6 Best Diets Recommended by Doctors

It is a proven fact that diets are a permanent trend in our society. Regardless of how much weight you want to lose or maintain, you will find a diet that suits you. You have a plethora of choices when it comes to figuring out what type of diet would work best for you and your lifestyle.

But unfortunately, not all diets are safe or even healthy. Studies show that long-term dieting is not only ineffective but can actually be harmful. It is not uncommon to hear about a person who has been regaining the lost weight for years. Many people struggle with losing even a few pounds.

Most diets are far too restrictive and deprive your body of vital nutrients. Instead of sticking to a particular diet, most dietitians recommend choosing a lifestyle change that you can maintain over time. In most cases, a doctor’s diet recommendation is based on the individual’s weight or current health and physical condition.

It also depends on what kind of lifestyle the patient has and how often they exercise. Therefore, a patient needs to consult with their doctor before selecting a diet.

In this article, we intend to point out which diets are recommended by doctors through reliable resources. Below is a list of 5 diets that doctors recommend:

Best Diets Doctors Recommend

1. The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet Image

A December 2018 study in JAMA Network Open showed that women who followed the Mediterranean diet closely had a 28 percent lower chance of developing heart disease than those who did not. This was likely since the diet reduced inflammation, improved insulin function, and decreased body mass (BMI) in general.

According to the Circulation Research review published in February 2019, there is a large, strong, plausible, and consistent body of research supporting the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet on cardiovascular health.

This diet is considered one of the best diets recommended by doctors, as it is packed with plenty of nutrients and can help prevent heart disease and diabetes. It is a plant-based diet that was created to resemble people’s eating habits in Greece, Italy, Spain, and other Mediterranean regions.

The diet includes eating fish and seafood at least 2 times per week. Moreover, you should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. One should also limit foods rich in saturated fats, such as dairy products, red meat, and sweets. Olive oil and other monounsaturated oils are also recommended.

The Mediterranean diet allows eating pasta twice a week, but only whole-grain pasta. Also, you should avoid foods rich in processed meats, such as sausages. 

When it comes to poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt, moderation is key; whereas sweets and red meat should be limited to special events only.

In addition to these recommendations, the Mediterranean diet also involves drinking wine in moderation with meals. 

Foods to Focus on:

  • VEGETABLES. All kinds of vegetables are allowed, but a good rule is the colorful the better when preparing a meal.
  •  FRUITS. All kinds are alright, but the Mediterranean diet emphasizes dates, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and tomatoes.
  •  NUTS AND SEEDS. All kinds are allowed.
  •  LEGUMES. Beans, different kinds of peas, and lentils.
  •  TUBERS. Potatoes, carrots, yams, and turnips.
  •  POULTRY. Chicken, turkey, and duck.
  •  FISH AND SEAFOOD. Salmons, tuna, sardines, and all kinds of seafood are allowed.
  •  CERTAIN TYPES OF DAIRY. Cheeses, preferably feta, and greek yogurt.
  •  SPICES AND HERBS. All kinds of spices and herbs are allowed.
  •  HEALTHY FATS AND OILS. Extra virgin olive oils, avocado, and olives.

Foods to Avoid:

  •  ADDED SUGARS. Mainly sodas, table sugar, ice cream, cakes, and sugary treats
  •  REFINED GRAINS. Non-whole wheat bread, white rice, and refined wheat pasta.
  •  TRANS FAT. Commonly found in margarine, processed meats, and most commercial chips.
  •  PROCESSED MEATS. Includes sausages, canned foods, hotdogs, etc.

2.Dash Diet

Organic food and tablet pc

A DASH diet is a dietary plan intended to reduce blood pressure. It consists of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meats, and nuts. A low-sodium diet is also recommended in order to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure), although you may benefit from eating this way even if your blood pressure is normal.

Eat a plant-based diet, and you will be at a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a 2017 article published in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology.

According to a study published in August 2019 by The Journal of The American Heart Association, people who eat a plant-based diet have a 25 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than those who consume other types of foods.

Foods to Focus on:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Whole-grain foods
  • Fish, poultry
  • Nuts

Foods to Avoid:

  • Red meat
  • Sugary drinks
  • Chips and sweets

3.Flexitarian

Flexitarian diet background

In simple terms, Flexitarian Diet refers to a lifestyle whereby most of your diet consists of plant-based foods.
Flexitarian” is a blend of the words flexible and vegetarian. Although you might consume meat or other animal products in moderation, most of your food should be plant-based.

Taking a Flexitarian diet does not have one standard way to follow, regardless of whether you consume animal products once per week or if you serve produce and whole grains with every meal.

Following this plan requires that you consume a large amount of whole plant foods and avoid highly processed foods, even if they are made from plant-based ingredients.

Several studies have suggested that consuming more plants and less meat will lead to weight loss and enhance overall health, lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and extending life expectancy.

Foods to Focus on:

  •  Whole grains: Among these options are brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, buckwheat, pumpkin, sorghum, butternut squash.
  •     Fruits and Vegetables
  •     Eggs  
  •     Dairy
  •     Plant milk
  •     Seeds
  •     Nuts
  •     Healthy fats: Olive oil and avocado are good examples.

Foods to limit:

  • Animal protein: Red meat, poultry, turkey, and pork.
  • Animal fats: meat, whole milk, cream.
  • Seafood
  • Refined grains: Refined grains include white rice, pasta, and white bread
  • Pastries, soda, chips, and other highly processed foods

4.Paleo Diet

Paleo diet products

The paleo diet is based on the idea that our bodies are designed to eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors and these diets may have been healthier than other more “modern” diets. Although scientists cannot pinpoint 100% what human ancestors ate, experts think they ate a diet rich in whole foods.

