Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained
- Nutrition experts caution that dieting is often a losing game, and it’s better to stick to an eating plan that you can sustain for life.
- There are plenty of diets that remain extremely popular. High-fat, low-carb plans like keto, as well as eating routines that center around plants were some of the trendiest of the past decade.
- Here’s how the science behind each plan stacks up.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained The low-fat craze of the 1980s and ’90s is officially dead. Fat was back in a big way this past decade with the keto diet.
Fat became a popular way to get trim over the past decade.
The centuries-old keto diet was just one of the many trendy low-carb options that people tried. On a well-planned keto diet, people get 70% to 80% of their daily calories from fat, another 20% to 25% from protein sources, and consume very few carbohydrates.
Keto dieters and other low-carb aficionados fill up on staples like cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and meat, while avoiding grain-based breads, pastas, and other high-carb foods.
Ketogenic diets are doctor-recommended under the right circumstances; it’s a well-established way to help control type 2 diabetes, and the plan has for nearly 100 years been used to reduce instances of childhood epileptic seizures.
The tricky part is being able to stick to such restrictive low-carb plans while staying healthy, which is why it’s important to consult a doctor and nutrition expert before attempting any new diet.
If people aren’t careful about how they approach it, a fat-loaded eating routine can be disastrous. Relying on protein-packed foods like red meat and cream while not getting enough essential nutrients from plants can raise the odds of developing health problems like gout while putting extra stress on the kidneys.
“It’s not clear that in the long run, a keto diet is going to be better than a diet with some modest amount of whole grains in it,” former Harvard nutrition chair Walter Willett previously told Business Insider.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Other examples of the low-carb trend include the South Beach Diet, Dukan, and Atkins.
These three diets are all named after the men who invented them.
The Atkins Diet, pioneered by cardiologist Robert Atkins in the 1960s and 70s, is a low-carb plan that’s slightly higher in protein intake than keto. It requires dieters to go through multiple phases, first cutting carbohydrates to 20 grams a day (less than what’s in a single apple).
The diet’s initial weight loss effects mainly stem from it causing a water-draining diuretic response, not from instilling healthy or sustainable eating habits, which is why nutrition pros are often hesitant to recommend Atkins.
Like Atkins, the South Beach Diet was invented by another cardiologist, celebrated Miami Dr. Arthur Agatston, in 2003. South Beach is a lot like other low-carb plans, though it is a bit more flexible after the first two weeks, when dieters cut sugar, alcohol, and nearly all carbs, focusing on eating more lean meats, nuts, and healthy fats like avocados.
This plan is billed as a long-term eating change, so it may be a bit more sustainable than other fads. In fact, in the maintenance phase, it looks remarkably similar to a Mediterranean Diet, which nutritionists often recommend.
“Any diet that results in weight loss does so because it reduces calorie intake,” as a group of doctors recently wrote in a Jama op-ed.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Gluten-free diets were also trendy, as carbs, once again, were shunned.
Carbohydrates were public enemy number one in the dieting world during the past decade, but not really for any good reason.
While it’s true that white bread, processed snacks, and sugar aren’t good for us in big doses, whole grains and beans are two examples of healthy carb-filled staples. (Even cashews are carb-loaded, and a handful of mixed nuts is a heart-healthy snack.)
“What people are doing is essentially throwing the baby out with the bath water when they label all carbs as being bad,” Dr. Shivam Joshi told Insider earlier this year. “I’m not defending refined carbs, which many of my critics think I am. I’m defending your unrefined carbs, your fruits, your vegetables, your whole grains, beans, lentils, things like that. These are some of the most healthful foods on the planet.”
For the roughly 1% of the population with celiac disease, or people with a wheat allergy, a gluten-free eating plan makes sense. But for the rest of us, gluten-free diets can make it hard to get enough fiber or iron, and they’re not categorically better for weight loss, either. Indeed, some people gain weight when they go gluten-free, perhaps because so many of the gluten replacements off the shelf are loaded with sugar.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Mediterranean diets continued to gather a devoted following.
Studies have shown that a traditional Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fish, is one of the best for losing weight and keeping your heart and brain healthy.
It’s perhaps no great surprise, then, that two of the world’s longest-living tribes of people live near the Mediterranean Sea, in Ikaria, Greece, and Sardinia, Italy.
They reside in “Blue Zones,” where people regularly live to 100 or more and eat lots of vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains.
