Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pros & Cons of Today's Top Diets

It's almost like every year, there are new trends in diets that help drive seasonal menus at restaurants.

Mediterranean diet - high in fruits and veggies, breads, potatoes, nuts & legumes and seeds. Olive oil is used more often, and fish, poultry and dairy products are eaten more than eggs and red meat.
People who eat this tend to have a lower risk of heart disease. But bottom line is, research should be done before adopting these eating habits to ensure adequate nutrition without excess calories. Physical activity should be included too.

Vegetarian diet - contains no meat from any animal. The staples are only fruit, veggies, grains and legumes. If followed properly, this diet can be effective in preventing many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Generally, it's high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, while it is also lower in cholesterol, saturated fat than any other diets.

Organic Food diet - may include meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products and grains. People who follow this diet often focus on "close to earth foods" or a "slow foods" philosophy and they exclude or minimize processed foods.
This can be more pricey, - as much as 10-50% more than non organic, plus large variety of products are not always available at all stores. If cost is an issue, focus first on foods in your diet that you frequently eat. If they are among the foods listed highest in pesticides, then focus on buying their organic counterparts.
Having a small organic backyard garden can also help produce a rewarding yield.

Gluten-free diet - requires avoidance of grains that contain gluten, - barley, wheat, rye and foods like matzo meal, kasha, durham, bulgur, graham, kamut and spelt.
The grains allowed are corn, rice, potato, soy, tapioca, millet, quinoa and those produced from legumes and beans.
This diet usually benefits to those people that are diagnosed with celiac disease (a lifelong digestive disorder where one's susceptible immune system damages the small intestines when gluten is ingested). or for those that have intolerance for gluten.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure you read food labels carefully, and if uncertain about the food, it's best not to eat it.