Human beings are the most intelligent animals on this planet. We are fortunate to have a keen and active reasoning ability that helps us make new inventions, which ease our lives and provide a great comfort. However, this very benefit awarded to the humankind is the biggest hindrance for us to live a healthy life. Our ‘intelligent’ brains have helped us invent so many gadgets that our physical activities are drastically restricted!
We completely rely on the gadgets, cars and the electronic equipment to do most of our daily tasks, while we just sit at the desk feeding instructions to these machines. We prefer to spend our time relaxing on a couch watching our favorite television shows instead of taking a walk in a park and admiring the beauty of nature.
The result? An unhealthy body! Such lifestyle habits can only damage your health and make you prone to several acute and chronic diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, arthritis, and so on…. the list in endless.
So, how do we get out of this mess? Very difficult or impossible…that is what you may think… But hello! Don’t you think you forget something? You are a ‘Human being’! The most intelligent animal on this planet!!!
Luckily, the human has finally realized how an unhealthy lifestyle can affect our health, and that is why; it has used its gifted brains to turn our lives into healthier ones by simply following some of the most popular types of diets, such as: ketogenic diet, paleo diet, low-carb diet, vegan diet, and detox diet.
Each of these diets comes with some special benefits that will help you to prevent several diseases and live a long and healthy life. Let us learn what each of these special diets means, the foods to include, their benefits and the rules you must keep in mind when following them.
A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fats. It provides an adequate amount of proteins. Initially, this diet was recommended as a mode of treatment for the children suffering from a specific form of epilepsy.
It was found that a low-carb diet helps regulate certain mechanisms of the body and allows it to burn the stored fats more rapidly than the carbohydrates. This, in turn, helps prevent the attacks of seizures. However, the benefits of a ketogenic diet are much beyond just treating the epilepsy patients.
The complex carbohydrates a person consumes when eating a regular diet are converted into simple carbohydrates such as glucose. Glucose, thus formed, is then transported all over the body to be used for fueling the different functions. However, when a person is on a low-carb ketogenic diet, his body is deprived of this ready source of energy.
Luckily, our bodies are extremely adaptive to what we eat! So, when you take away carbohydrates and overload the body with fats, it begins to burn the fats as the main energy source. It stimulates the conversion of stored fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies so that the body gets sufficient amount of energy needed to perform its various functions.
These ketone bodies travel to the brain and replace the simple carbohydrates as a source of energy. However, this results in a higher level of ketones in the blood, a state called ketosis. In fact, to achieve this state is the end goal of a keto diet. This state is not achieved through the starvation of calories, but through the starvation of carbohydrates. It is this state of the body, which helps in reducing the frequency of seizures in the children with epilepsy.
In the recent years, a lot of research was conducted to understand the effect of ketogenic diet on the overall health of the patients. It has been found to reduce the risk of following disorders:
- High cholesterol
- Peripheral vascular disease
2. Paleo Diet
If you see the factors that cause diseases, you will find one that features in the list of causative factors of almost all diseases, and that is your genes! The genetic make-up of a person is a major determinant of his health. You can become more prone to develop certain diseases if you have the family history of the same. This is true for most chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, cancer and even heart attacks.
There is no way you can change your family history or your genes. But, there is surely a way that can help you reduce your risk of such diseases by just making some healthy changes in your diet. The paleo diet is the name given to this special diet, which offers a health and the ONLY nutritional approach to staying lean, energetic and strong by working with your genetics!
Research has indicated that our modern diet, which is full of trans fats, refined foods, and sugar, is at the root of several degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and infertility. The best way to beat the negative influence of a modern diet on your health is to switch to a paleo diet.
Building a healthy paleo diet involves eating plenty of lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Lean proteins help by supporting the muscles and bones and improving your immune functions. The fruits and vegetables, being rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, decrease the likelihood of developing the degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Some other benefits of a paleo diet are mentioned below:
- Improved blood lipid levels
- Balanced weight
- A low risk of autoimmune disorders
- Reduced risk of heart attacks and hypertension
- Protection against the harmful effect of free radicals on the normal tissues thus reducing the risk of cancer and immunological disorders
The paleo diet has stood the test of time and the rigors of scientific scrutiny and has emerged as one of the best diets to live a healthy life.
