Which diets are popular and trending now ?
Following a specific diet is becoming more and more popular. We list and summarise the most popular diets at the moment. Read on to learn about these diets and discover which one we consider the healthiest.
U.S. News assessed this as the best diet in 2019. Their panel of health experts voted it no. 1. We would place it second. Our winner is below.
With its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet is eminently sensible. And health experts’ assessments of it are resoundingly positive, giving this diet an edge over many competitors.
Interest in the Mediterranean diet began in the 1960s with the observation that coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, than in the U.S. and northern Europe. Subsequent studies found that the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.
The main components of Mediterranean diet include:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate portions of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.
“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.
When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It’s important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that’s focussed on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.
The ketogenic is extremely popular at the moment. This is probably because it is an effective weight loss diet.
There is an enormous amount of debate about whether this diet is healthy or unhealthy. It certainly seems to work in the short term. Personally it is not a diet we would recommend here. This is because it involves consuming large amounts of fat.
The diet calls for consuming high amounts of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and a very limited amount of carbs. It’s usually broken down to 75, 20, and 5 percent of your daily calories, respectively.
We do not recommend the ketogenic diet in the long-term because we do not think it is healthy long-term. The pros and cons of this diet are too complex and lengthy to be covered in this article.
A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants.
Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.
The vegan diet has become very popular.
Increasingly more people have decided to go vegan for ethical, environmental or health reasons.
When done right, such a diet may result in various health benefits, including a trimmer waistline and improved blood sugar control.
Nevertheless, a diet based exclusively on plant foods may, in some cases, increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Plant-based diets are becoming more popular in the United States. A 2017 report found that 6% of people in the U.S. now identify as vegan, compared with just 1% in 2014.
Precisely how you shape your vegan diet each day is up to you, but you’ll typically aim for six servings of grains; five servings of legumes, nuts and other types of protein, such as peanut butter, chickpeas, tofu, potatoes and a plant-based milk; and four daily servings of veggies, two servings of fruit and two servings of healthy fats such as sesame oil, avocado and coconut, according to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics guide.
Well planned vegan diets can be nutritious and healthy. For vegans who strictly avoid all animal products, other sources of vitamin B12 such as vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements should be included.
A way of eating that truly goes back to basics, Paleolithic diets are all about eating like our ancestors did. While you may not be inclined or even required to chase down a wildebeest, Paleo fans aim to eat as naturally as possible, opting for grass-fed meats, an abundance of fruit and veg and other wholefoods like nuts and seeds. Some relaxed versions of the diet allow taboo foods (that were not necessarily available during that era) like low-fat dairy products and potatoes, while others shun even fruit or veg that is considered to contain too much fructose.
Eat like a caveman and shed pounds. That’s the theory behind the Paleo Diet.
Loren Cordain, PhD, who literally wrote the book on The Paleo Diet, claims that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors, we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
Also called the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age diet, it’s basically a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories.
What You Can Eat and What You Can’t
Go Paleo, and you’ll eat a lot of fresh lean meats and fish, fruits, and vegetables, and healthier fats.
You can also eat:
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthier oils, including olive oil and coconut oil
You can’t eat any processed foods on this diet. And since our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, not farmers, say goodbye to wheat and dairy, along with other grains and legumes (such as peanuts and beans). Other foods to avoid:
- Refined sugar
- Refined vegetable oils, such as canola
Eliminating all grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar, and more will most likely lead to weight loss, but it may be a tough plan to follow long term due to the dietary limitations and restrictions.
There are several studies on certain aspects of the Paleo Diet. While they may not support all the claims made in the book, they have found that a diet rich in lean protein and plant-based foods can make you feel fuller, help control blood sugar levels, and help you lose weight.
Plant Protein Diet
A number of health experts believe that 2019 is the year of the plant protein.
We think that health, environmental, and ethical concerns will cause more people to eat less animal proteins or switch to plant-centered diets.
We are likely to see more plant-based options such as bean pastas and soy, tofu, or quinoa burgers on the market.
Recent food trends have increased the consumption of avocado, kale, and quinoa… all wonderful nutrient-dense foods that should not be given up. This year, dandelion greens, rainbow carrots, beets, and amaranth are the new popular kids on the block.
A low-carb diet is low in carbohydrates, primarily found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Instead, you eat whole foods including natural proteins, fats and vegetables.
Studies show that low-carb diets result in weight loss and improved health markers.
These diets have been in common use for decades and are recommended by many doctors. Best yet, there’s usually no need to count calories or use special products. All you need to do is to eat whole foods that make for a complete, nutritious and filling diet.
Many people with diabetes are following a low-carb diet because of its benefits in terms of improving diabetes control, weight loss and being a diet that is satisfying and easy to stick to.
Low-carb diets are flexible and can be followed by people with different types of diabetes.
The diet has allowed many people with type 2 diabetes to resolve their diabetes, that is to get their blood sugar levels into a non-diabetic range without the help of medication.