“The secret to eating for 100 is to find the plant-based foods, heavy with beans and grains and vegetables, and learn how to like ’em,” Blue Zones Cookbook author Dan Buettner recently told Insider.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Fasting was another slim-down strategy that gained traction over the past decade. The idea is that when we eat matters just as much as what we eat.
Intermittent fasting, a trendy weight-loss strategy that became popular among Silicon Valley elites in recent years, is less about what you eat and more about when you eat it. The plan strictly limits the number of hours during the day that people can eat and drink (anything other than water).
Fasters adhering to I.F. often limit their eating time to a single 8-hour window during the day, and shun calories during the remainder of the day (Terry Crews, for example, says he only eats from 2 pm to 10 pm on the plan). This gives a person’s body a big window every day when it’s not digesting food (usually, about 14 to 16 hours of rest). which scientists suspect might help cells in the body repair and rejuvenate more effectively.
Recent small-scale studies suggest that intermittent fasting can improve blood pressure and the way the body responds to sugar, while also reducing belly fat and boosting energy. (More long-term, randomized controlled trials are needed, though.)
There’s also compelling evidence that fasting in general can help people live longer lives, warding off diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. But at it’s extreme, fasting can kill you, and people have complained about symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, constipation, and vomiting when they limit themselves to only 8 hours of eating per day, so it’s best to exercise caution and do what feels right for your body.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Vegan diets gained traction among both die-hard exercise buffs and animal lovers.
Plants are in.
Plant-based burgers have recently joined the menu at fast food joints including Burger King and White Castle, and plant-based vegan diets have become popular with some elite athletes, including UFC fighter Nate Diaz.
“Veganism is a gift, and it’s great to give that gift to people so they can be healthier and feel better, not hurt animals, and not destroy the planet,” 9-year-old activist Vegan Evan, who’s challenging President Trump to go meat-free for 30 days, recently told Insider.
The truth is that while it’s fine to eat a little meat, a properly-portioned vegan eating plan can boost the body’s gut garden (the microbiome). A well-fed microbiome helps people absorb more nutrients from food, which can boost weight loss.
“Eating a plant-based diet with ample fiber changes the gut microbiome composition for the better by feeding the right kind of bacteria,” Dr. Hana Kahleova, director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, told MedScape Medical News when her study on vegan diets was released in September.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Not everyone has shied away from meat. From the paleo diet to a carnivore’s plan, many people were still packing animal protein into their eating regimes.
Pass the meats.
Paleo dieters subsist on meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while shying away from grains, sugar, dairy products, and anything processed. Paleo aficionados argue this diet is what our bodies are built for, and that modern farming has evolved faster than our guts.
Paleo dieters who fuel up on heavy doses of proteins like meat, however, put themselves at risk for vitamin D deficiency, and may not get enough calcium for their bones to stay healthy. There aren’t really any long-term clinical studies on the benefits or risks of the Paleo diet, either.
Besides, most Americans do just fine when it comes to protein intake.
You can calculate your own daily recommended protein dose with this USDA calculator, but for most people under age 65, protein intake isn’t anything to worry too much about.
For example, a serving of Greek yogurt along with 3 ounces of chicken is almost enough for one day. If you’re a vegetarian, a one cup scoopful of black beans is going to get you most of the way there.
UC Davis Health dietitian Alex Nella encourages his patients who are excited about Paleo to make some modifications, adding beans, lentils, whole grains, and dairy to their plate.
Similar to Paleo fans, carnivore dieters suggest there might be something special and immune-boosting about subsisting on meats.
Nutritionists don’t think going fully carnivorous is a solid plan. There’s essentially no dietary fiber in the mix, and the diet is missing a lot of key nutrients we don’t get from animals, like the beneficial plant chemicals in fruits and vegetables that may help reduce cancer risk.
“In the absence of adequate fiber, the bacteria in the colon consume and thin the protective mucus lining, which then leads to impaired immune function and inflammation,” Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told The Guardian.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Despite the fact that our livers and kidneys do a great job of cleaning us out naturally, cleanses were still popular this past decade.
Juicing was another major trend.
Beyonce reportedly liked the “Master Cleanse,” and used the extreme no-food regime (also known as the Lemonade diet) to lose 20 pounds before Dream Girls in 2006. Master Cleansers consume only salt water, laxatives, and tons of lemon water with cayenne and maple syrup for at least 10 days.
