11 Popular Diets People Follow With The Pros And Cons

Subarna Ghosal

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12 Popular Diets People Follow With The Pros And Cons

Health is the most important aspect to think about what you must eat and determine whether it may be time for a change. Fad diets are becoming a popular trend these days and are well known for weight loss. The main goal of these diets is quick weight loss and several health benefits. These diets involve restrictions on certain foods that contain some essential nutrients. Many popular diets people follow in this generation lead to weight loss, but the vital point before following is knowing about their pros and cons.

Different Popular Diets People Follow

1. The Vegan Diet

The Vegan Diet
Source: Medical News Today

The vegan diet is a very popular diet nowadays since vegan diets have proven health benefits in reducing heart disease risks and managing diabetes. They are becoming more accessible in today’s era. A diet based exclusively on plant foods might increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies, so you must take care of it. You can include foods in this diet are fruits and vegetables, legumes like peas, beans, and lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Pros Of The Vegan Diet

  • Vegans don’t eat meat, milk, or eggs, etc. They consume less saturated fat—though there may be benefits to consuming small amounts of saturated fat as the new research shows.
  • A vegan diet helps lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes.

Cons Of The Vegan Diet

  • Protein intake can be an issue for vegans as they don’t eat many conventional protein sources. Hence, they should make sure they are getting enough protein from other foods.
  • It is also essential to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

2. The Whole30 Diet

The Whole30 Diet
Source: Eat This, Not That

Whole30 is a thirty-day clean-eating plan designed to change your eating habits by cutting out certain foods. In this diet, some foods that are super hard to give up like dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, and even alcohol fall in this category. You can include meat, poultry, fish, veggies, fruits, fats, etc.

Pros Of The Whole30 Diet

  • Eating whole foods with few ingredients can be a good thing.
  • It also doesn’t focus on calorie intake the way many fad diets do.

Cons Of The Whole30 Diet

The diet helps you to identify foods that bother you by a self-administered elimination diet. However, a dietician/doctor doesn’t help you determine what to eliminate and how long. The diet’s schedule isn’t scientific.

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet
Source: Everyday Health

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthy eating plans. The diet promotes health and prevents chronic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges it as a healthy and sustainable diet pattern and a cultural asset by the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats
  • Weekly intake of fish, poultry, and eggs
  • Moderate portions of dairy products
  • Limited intake of red meat

Pros Of The Mediterranean Diet

  • This diet is low in saturated fat and involves many fresh foods since it requires cooking your own meals.
  • Many studies have shown it can help to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive decline, etc.

Cons Of The Mediterranean Diet

  • One needs to buy fresh ingredients for meals. Hence, it can get costly.
  • Cooking regularly is time-consuming.

4. The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet
Source: Healthline

A paleo diet is a diet based on foods similar to have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. This diet typically includes lean meats, fishes, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago are dairy products, legumes, and whole grains.

Pros Of The Paleo Diet

  • A paleo diet can encourage the intake of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • A recent study showed that it might have short-term cardiovascular benefits.

Cons Of The Paleo Diet

Paleo’s meaning can differ from person to person, making the diet difficult for researchers to define and study for potential health benefits. Since there is the exclusion of legumes, dairy and grains mean people may not get enough fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.

5. The Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet
Source: WebMD

The raw food diet (raw foodism or raw veganism) comprises mostly or entirely raw and unprocessed foods. Food is raw if it has never been heated over (40–48°C). It should also not be refined or pasteurized, treated with pesticides, etc. The diet allows several preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking, and sprouting. Most raw food diets are made essentially of vegetables, nuts, fruits, and seeds. Grains and legumes are permitted but need to be soaked or sprouted before you consume them.

Pros Of The Raw Food Diet

Some nutrients in plants like vitamins B and C can’t withstand high temperatures during cooking. By eating fruits and raw vegetables, it helps to preserve more of their nutritional value.

The cooking process improves and enhances the availability of some antioxidants that are thought to promote longevity. But cooking destroys harmful bacteria that can make you sick.

6. Juice Cleanse

Juice Cleanse
Source: Eat This, Not That

The juice cleanse involve consuming only juice for a certain period, typically for 3 to 10 days. These diets could range from freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables to lemon water with cayenne pepper but with no nutrition. A juice cleanse diet involves consuming vegetable and fruit juice for a short time. It is also called a juice fast.

Pros Of Juice Cleanse

  • Juices improve digestion by introducing healthy enzymes that make the gut work more efficiently.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables increase vitamin and mineral intake.
  • Juices are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that help in boosting the immune system.

Cons Of Juice Cleanse

  • On a straight juice cleanse, you’re missing out on fiber and protein.
  • Cleansing diets are usually low in calories. Reduced calorie intake might result in temporary weight loss, but it is rarely long-lasting.
  • If a person consumes unpasteurized juices or has not had another treatment to remove bacteria, they are at greater risk of illness.
  • If a juice cleanse has laxatives or other bowel stimulation methods, a person could lose too many nutrients in their stool.

7. The Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet
Source: Healthline

The Atkins diet is a low-carb diet; it is usually recommended for weight loss. It claims to lose weight while eating protein and fat while avoiding foods high in carbs. Over 20 studies conclude that low-carb diets without calorie counting are effective for weight loss, leading to various health improvements. The diet was originally considered unhealthy by the mainstream health authorities for its high saturated fat content. But the new studies suggest that saturated fat is harmless. 

Phase I: Referred to as “Induction.” This phase is adhered to for two weeks. 