The benefits of a low-carb diet need no explanation. We are living in a world where every other person is struggling with obesity. Why? Because our lives have changed so drastically over the past few decades that we have lost our patience to a great extent; we have lost the ability to work patiently to complete any work. We want everything in an instant! We want our work done in a few seconds just with a click of a finger. Gone are the days when we had to walk or cycle to our workplace, wash the utensils, mop the floor, or wash the clothes.
The work that we did earlier with our hands and legs is today done by just our fingers. We just have to switch on the button and voila! The work is done! We do not even want to cook and eat fresh food. We stuff our freezers with frozen food and microwave them as and when needed! This effortless lifestyle has put us in a very difficult situation where every person is putting on too many extra pounds and finding ways to lose them.
Fortunately, for us, we can lose those extra pounds by eating a low-carb diet. A low-carb diet simply means avoiding foods that are high in carbohydrates like pastries, chocolates and even some fleshy fruits like sapota and mangoes. A low-carb diet also restricts the intake of starches like bread and pasta and includes the delicious, real foods that contain proteins, vegetables and natural fats.
For how long you have to continue with this diet depends on how many pounds you want to lose. Having said that; it doesn’t mean you go back on an eating spree after you have lost those extra pounds. The idea is to achieve a healthy weight and then, maintain it by eating in moderation. Remember, carbohydrates are the sweetest enemies of our health. The more you stay away from them, the healthier and happier you would be!
4. Vegan Diet
Vegan diet, as the name suggests, contains the foods made from plants – such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. Being a vegan is more of philosophy or a lifestyle choice than a diet. A vegan diet does not include anything that is of animal origin. Vegans do not even use the animal-based products for any other purpose including clothing.
However, though the most common reason for a person to become a vegan involves an ethical cause involving environmental factors or animal rights, it has been found to improve the overall health of a person too.
Being vegan goes beyond just not eating the animal products, it is a lifestyle that advocates avoiding the use of products that come from animals like leather, down, fur, wool, silk, cosmetics, and even the products that have been tested on animals. The vegans do not even use the animal by-products like eggs, dairy products, and honey.
Here are some integral features of a vegan diet:
- A vegan obtains most of the essential nutrients needed by the body to perform its various functions through a varied and balanced diet.
- A healthy vegan diet includes eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
- It bases the meals on potatoes, rice, bread, whole grains, pasta, and other starchy carbohydrates. You may eat some beans and pulses to get the required amount of proteins and use unsaturated oils in small amounts.
- Drinking plenty of fluids every day is an essential part of a vegan diet.
Most often, a vegan diet is considered the same as a vegetarian diet. However, there is a difference between them. A vegan diet excludes all the foods of animal origin, while a vegetarian diet may include eggs, honey or dairy products.
5. Detox Diet
The word’ detox’ means cleansing the body by helping it get rid of the harmful toxins. Every day, our body is exposed to loads of toxins that enter our body through air pollution, the food we eat, water, radiation, and so on.
The processed foods we eat is loaded with artificial ingredients like added flavors and coloring agents that are meant to enhance the appearance and taste of the food while reducing its nutritional quotient. Even the fruits and veggies we eat are sprayed with insecticides and pesticides, which enter our body in small qualities even after thoroughly washing them before eating and cooking.
These substances are harmful to the body and cause considerable damage over a period. Hence, it is very important to cleanse the body completely to get rid of these toxins.
Here are some features and benefits of a detox diet:
- A detox diet is a perfect diet that can help you to cleanse your body and feel fresh and rejuvenated.
- There are several detox diets that can flush the toxins out of your system.
- Most of these diets involve fasting, or drinking only liquids.
- Some detox diets allow some foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
These are typically short diets, meaning they are not a way of eating you should stick to in the long run. You can follow a detox diet for one week to a month followed by a regular diet that provides the essential vitamins and minerals for the body. You can follow a detox diet once every six months or a year depending on your overall health.
Finally, we have found solutions to the problems that have been haunting the humankind since several decades owing to our sedentary lifestyle and an excessive reliance on the inventions. Keep in mind that these inventions, though meant to ease our lives, cause considerable long-term damage to our health. Hence, it is important to make healthy changes in your diet as mentioned above to minimize the effects of such a lifestyle on your body.
Each of these diets includes different foods that you must or must not eat. The duration for these diets is also different. It is important to follow these diets as recommended so that you can derive maximum health benefits and keep away from the dangerous ailments that can affect the quality of your life.