People with type 1 diabetes have also reported much more stable blood sugar levels, making the condition easier to predict and manage.
The diet is a healthy way of eating as vegetables and natural, real foods are integral to the diet.
Intermittent fasting (intermittent energy restriction or intermittent calorie restriction) is an umbrella term for various eating diet plans that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Intermittent fasting is under preliminary research to assess if it can produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.
The obesity epidemic has spawned a cottage industry of weight-loss schemes. Currently in vogue is intermittent fasting, which involves alternating intervals of extreme calorie reduction with periods of normal eating. Proponents of an intermittent fasting regimen claim that it helps shed pounds faster than traditional diets, as well as reduce inflammation and other heart disease risks.
“One pattern that has become a bit popular is the so-called 5:2 diet,” says Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With this system, you eat normally for five days of the week, but restrict food intake to just 500 to 600 calories on the two fasting days.
Another variation of intermittent fasting calls for alternating “fast” days, in which you consume a quarter or less of your basic calorie requirement, with “feast” days, during which you eat whatever you choose.
So far, the research studies evaluating intermittent fasting have been relatively short and have enrolled only a limited number of participants. In one, published July 1, 2017, in JAMA Internal Medicine, 100 overweight people were assigned to one of three eating plans: restricting daily calorie intake by the same amount every day (similar to a traditional diet plan), fasting on alternate days, and continuing with normal eating habits. At the end of the 12-month study, both diet groups had lost weight compared with the normal eaters. However, the fasters didn’t fare any better than the conventional calorie cutters.
A notable aspect of this trial was a very high dropout rate (38%) among the people assigned to the fasting regimen.
Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to change the way you feel and eat in 30 days. Basically, you have to remove all of the potentially inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet (think: added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods) and eat three “clean” meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs).
Unlike many other diets, the Whole30 diet does not focus solely on weight loss or calorie counting, so it may not be right for people who are only looking to lose weight. Instead, the restrictions include groups of foods that a person can or cannot eat.
The end goal of the Whole30 diet is to reset the body and allow the person to then slowly add foods back into their diet and check for adverse reactions.
The Whole30 website itself states that the diet helps to cut out food groups that it claims are:
- Psychologically unhealthy
- Hormone unbalancing
According to the Whole30 program, these potentially harmful food groups include:
By cutting out all of these foods for 30 consecutive days, proponents of the diet believe the body can heal from the underlying issues these foods may cause. In this regard, the diet would act as a reset button.
A heavy restriction diet such as the Whole30 diet is not going to be easily sustainable without careful management, so people who use the program should have a good exit strategy and modified diet afterward.
For the last eight years, the DASH Diet (which stands for Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension) has been ranked the best overall diet by U.S. News. Last year it tied for first with the Mediterranean Diet, and this year it’s been bumped to No. 2 for the first time.
The diet is simple:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
- Cut back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats
- Eat more whole-grain foods, fish, poultry, and nuts
- Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats
In research studies, people who were on the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure within 2 weeks.
Dash vs Mediterranean Diet Pic.
The MIND Diet
The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets with its goal to reduce dementia and the decline in brain health that usually occurs as we age.
The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. This diet combines principles from two other well-known diets: the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the traditional eating habits of those in Mediterranean countries. The DASH diet was developed as a result of clinical trials funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). In the MIND diet, parts of these diets have been combined with a new goal: reduce dementia and a decline in brain health that usually occurs as we age.
Specifically, the MIND diet differs from the Mediterranean and DASH diets in a few ways: It emphasizes berries, due to their antioxidant properties, over other fruits and recommends eating fish at least once per week. It also highlights the difference between green, leafy vegetables, which are rich in many nutrients and thought to reduce the risk of CVD and cognitive decline, and “other vegetables.” The MIND diet argues that both green leafy vegetables and other vegetables are essential.
Foods emphasized on the MIND diet include whole grains, berries, green, leafy vegetables, other vegetables, olive oil, poultry and fish.
Only a few epidemiological studies have been published on the MIND diet, with their main findings showing that adherence to the MIND diet is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
More research is likely to come, but findings are consistent with recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains, and decreased consumption of saturated fats.
Guidelines for the MIND Diet
Integrating principles of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, the MIND diet was created with ten foods to focus on and five to limit. The foods you are encouraged to eat while on the MIND diet include:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- All other vegetables
- Olive oil
- Whole grains
- Wine (no more than one glass per day)
Foods to avoid or limit include:
- Red meat
- Fried food
Both the Mediterranean and DASH diets have been researched thoroughly and are associated with lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
In contrast, there are only a handful of epidemiological studies examining the MIND diet’s effect on brain health and cognitive function.
So far, the results have shown the MIND diet to be associated with slowing cognitive decline and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Carnivore Diet – Meat Diet
The Carnivore Diet consists entirely of meat and animal products, excluding all other foods.
It’s claimed to aid weight loss, mood issues, and blood sugar regulation, among other health issues.
However, the diet is extremely restrictive and likely unhealthy in the long term. Plus, no research backs its purported benefits.
