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Home / Healthy Eating

What you need to know about different types of diets

There can never be a shortage of reasons for wanting to live a healthier life and dieting is one such way to healthy living.

People choose to eat different types of foods based on a number of reasons. Other than healthy living, there are people who consider cultural and religious reasons when settling on what kind of foods to eat.

There are also those who eat in certain ways because of food allergies or medical and health related concerns. Then there are also those who eat particular foods purely out of preference.

While there are countless reasons why people diet, there are also several options to choose from when selecting a diet. We take a look at some of the different types of diets.

Before we got to the nitty-gritty of diets, it is prudent to note that when it comes to diets and healthy eating, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

For some, if a diet woks for them, then they expect everyone else to eat that way too. Media coverage also tend to tilt the conversation to ways that imply that one way of eating is better than another.

Also, people who are eating only plant-based foods need to take supplements or find ways of obtaining certain nutrients that usually come from omnivorous diets such as iron, calcium and vitamin B-12.

Here are some of the different types of diets

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A vegetarian diet includes a mix of vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy fats and proteins from protein-rich plant foods like nuts, seeds and legumes.

Vegetarianism, a term derived from vegetarian diet, refers to abstaining from consumption of meat and sometimes it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

There are various types of vegetarian including lacto-vegetarian, fruitarian vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, and semi-vegetarian.

Most vegetarians’ are lacto-ovo vegetarians – they do not eat animal-based foods except for dairy, eggs and honey.

  • Vegan diet

A vegan diet only has plants such as vegetables, grains, fruits and nut and foods made from plants. The main difference with vegetarians is that vegans do neat eat any food that comes from animals including meat, dairy products, honey and eggs.

Vegans adopt veganism for other reasons besides healthy eating such as for ethical, environmental and compassionate reasons. In other words, for some veganism is a dietary choice while for some it is a lifestyle choice.

In other explanations, veganism is seen as way of living that excludes all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose.

  • Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that focuses on the traditional cuisine of the countries in Southern Europe bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil.

While cheese and yogurts are the main dairy foods, the diet also includes moderate amounts of fish and poultry, small quantities of red meats and moderate amounts of wine.

The Mediterranean diet remains one of the most extensively studied diets and research supports its use for improving quality of life and reducing risks of diseases.

  • Raw Food Diet

As the name suggests, this diet encourages the eating of uncooked and unprocessed foods with at least three-fourths of the food consumed being uncooked.

Raw foodism, also known as rawism, moreover involves consuming only food and drinks that are not processed

In this diet, all foods that are produced or pasteurized with additives are prohibited and one only eats organic and plant-based foods.

Raw foodists are further categorized as raw vegetarians, raw vegans, raw carnivores and raw omnivores.

  • Weight watchers diet

A Weight Watcher diet, or WW, focuses on losing weight through diet, exercise and a support network. Weight Watchers rely on scientific approaches to weight loss weight with emphasis on the importance of portion control, food choices and slow, consistent weight loss.

  • Low-carb diets

Low-carb diets generally limit grains, legumes, fruits, pastas and starchy vegetables and in some instances also nuts and seeds. However, some low-carb diet plans allow small amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

  • Ultra-low-fat Diet

Ultra-low-fat diet is one that contains only 10 percent or less calories from fat. It is equally low in proteins at 10 percent and very high in carbs at 80 percent.

Ultra-low-fat diets are mostly plant based and limits the intake of animal products.

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