Cleanses have become even more popular since Beyonce’s mid-2000s foray, with the rise of more juice shops and mail-order juicing kits.
Not eating is certainly an effective way to shed pounds short term, but this starvation diet could slow a person’s metabolism, setting them up to gain more weight back when they finish their cleanse.
Other stars including Blake Lively and Jessica Alba have been known to juice cleanse. But science is not on their side.
“When we breathe, when we go to the bathroom, when our liver is functioning — the body does all the cleansing and detoxifying itself,” registered dietitian Rachael Hartley previously told Insider.
Another idea that didn’t hold water, but filled a lot of glasses over the past decade: a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before each meal. There isn’t any good research to suggest that this works to speed up a person’s metabolism.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Calorie-counting is still big, too. A number of smartphone apps have made it easier than ever for people to track every bite that they put in their mouths.
Calorie-counting has been around for more than 100 years, but it’s perhaps never been easier to track every bite that we eat and every sip we swallow.
A recent study of calorie-counting apps found that Noom, a weight loss app that provides individualized feedback (for a fee), is possibly the most accurate counter for estimating overall calories.
MyFitnessPal is another app that’s often recommended by nutritionists, even as it underestimates some nutrients like calcium, iron, and vitamin C. It’s favored because it has one of the largest food and nutrition databases around.
But whatever counter people use, nutrition pros caution that the apps should serve more as a guidepost than a precise calorie measuring tool.
“People shouldn’t be obsessed [with logging],” Noom’s chief psychology officer, Andreas Michaelides, previously told Business Insider. “At the end of the day, it’s really a matter of forming lifelong, sustainable habits.”
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Weight Watchers is now just called WW, but the company’s point system is still widely popular.
Whether you call it dieting or not, the company now known as WW has long assigned a point system to foods.
The idea is to encourage people to stay away from less healthy items, like a slice of cake, by making those account for more of a person’s daily food-intake total. Foods that are healthy to eat in abundance get a low point value.
It’s almost like calorie-counting, but with more focus on making healthful choices the norm.
Recently, WW has expanded its list of guilt-free foods, saying dieters need not count points anymore when it comes to many fruits, veggies, and nutrient-rich proteins. WW’s list of zero-point items even includes things like eggs and fish.
“These foods form the basis of a healthy eating pattern,” Gary Foster, Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, previously told Business Insider. “Very few people come to Weight Watchers because they’ve had a problem overdoing it on salmon, legumes, beans, and chicken.”
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Strict regimens like Whole30 and the alkaline diet draw distinctions between green-lit and off-limits foods, without any hard science to explain why some foods are OK while others aren’t.
Created in 2009 by then husband-and-wife pair Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the premise of the monthlong Whole30 regime is that if you put only “good” things in your body for four weeks, you’ll feel better, reduce inflammation, and transform your relationship with food. Whole30 dieters are restricted to eating only fruits, veggies, meat, seafood, eggs, and some fats including avocados, cashews, and olive and coconut oil.
The alkaline diet, similarly, restricts high-acidity foods like tomatoes and dairy, with the goal of neutralizing the pH level of the body (something experts say a diet can’t really do).
One reason why these restrictive diets might work is because despite their odd rules, they push people to consume more fresh vegetables — a key source of nutritional fiber — while also shunning the processed fare that can lead people to eat more and get hangry faster.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained Supplements and powder mixes were, once again, a popular way to replace meals (think: SlimFast). In the past decade, Silicon Valley startups like Soylent offered novel eating replacement formulas.
Forgo eating altogether and replace it with a liquid diet.
That was the idea behind a few Silicon Valley startups of the past decade. Soylent is a leader in the space, embracing its role as a meal replacer that tastes, as Business Insider’s Melia Russell once said, “okay.”
Soylent was developed to stand alone as a meal replacement, costing less than $5 per bottle. The mix of carbs, fat, and protein in each portion was not necessarily designed to help people lose weight, but rather to fill a nutritional gap when people feel they may not have time to eat actual food.
“A lot of meals seem to have this trade-off. You can have something healthy, but it’s going to be costly or inconvenient,” Soylent’s CEO and cofounder Rob Rhinehart previously told Business Insider. “You can have something quick and easy, but it’s not going to be healthy. We can use science and engineering to make something efficient, so that you don’t have to choose.”
If you want to quit food, this is one way to stay alive, but it is a rather untested routine for long-term sustenance.