The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products.
It excludes all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Its proponents also recommend eliminating or limiting dairy intake to foods that are low in lactose — a sugar found in milk and dairy products — such as butter and hard cheeses.
Gluten Free Diet
A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, which is a mixture of proteins found in wheat (and all of its species and hybrids, such as spelt, kamut, and triticale), as well as barley, rye, and oats. The inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet remains controversial, and may depend on the oat cultivar and the frequent cross-contamination with other gluten-containing cereals.
The Flexitarian Diet is a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.
It’s more flexible than fully vegetarian or vegan diets.
If you’re looking to add more plant foods to your diet but don’t want to completely cut out meat, going flexitarian may be for you.
The Flexitarian Diet was created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner to help people reap the benefits of vegetarian eating while still enjoying animal products in moderation.
That’s why the name of this diet is a combination of the words flexible and vegetarian.
Vegetarians eliminate meat and sometimes other animal foods, while vegans completely restrict meat, fish, eggs, dairy and all animal-derived food products.
Since flexitarians eat animal products, they’re not considered vegetarians or vegans.
The Flexitarian Diet has no clear-cut rules or recommended numbers of calories and macronutrients. In fact, it’s more a lifestyle than a diet.
It’s based on the following principles:
- Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
- Focus on protein from plants instead of animals.
- Be flexible and incorporate meat and animal products from time to time. Eat the least processed, most natural form of foods.
- Limit added sugar and sweets.
Due to its flexible nature and focus on what to include rather than restrict, the Flexitarian Diet is a popular choice for people looking to eat healthier.
It’s a pitch Hollywood celebs love: that the alkaline diet — also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet — can help you lose weight and avoid problems like arthritis and cancer. The theory is that some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you.
So, according to the “science” behind this diet, eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds. The alkaline diet really rocketed into the news when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in January 2013.
What You Can and Can’t Eat
Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so they’re fair game.
Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side and are not allowed.
Most books that tout the alkaline diet say you shouldn’t have alcohol or caffeine, either.
The emphasis on fruits and vegetables that is at the core of alkaline diets offers the promise of healthy weight loss. No special gear or supplements are required.
You’ll have the best success with it if you like to choose and experiment with new foods and love to cook.
But following an alkaline diet will be tough for many people.
A lot of favorite foods that are allowed in moderation in other plans (including lean meat, low-fat dairy, bread, and sweets) are forbidden here. Protein is limited to plant-based sources such as beans and tofu. This means you will have to make sure you get enough protein and calcium.
This meal plan ditches gluten and refined sugars and embraces fermented foods, prebiotics and collagen – just what the dietitian ordered for a full week of gut-healthy eating.
Imagine your gut is like a garden: Every garden has a mix of flowers and weeds, but its overall health depends on the balance of the two. Like a garden, your gut contains elements that help it thrive (good bacteria) and elements you’d like to have less of (bad bacteria).
These bugs – the bacteria, fungi and other microbes that reside in your gut – are collectively known as the microbiome, and they serve numerous important functions. They impact your immune system, control inflammation, affect digestion, create neurotransmitters that influence mood and help make certain vitamins. Research has shown that a healthy microbiome is linked to protection from diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and many autoimmune conditions.
A gut-healthy diet includes fiber- rich foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes), plenty of polyphenols (coffee, tea, red wine, dark chocolate) and lots of water. The weeds (bad bacteria) love processed grains and sugar, so a gut-healthy diet will help keep them in check.
The Dubrow Diet is from reality TV power couple Heather Dubrow and Terry Dubrow, MD. She of Real Housewives of Orange County fame, and him a Newport Beach plastic surgeon and star on Botched. Their book is all about how to go on a diet that leaves you feeling and looking as good as they do.
So, what’s the huge secret? Intermittent fasting. Right, not such a huge secret, considering that next to the keto diet, IF is the next hottest thing. There are several ways to do intermittent fasting, but the Dubrows stick to time-restricted fasting. This means you only eat during a certain window of time in your day, and fast the rest of the hours. For example, you may fast for 12, 14, or 16 hours a day. They call this a “reset” (fast) and “refuel” (feast) schedule.
Targeted at millennials, Noom is a health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. It focuses on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts rather than encouraging more extreme styles of eating (e.g., cutting out specific food groups or nutrients). The app, which costs a minimum of $45 per month, allows you to:
- Generate a personalized calorie breakdown based on a series of lifestyle questions
- Track the foods you eat by searching a database or scanning barcodes
- Log exercise, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar
- Receive in-app 1:1 health coaching during business hours
- Stay motivated with interactive articles and quizzes
Since Noom does encourage habit formation and there are some real, substantial benefits to the behavior-change-for-life systems used to help guide you, in my opinion it might be worth doing the 14-day trial period. (You can cancel at any point during the two weeks without getting charged, as long as you don’t purchase any subscriptions within the app itself.)
In our opinion the second and third healthiest diets are the Mediterranean diet and the Dash diet but probably the best is a combination of the two – The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.