  • A limit of 20 g in ‘net carbs’ daily
  • Full-fat dairy such as butter, margarine is permitted.
  • Low carbs consumption, such as pasta, grains, bread, and starchy vegetables, including potatoes.
  • Protein from red or white meat, fish, eggs, etc.
  • No nuts, seeds, legumes, or pulses.
  • No caffeine
  • No alcohol

Phase II: Referred to as “Balancing Phase.”

  • Reintroduce low-carb fruits and vegetables
  • Include grains, alcoholic drinks, which are low in carbohydrates

Phase III: Referred to as “fine-tuning.”

  • Introduce more carbs gradually until net carb consumption reaches 80 g

Phase IV: Known as “Maintenance.”

  • Eat as many carbohydrates until you hit a daily net carb total of 100 grams.

Pros Of The Atkins Diet

  • The Atkins diet is simple to follow, and followers are not required to attend meetings.
  • It is not time-consuming.
  • It is useful for those looking for quick results and the consequent motivational boost.

Cons Of The Atkins Diet

  • It is a restrictive diet.
  • During the early phases of the diet, those who can’t manage to eat enough protein will burn muscle to get the needed energy, causing lower metabolism and making weight loss difficult to achieve.
  • Cutting out whole grains and dairy will reduce calcium, potassium, and fiber levels.
  • Fewer carbs may increase headaches and irritability.

8. The 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 Diet
Source: TeddyFeed

The 5:2 diet is a well-known form of intermittent fasting. It involves regularly eating for five days and eating very little for two days. One eats ‘normal foods’ for five days and two days of ‘fasting,’ but thankfully, fasting includes consuming less food. On these two days, which should be observed non-consecutively, women should not consume more than 500 calories; men also should limit to 600 calories.

Pros Of The 5:2 Diet

  • Dieting for two days a week instead of seven is an easy task.
  • It effectively reduces calorie-intake and helps to lose fat.

Cons Of The 5:2 Diet

  • Cutting out meals on fasting days can cause headaches, tiredness, which can harm performance at work, cause dehydration, or vitamin deficiencies.
  • It can lead to overeating on non-fast days.
  • It has been associated with sleeping problems at night.

9. The Rosemary Conley Diet

The Rosemary Conley Diet
Source: tipsforwomens.org

The Rosemary Conley diet encourages diet enthusiasts to eat food with 5 percent or less fat. It does not include porridge, oats, fish, and lean meat. Her web-based club has videos covering workout clips for all fitness levels, cooking demonstrations, and medical advice. It also advises about calorie counting and regulated portion sizes. The diets are planned to help you lose in 7 weeks and encourage lifestyle change.

Conley is said to have first developed a low-fat diet plan after being diagnosed with gallstones to help her manage symptoms without undergoing surgery. Rosemary Conley’s diets and recipes consist of foods:

  • low in fat (5% or less)
  • low glycemic index

It is also accompanied by an online program like fitness videos, cooking videos, a weight tracker, and various other tools. The plan aims to lose (14 lbs) in 7 weeks.

Pros Of The Rosemary Conley Diet

  • It includes exercise to promote healthy weight loss.
  • It encourages gradual weight loss.
  • It helps the user to improve their awareness of portion sizes and apply this every day.

Cons Of The Rosemary Conley Diet

  • Some low-fat foods might be higher in sugar.
  • Portioning when eating out may be difficult.

10. The Slim Fast Diet

The Slim Fast Diet
Source: SlimFast

The Slim fast Plan is a diet program based on meal replacement products. This diet was first conceived in 1977. It is targeted at those with a 25 or more BMI. This consists of:

  • 3 snacks per day like Slim Fast noodles or other snacks
  • 2 Slim-Fast meals, shakes, or bars
  • 1 balanced meal containing not more than 600 calories (800 calories for men)

The weight loss rate is around 1-2 lbs in a week and follows almost every day until the desired target weight is achieved. To maintain a healthy weight, this diet plan recommends:

  • 1 meal replacement shake per day
  • 2 snacks which are low in fat
  • 2 sensible meals

Pros Of The Slim Fast Diet

  • The plan is easy to follow and understand.
  • It encourages us to eat lean meat, fruit, and vegetables.
  • It offers a steady and controlled weight loss rate.

Cons Of The Slim Fast Diet

  • Meal replacement products don’t introduce to healthy cooking and dieting practices. Consequently, it can be more susceptible to regain the weight they’ve lost when they are off the plan.
  • The ranges of meal replacement items are varied, but those who don’t find them enjoyable may be less encouraged to stay on the plan.

11. The Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet
Source: GoodtoKnow

This diet plan focuses on high protein and low carbohydrates. It forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, and weight loss is intended to start quickly and slowly becomes gradual.

Pros Of The Dukan Diet

  • The rapid rate of weight loss at the start of the plan may be a significant motivational factor.
  • It’s easy to grasp, and one can refer to the approved foods list without checking calorie amounts.

Cons Of The Dukan Diet

  • Lack of carbs may cause tiredness and dizziness. 
  • Lack of fiber from vegetables and grains may cause constipation.
  • It may not be suitable for those with certain health conditions (like heart or kidney disease) and diabetes. They need to consult with their physician or doctor before thinking of this diet, as their medication administration needs to be adjusted.

Points To Remember Before Trying A New Diet

  • Eating food that promotes your health and well-being is more important. Stressing yourself to eat a few extra calories over your daily allotment defeats the purpose.
  • Recognize that it can impact your social life. As social gatherings regularly involve eating various food, it might become difficult to find food that conforms to your diet. 
  • Diets with specific food requirements can be more expensive.
  • Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t over-indulge either. It’s important to maintain a balance.

Dieting can be a good and bad thing; it all depends on how you do it. If you want to follow a diet to lose weight, then there may be some negative outcomes. 

Read Also: The Sirtfood Diet: Everything You Need To Know About It

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