Considering that, and the fact that they lived physically active lives, it’s likely they suffered less from lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

This would make a lot of sense from a biological standpoint since our genetics hasn’t changed that much in the past 2 centuries alone. Simply eating the food that the body has evolved to process and eliminating the foods that are considered unnatural to our system, the body easily sheds of the extra weight and improves its other functioning.

It is also a kind of diet that is easily modified to the types of foods available to where you live.

Foods to Focus on:

  • UNPROCESSED MEATS. Fish, Beef, Lamb, and minimal amounts of Pork.
  •  EGGS. Free-range or pasteurized.
  •  VEGETABLES. Mostly leafy greens but all sorts of vegetables are allowed.
  •  TUBERS. Potatoes, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, etc.
  •  FRUITS. All kinds are allowed but be conscious of the sugar inherent to them.
  •  NUTS AND SEEDS. All kinds are allowed.
  • NATURAL OILS AND HEALTHY FATS. Extra virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oils, coconut oil, etc.
  •  SALTS AND SPICES. Proper amounts of salts, spices, and herbs are also allowed.

Foods to Avoid:

  •  SUGARS AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. Most if not all foods bear some form of sugar. Sugars are a relatively new addition to our daily diet that was once seen as a luxury. Unfortunately, sugar consumption can lead to a string of health complications like weight gain (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion).
  •  GRAINS. Rice, bread, wheat, barley.
  •  DAIRY. Milk, cheese, creams, butter, etc.
  •  CERTAIN VEGETABLE OILS. Soybean oil, corn oil, and others.
  •  TRANS FAT. Commonly found in margarine, processed meats, and most commercial chips.
  •  PROCESSED FOODS. Includes sausages, canned foods, hotdogs, etc.

5.Low-Carb Diet

Low Carb Diet

Carbohydrates, along with fat, are the main sources of energy for our bodies. So, simply eating them does not automatically cause weight gain. But, if you eat more carbs than what your body needs for energy, then the excess is stored in your body as energy reserves in the form of body fat.

A low-carb diet means creating a carbohydrate deficiency which, in turn, leads your body to use up the ones it stored. This is how low carb diets lead to weight loss — indeed the goal applies to most diets too.

Foods to Focus on:

  •  VEGETABLES. Focus on the leafy greens.
  •  UNPROCESSED MEATS. Fish, Beef, Lamb, and minimal amounts of Pork.
  •  FRUITS. All kinds are allowed.
  •  NUTS AND SEEDS. All kinds are allowed.
  •  LEGUMES. Beans, different kinds of peas, and lentils.
  •  UNREFINED GRAINS. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.
  •  HIGH-FAT DAIRY. Cheeses, butter, and yogurt.
  •  SPICES AND HERBS. All kinds of spices and herbs are allowed.
  •  HEALTHY FATS AND OILS. Extra virgin olive oils, avocado, and olives.

Foods to Avoid:

  •  ADDED SUGARS. Mainly sodas, table sugar, ice cream, cakes, and artificial sweeteners.
  •  PROCESSED MEATS. Includes sausages, canned foods, hotdogs, etc.
  • STARCHY VEGETABLES. Limited amounts of potatoes, carrots, yams, and turnips are alright.

6.Vegan Diet

Vegan Diet

A vegan diet is a great way to lose weight quickly while, at the same time, minimizing the damage done to the environment. And on top of that, scientists and doctors alike are starting to see them as viable diets for managing obesity and reducing health risks. For example, In a 2019 study, plant-based foods and a low intake of animal foods were linked to reduced heart disease risk for adults. 

Vegan diets can help reduce cancer risk by 15%, according to a 2017 review. This benefit of plant foods is likely due to their high fiber, vitamin, and phytochemical content – the biologically active compounds found in plants that prevent cancer – which may be the explanation.

In this regard, it is more difficult to follow than other diets since it entails complete abstinence from animal products. This might lead to many having to tweak the diet here and there to suit their needs. Note: there are various types of veganism, and you can apply the one most comfortable to you. Alternatively, you can follow a less strict vegetarian diet.

Foods to Focus on:

  •  VEGETABLES AND TUBERS. All kinds of vegetables are allowed.
  •  LEGUMES. Beans, different kinds of peas, and lentils.
  •  FRUITS. All kinds are allowed.
  •  NUTS AND SEEDS. All kinds are allowed.
  •  NATURAL OILS AND HEALTHY FATS. Extra virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oils, coconut oil, etc.
  • SALTS AND SPICES. Proper amounts of salts, spices, and herbs are also allowed.
  • MILK SQUEEZED FROM NUTS AND PLANTS. Including Almond Milk.

Foods to Avoid:

  •  ALL KINDS OF MEAT. Fish, Poultry, Beef, Pork, Lambs, etc.
  •  EGGS. All kinds.
  •  ALL KINDS OF DAIRY. Cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, etc.
  •  HONEY OR BEE PRODUCTS. All kinds.
  • ANY INGREDIENTS DERIVED FROM ANIMALS. This includes Whey, casein, egg white albumen, lactose, gelatin, L-cysteine, cochineal or carmine, isinglass, shellac,fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, and animal-derived vitamin D3.

Bottom Line

Even though more diets are being promoted as the latest scientific breakthroughs in weight loss, it would be wise not to fall for their tall claims unless they are thoroughly reviewed by different groups of doctors and scientists over a few years.

Even the diets on this list are still being studied and researched. The truth is there are no silver bullets to achieving your health goals, and the road to success is not linear. Instead, the most important things you need to lose weight are dedication and the right mindset given by proper research.

The only diet that will give you a sensible path to achieving your health goals once and for all is one that is easier to stick to and offers you a clear path to success.

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