The best-known diets at a glance

Intermittent fasting, Mediterranean cuisine, keto, paleo or low-carb diet: which of these diets and ways of eating suits me? And what’s included on the menu? Learn how these types of diet work and what you need to pay attention to.

20.02.2023 Nina Merli 3 minutes

Mediterranean diet: healthy, Mediterranean food

Foodies will love the Mediterranean diet or also the Cretan diet. This type of diet involves eating well, with fibre-rich food that fills you up. And it tastes like being on holiday in Greece. Diet is really the wrong term to use here: Mediterranean cuisine is a balanced way of eating and not a conventional diet. It’s ideal for long-term weight loss – and completely without the yo-yo effect.

Additional advantages: Mediterranean cuisine is not complicated or particularly expensive. One reason being that red meat and dairy products are rarely on the menu. The Mediterranean diet relies on fresh, natural ingredients. Olive oil is an essential component. Find out which foods Mediterranean cuisine includes, what makes it so healthy and what benefits the Mediterranean diet has for the body.

The Mediterranean diet explained

Intermittent fasting: losing weight through time-restricted eating

Few diets, or perhaps we should say ways of eating, have been as popular recently as intermittent fasting. One reason for this is that it’s so easy to do. Intermittent fasting simply means going without food for several hours. During this short period of fasting, eating no food, the body has to tap into its reserves: it gets energy from the fat stored in your body. Unlike diets like the paleo, keto or low-carb diets, you can eat any food – the very basis of a balanced diet.

Anyone who wants to lose weight through fasting has several options featuring different time intervals: its most popular version, the “16 to 8” diet, means skipping either breakfast or dinner and therefore going without food for 16 hours. Find out how the other interval methods work and what you need to keep in mind.

Find out about intermittent fasting

Do you have any questions about what to eat or losing weight?

The Helsana health consultation advisors are happy to help you. We can offer you information and tips specifically aimed at you on balanced nutrition and controlling your weight.

The paleo diet: eating stone-age style

The paleo diet, also known as the stone-age diet, is made up of whole and unprocessed foods. It revolves around eating like our caveman ancestors did – meaning, you only eat foods that were typically around back then. Choosing the paleo diet means radically limiting your choice of food.

What you eat on the paleo diet fills you up nicely, so you don’t need to count the calories. The paleo diet contains a lot of high-protein food. But too much protein over a long time period can be detrimental to your health: you are at greater risk of getting osteoporosis, your liver and kidneys can become strained, and you may develop gout, arteriosclerosis and kidney stones. Read more about the pros and cons of the paleo diet. Find out where to find paleo recipes and whether this diet is suitable for losing weight.

More information on the paleo diet

Keto diet: lots of fat, few carbohydrates

The ketogenic diet largely avoids carbohydrates and sugar. As a result, the body taps into its fat reserves for energy, which should help you lose weight. Owing to its relatively simple eating plan, the keto diet has become a very popular way to lose weight. But, it is a narrow and restrictive diet. The keto diet relies mainly on proteins and fats. Foods with high fat content such as avocado, fish, meat, eggs and green vegetables are allowed.

Because the diet can cause deficiency symptoms, you shouldn’t maintain a ketogenic diet for a long time. Also, high protein consumption can damage your health. We explain how the keto diet works and what the pros and cons are.

How does the ketogenic diet work?

Low-carb diet: cutting down on the carbohydrates

Low-carb diets include the paleo and keto diets, for example. These diets cut out most carbohydrates. This means: no sugar, no pasta, no bread. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. But if we consume more carbohydrates than we actually need, our body stores some of them as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells. When these reserves are full, however, the carbohydrates are converted into fat.

The principle of all low-carb diets: by eliminating carbohydrates, the body should change its metabolism and break down body fat. However, this can also lead to side effects such as headaches, constipation or diarrhoea. We explain different low-carb diets and show what’s on the menu for each of them and what level of carbohydrates is still allowed.

Low-carb diets at a glance

Which diet suits me best?

Be it intermittent fasting, Mediterranean diet or low-carb diets – the list of diet methods promising weight loss is long. This article gives you an overview of the most common types of diets and eating regimes. You should discuss with your doctor or with a nutrition advisor which diet suits you best and whether a change in diet is advisable. Low-carb diets, in particular, such as paleo or keto, are unhealthy in the long run.

Nutrition counselling – covered by Helsana

You can reach your goals faster with a professional nutrition course. With COMPLETA supplementary insurance cover, you receive 75% of the costs, or up to CHF 200 per calendar year, for nutrition counselling and courses that are recognised by Helsana.


All the benefits of TOP and SANA – in some cases with higher reimbursements.

Read more

Losing weight the easier way with online nutrition counselling
Online coaching and nutrition counselling help you to reach your ideal weight. Here’s an overview of our tips for online nutrition counselling.
March 15, 2023 4 minutes

Lose weight without feeling hungry – here’s how
These healthy yet filling options can help you lose weight.
February 22, 2023 2 minutes


Find out more about current health issues every month and get all the information you need about our attractive offers from all Helsana Group companies * delivered by e-mail to read whenever it suits you. Our newsletter is free of charge and you can sign up here:


Thank you for registering.
You have just received an email with a confirmation link. Please click on this to complete your registration.

Unfortunately an error has occurred.

We did not receive your information. Please try again later.

* The Helsana Group comprises Helsana Insurance Company Ltd, Helsana Supplementary Insurances Ltd and Helsana Accidents Ltd.