Eating healthy can be challenging. It seems that every time you turn around, there is a new diet that promises to be “the one.” The latest and greatest is going to be the one that helps you lose weight, increase your heart health and boost your immune system. How do you know which to choose?
Fad diets rarely work. The best thing you can do is look for a diet that you know you can stick with. Even better, you may be able to take components of several diets and put your own together.
It’s important to note that any person who is making a serious lifestyle change in the way of their diet should speak to their physician or a registered dietician first. Not all diets are the right one for every person. This is especially true if you have any existing health conditions or concerns. If you are considering a dietary overhaul, speak with your doctor.
With that in mind, the first step to healthier eating is finding out what preset diet programs are available. Here are the best diets for 2018.
1. DASH Diet
The DASH diet isn’t new, but isn’t as popular as others on the list. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. In other words, it’s a diet that is good for your blood pressure. It’s a simple diet really and more of a healthy way of eating. The diet promotes cutting back on foods with saturated fat and salt, replacing those foods with more vegetables and whole-grain products. Following this diet could lower your blood pressure in weeks.
2. Mediterranean Diet
This diet is more popular and has developed quite the following. It’s incredibly easy to follow and is considered the best one for diabetic patients. To follow the Mediterranean Diet, your meals emphasize plant-based products. Your meals should be comprised primarily of vegetables, beans and seeds, whole grains and fruits. There is an especially high emphasis on olive oil.
3. Flexitarian Diet
There is little to follow with this diet. Instead, you simply cook your meals without meat for the most part. In essence, it is a vegetarian diet with the occasional piece of meat or fish added. Plant-based proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruit should make up the bulk of your eating for the day.
4. Weight Watchers
For some people, being “told” what to eat makes dieting easier. Instead of figuring out what is healthy and what isn’t, having a meal plan can help. Programs like Weight Watchers take the guesswork out of a diet and basically tell you what to prepare for your meals. If you would prefer this type of diet, Weight Watchers consistently ranks as the best among them.
Nutrisystem offers some flexibility in that you can choose the foods that are shipped to you. While many people enjoy this “diet,” others find that if they are using it for weight loss, they tend to gain the weight back when going off the plan and returning to their old habits. If you need to lose weight, Nutrisystem may be a good option. If, on the other hand, you are trying to establish healthier eating patterns that you can stick with, you’d probably be better off with one of the others on the list.
6. Low-Carb Diets
Diets that limit your amount of carbohydrates per day have no place on any top 10 list of best diets, but we felt the need to mention them, so they have taken a place on our list. Diets like the keto diet and the Dukan diet limit your carbs and promote high amounts of protein and, often, fats. These diets have no scientific basis and can cause a decline in your health. The diets aren’t terrible for the short-term if a person wants to lose weight, but they are not healthy as an overall way of eating. Avoid them if your goal is good health.
At the end of the day, every person should be looking to adopt a healthier way of eating if they haven’t done so already. Age is not a factor when it comes to maintaining good health. Even if you have spent your entire life eating red meat and skipping out on the veggies, it’s not too late to change. Use the above diets as a starting point.
Aging in a healthy way is entirely possible. If you are interested in staying independent and healthy for as long as possible, reach out to our active adult retirement community in Decatur. We can answer any questions you have about our community and are happy to provide you with more information.