some of them are ranked higher than others when it comes to being better for your overall health.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet is one of the higher ranked diets when it comes to overall health because it can help keep your blood pressure down or bring it down if you already have higher than normal numbers.
Lowering your blood pressure can keep your heart healthier and prevent heart disease. The vitamins and minerals in the foods you eat work to keep your blood pressure lower naturally and the DASH diet is one that guides you toward those foods to provide you with a balanced diet.
Not only is the DASH diet one that’s great for helping you lose weight and for keeping your blood pressure lower, but it also helps to prevent or control diabetes.
What you have to do first is to look at the DASH guide to see where you currently are with your age and how much physical exercise you get. The diet focuses on the amount of calories you’ll need based on that criteria.
You don’t have to eat any weird foods or outrageously expensive ones. You’re allowed to eat normal, wholesome foods that are readily available in your grocery store.
One of the big focuses of this diet is to watch your salt intake and there’s a good reason for that. Salt is one of those things that’s super unhealthy in large doses and most people get three to four times above the recommended cutoff for sodium consumption.
Too much salt intake will show up in your overall health and that’s one reason why you might be feeling the impact. Salt is well known to raise blood pressure because it makes you retain fluid and that fluid causes more pressure on your heart.
On this diet, you should keep your sodium intake to no more than about 1,500 mg. Less than that is unsafe. The gist of the diet focuses on increasing your servings of fruits and vegetables and making sure that your meat choices are lean.
It emphasizes meats like fish and poultry. The dairy that you consume should be low or fat free. As you replace the high calorie, high fat and high sodium foods with whole grains, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables, you’ll start to notice a weight loss and you’ll see a difference – not only in your blood pressure – but in your health overall.
What makes this eating plan popular is that there aren’t any off limits foods. It’s mostly just healthy eating with controlled portion sizes. It’s highly recommended that you develop an exercise plan along with following a DASH diet.
Even if you just walk 10 minutes a day at first, that will help you get started and ease you into a newer, healthier lifestyle.
The MIND Diet
There are some diets that can help you retain your cognitive function and can prevent age related issues with the memory and even certain age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The MIND diet is one of these. You can protect your brain function as well as your overall health by following the guidelines outlined in this diet. The diet is also focused on heart health, so it can help you lower your blood pressure as well.
Studies have shown that those who stick to the diet can lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by more than 50 percent. This diet is also good for helping to keep dementia at bay.
The MIND diet is actually a combination of two well known diets. What it does is it takes the best of both and looks at how the foods in those two diets can specifically benefit your brain.
The two diets that this one combines are the DASH diet as well as one called the Mediterranean diet. The focus of the MIND diet is found from eating foods that have been scientifically proven to help how your brain can hold onto its ability to function normally.
In this diet, you’ll eat plenty of vegetables, meats such as poultry or fish, whole grains and nuts. What people like about this diet is that it also focuses on making sure that wine is included with meals.
Wine has a lot of benefits when it comes to protecting the brain as well as the rest of the body. You will have to make some eating changes with this diet and some people find that hard.
But the key is to slowly do away with the wrong types of foods and you’ll discover that your body will come to crave this new, healthier way of eating. When on this diets, you’ll need to stay away from processed foods, fatty items like butter or margarine, unhealthy red meats, certain dairy items, junk food and foods that are cooked in unhealthy oils.
The good news about this diet is that it’s simple to follow and the food is delicious and following it can also lower your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
The basic outline of this diet is to make sure that you consume a specific amount of healthy foods and make sure that your eating plan has whole grains for each of your three meals.
And you should make sure you have a glass of wine every day. Snacks should consist of things like nuts and the oil or fats that you use should be mainly olive oil.
What a lot of people like about this diet is that if you follow the healthy foods recommended, it’s not as calorie restrictive as some of the other diets on the market.
The TLC Diet
Thanks to how accessible fast foods are and the way that many people eat foods high in fat and calories, high cholesterol is on the rise. This high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and heart attacks as well as impact your quality of life as you age.
One of the keys to having good heart health and longevity is to keep your cholesterol numbers in a healthy range. You can cut those numbers by changing your diet and that’s what the TLC diet can help with.
This one is known for helping people be able to lower those numbers by as much as 10 percent in less than two months. One of the focal points of the diet is to stop eating foods that are high in saturated fat, which is one of the worst fats for your heart.
