Traditional diets are a delicious road map to healthy eating. Rather than relying on highly
processed foods that are stripped of their nutrients, flavor, and even calories, traditional
diets celebrate the abundance of earth’s offerings, highlighting seasonal and regional
produce, hearty recipes, and the pleasures of the table.
Since a balanced diet requires eating a wide variety of wholesome foods, such a diet
often makes maintaining a healthy body weight a bit easier. To meet the body's
nutritional needs, it is necessary to include a good supply of whole grains, vegetables
and fruits in the diet, along with a smaller portions of dairy and meat products. Eating a
healthy variety of these nutrient-dense foods every day leaves less room for those
calorie-dense foods that tend to expand the waistline, such as processed foods and
fatty or sugary snacks.
Immune System Health
A balanced diet is very important to the immune system, helping to ensure that the
vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary to its efficient function are available.
Even minimal deficiencies in certain nutrients can impair immune system function, such
as vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, iron and selenium. According to
director of Yale Prevention Research Center, David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., essential
nutrients are critical for the production and maintenance of key germ fighting cells in the
immune system, and a balanced diet also has a strong effect on vascular function, since
the immune system is dependent on blood flow.
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best
weapons against cardiovascular disease.Unrefined whole grains, fruits and vegetables
are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are also low in calories. Including plenty of
these in the diet can help control both weight and blood pressure, both of which are risk
factors for heart disease. Adding fish to your diet at least twice weekly is recommended
by the American Heart Association as well. Oily fish, such as salmon and trout, contain
omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of developing coronary artery
One of the most noticeable benefits of a balanced diet is energy. Keeping your body
fueled with the right proportions of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give you the
energy you need to to make the most of your day. Healthy carbohydrates, such as
whole grains, fruits, vegetable and legumes are slow to digest, keeping blood sugar and
insulin levels on an even keel for a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Healthy
proteins are also vital for energy levels, and can be added to the diet by eating lean
meats, poultry and fish, as well as whole grains, tofu, beans and nuts.
The paleo diet has increased in popularity over the past few years, and suggests a
"hunter-gatherer" style of eating. Paleo-enthusiasts have proposed the idea that many
processed foods which have emerged recently in history are what have led way to
chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. Paleo dieters therefore maintain and animal
and plant-based diet. The paleo diet includes meat, natural animal products (eggs,
honey, coconut oil, etc.), vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, and nuts or seeds eaten raw.
Paleo eaters eliminate all dairy, legumes, oils, and grains.
Higher Levels of Protein, Fiber, and Healthy Fats: The Paleo diet calls for a huge
increase in many staple nutrients that can aid weight loss, lower risk of disease, and
improve cardiovascular health. Higher amounts of protein are also key in gaining and
maintaining muscle while exercising.
The ketogenic diet has been used for decades as a treatment for epilepsy and is also
being explored for other uses. It involves reducing carbohydrate intake and upping fat
intake. It sounds contrary to common sense, but it allows the body to burn fat as a fuel,
rather than carbohydrates.
Healthy fats, such as those in avocados, coconuts, Brazil nuts, seeds, oily fish, and
olive oil are liberally added to the diet to maintain an overall emphasis on fat. The lack
of carbohydrates can help you not feel bloated, and less overall water retention, making
you feel and look healthier and slimmer.
The diet causes the break down of fat deposits for fuel and creates substances called
ketones through a process called ketosis. This diet has risks including ketoacidosis for
IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)
Many bodybuilders swear by the "flexible" dieting approach called "IIFYM" or "If It Fits
Your Macros." This diet focuses on hitting certain amounts of three energy sources,
otherwise known as macro-nutrients, each day: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The diet
follows an equation which has you calculate your daily caloric needs, then split those
needs into 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. Each day,
your food choices are picked to fit those numbers.
High Energy: Focusing on hitting a certain caloric intake, as well as the macro-nutrients
IIFYM picks, is a great way to boost energy as well as ensure your body is taking in
protein after exercise for recovery.
Flexible Dieting: Many fans of IIFYM enjoy the "flexible dieting" approach it brings, as
IIFYM does not necessarily tell a person what to eat, but rather the amount of food they
can eat making much less restrictions.
The term "vegetarian" has been in the dieter's vocabulary for a long time, and has been
adapted to many different forms. Obviously, vegetarians refrain from most meat and
animal products. Some vegetarians (called lacto-vegetarians) exclude meat and fish,
but allow dairy products. Others may cut out all dairy, but allow fish, and so on. Due to
the variety of a vegetarian diet, the positives and negatives may vary from person to
Possible weight loss: Vegetarians are statistically less likely to becomes obese, most
likely due to the fact that they consume more vegetables, fruit, and fiber-rich foods.
Disease Prevention: A vegetarian diet has shown to lower risk for cardiovascular
disease, lower blood pressure, and possibly increase longer life expectancy.
Vegans take the approach of vegetarians and push it even further. In a vegan diet, you
will be eliminating ALL animal products. A vegan diet is composed of plant-based, high
fiber foods. Examples include all fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, roots, spices,
seeds, and legumes.
Weight Loss and Disease Prevention: Like vegetarians, vegans are statistically less
overweight, and have lower total blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Vegans up the
possibility of weight loss even further by eliminating all dairy and meat products that are
typically high in fat and calories. Further, due to the large consumption of fruits and
vegetables, vegans receive greater amounts of the antioxidants associated with good
cardiovascular health and reduced risk for cancer.
Increased Energy and Better Moods: Vegans report feeling higher energy levels and
less moodiness. Their energy comes from natural, plant based foods making it less of a
"high" and "low" often associated with processed, sugary foods. Most vegans also
report higher activity and amounts of exercise.
Earth Friendly: Being a vegan means reducing risk to animals. Many meat and dairy
industries mass produce, genetically modify and harm animals in their distribution. By
eating a plant-based diet, you are staying away from harmful GMOs and additives.
The “Whole 30” diet plan is a cleanse that aims to get ride of added sugars, processed
foods, and alcohol. On the whole 30 cleanse, one eliminates ALL grains, sugars,
alcohol, dairy, etc. On the Whole 30 Cleanse, an individual eats strictly meat, fruits,
vegetables, nuts, natural oils, and spices for 30 days. The cleanse claims to rid toxins
from the body, promote weight loss, boost energy levels, and so much more.
Getting Back To Your "Roots": The Whole 30 Cleans makes many realize just how
much processed food they consume. By sticking to this strict diet for a month, you will
learn how to incorporate natural foods back into your diet in hundreds of fun and
Weight Loss: Due to the complete absence of foods often associated with weight gain
like dairy, fried foods, and sugar, the Whole 30 Cleanse is a fast track to weight loss.
Increased Energy: After just a few days many report boosts in their energy, mood, and
activity levels on the cleanse. By eliminating sugary foods, one relies on natural sources
of energy that are sustained longer.
Increased Knowledge Of Health, Nutrition, and Wellbeing: The Whole 30 Cleanse
provides recipes, guidelines, and information that can teach an individual long-term diet
habits, healthier methods of cooking, and knowledge of their own body that can be used
for lifetime. Altogether, these habits will help to promote cardiovascular health,
decreased risk for obesity and diabetes, as well as many other chronic diseases.