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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tanja Micheli, an expert in this field, provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article. Tanja Micheli (registered nurse, postgraduate degree in health promotion, IKP holistic nutrition expert) works for Helsana’s health consultation service. She supports customers on questions to do with nutrition and health promotion.
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