You’ll find foods that are laden with saturated fats in more than just your junk food aisle. Certain types of meat can be high in saturated fats as can some dairy products.
If you’re someone who’s currently on medication to control high cholesterol, you can benefit from a diet that can bring those numbers down enough so that you can get off the medications.
The reason you might want to consider this is because cholesterol lowering medications are known to cause kidney damage when used long term. One of the things that you’ll have to learn how to do well on this diet is to pay attention to the amount of fat in the foods that you eat.
You have to actively look for what’s on the labels. If you’re a woman with high cholesterol and you want to bring that down as well as see a difference in your weight, then you should aim to have between 1,200 and 1,400 calories a day.
Men can add roughly 400 calories above that intake. But your saturated fat needs to be 5% or less of all the calories that you consume. So that means that high fat meats will have to go.
You’ll also want to cut out high fat dairy products and switch to low fat or fat free. One thing to keep in mind with this diet is that you must have fiber. Fiber is what also helps to keep your bad cholesterol numbers in check. Without enough fiber in your diet, then your digestive system can’t process the fat like it should.
This is why the diet calls for plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. You’ll eat less meat by following this diet and the poultry that you do eat should always be skinless and baked or broiled, never fried.
The Ornish Diet
The Ornish diet is a great weight loss diet that can be customized for each user. You can follow it for overall healthy such as if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, the diet can help you get those conditions under control.
By using this diet, you may even be able to reverse some health issues such as a diabetes diagnosis. The diet is good for overall health such as lowering cholesterol and being helpful for preventing the development of certain types of cancer.
This diet is also known to help people live longer. The focus of this diet is based on healthy eating with a balanced food plan and it doesn’t make any one food group one that’s completely off limits, but rather gives you options within that group.
It’s a simple, easy diet to adhere to which is one of the reasons for its success. The foods that you’ll be eating will include fruits and vegetables, and whole grains – while strictly limiting fats. You can have dairy, but it’s a limited amount.
For you to achieve your weight loss goals on this diet, you’ll need to make sure your meals include complex carbs rather than having the majority of your carbs come from simple ones.
The diet has a strong focus on what you’ll eat, but it also touches on the length and types of exercise that are most beneficial to your overall health. Handling issues that can derail an eating plan is also part of this diet.
When you deal with stress in your life, it can often be a trigger to comfort yourself or to quiet the emotions by eating. The guidelines with this diet touch on how stress impacts your weight loss and health goals and how to successfully deal with it.
The guideline of the diet teaches users that there are foods that are more beneficial to your body than others are, but it won’t label food as taboo. Instead, it takes each food group and gives them a level of helpfulness to your body, which the first choice being the one that will be better for your weight loss than the other choices.
It also teaches that followers need to limit their fat intake to 10 percent or less of their total calorie count. What it does is it teaches people to look at all the options they have with a particular food such as meat and to make the best choice that’s available.
Users learn to choose whole grain breads over the high fat, high calorie second option. The diet does have a strong focus on making sure you get enough exercise. The focus for this is on strength training as well as aerobic exercise. The diet also has users limit their alcohol as well as their caffeine consumption.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for awhile and is known for its nutritional soundness. It’s a diet that’s been successfully followed for weight loss as well as for improving overall health.
By adhering to this diet, you can improve your heart health, your long term cognitive function, prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes and even keep certain types of cancer from occurring.
This diet first came to mainstream attention after it was noticed that people who lived close to the Mediterranean Sea didn’t seem to struggle with the same health issues that other people did.
Once the eating habits of the people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea were studied, it was discovered that those people had certain eating habits that contributed to them having better health.
For one, they didn’t eat as much red meat as most people do – and they also didn’t consume a diet that was high in sugar or fat. Instead, they focused their meals on lean meats, fruits and vegetables.
The flavors they used in their meals helped give the foods a more appealing taste than many diets. On this diet, you can expect to use olive oil and spices to cook or flavor your food.
There is a strong emphasis on eating fish, limiting dairy and having a glass of red wine when you have your meals. This diet offers a lot of leeway when it comes to a choice of what to eat.
So if you’re not particularly strong in your motivation to lose weight and get healthy, you will want to follow some sort of menu that’s already planned out for you since planning out the meals can become a bit time consuming.
You can find guidelines and recipes that can help you make meals according to this diet plan. Exercise, at least 20 minutes a day, is strongly recommended on this diet. While you can start out with something as simple as walking, strength training is recommended.