Review: The Traditional Asian Diet

Review: The Traditional Asian Diet

The Traditional Asian Diet is a lifestyle-based eating strategy based mainly on eating plant-based foods as is popular in several Asian countries. That massive continent is home for many countries, each of which boasts its own rich cultures and eating traditions. For this particular diet, there is a main focus on Japanese and certain Chinese diets.

Why Are Forms of the Traditional Asian Diet Praised?

The reason is that those cultures typically see strong health and considerable longevity throughout their populations. That said, they also typically consume about 25 percent more calories than the average American and yet still maintain leaner bodies on the whole. When eating the traditional Asian Diet as a part of a lifestyle, obesity is quite rare. That said, it has become commonplace among people who follow the traditional western and American diet high in processed foods.

How to Eat According to These Type of Diets

The diet involves eating a lot of rice as well as vegetables which have typically been cooked. Also included in the diet are a number of pulses, particularly soy-based foods. Soy provides one of the primary protein sources, to the point that it is even more commonplace than animal-based protein sources. Sweets and red meat are considered to be indulgences to be enjoyed on a rare occasion, not a regular basis.

Protein, Healthy Fats, Fruits and Veggies

In following with the Japanese tradition, seafood is also a regular protein source. As is the case in many parts of China, rice wine is often used in cooking, but this is still used only in moderation as alcohol is not meant to be a regular component of the lifestyle.

The Traditional Asian Diet leans on the eastern food pyramid. That food pyramid is extremely different from the one with which the western world is familiar. Instead, meat is at the very top of the Asian pyramid because it is eaten only occasionally and in small amounts. Poultry is eaten more, while eggs are consumed much more frequently. Vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and legumes are eaten quite a bit on this diet.

Lots of Rice

That said, the food eaten the most is rice, followed by certain millets and corn. The preferred type of rice when following this diet is white rice, not brown unpolished rice. The reason is that rice bran can be difficult to digest and it is believed to slow the metabolism.

High in Carbs

While the Traditional Asian Diet may be high in carbohydrates, the foods are consumed in their healthy, natural forms, meaning that they don’t cause people who eat them to become overweight or obese. These foods are not processed and don’t contain unhealthy additives. Their nutrient density helps to keep weight and health more naturally under control.

At the same time, there isn’t a great deal of scientific evidence to support adopting this diet outside of living within the actual culture that created it. As there isn’t any food tracking, specific restrictions or calorie counting, it can be difficult to adopt in a natural way that reflects the way the diet is consumed in the Asian countries on which the diet was based.

Interesting Strategies for Following a Traditional Asian Diet

To follow a traditional Asian diet in general, there are certain strategies that you can add to your habits. Indeed, every eating habit in Asia is unique to its region, but there are some points that most have in common

Avoid Cold Drinks with Meals

In the United States, it is extremely commonplace to have a cold beverage along with your meal. This can include anything from a cold glass of water to milk, soda, white wine, beer, or other drinks.  That said, this is not the habit of people following a traditional Asian Diet. Many people believe that changing this habit is a healthy move.  Reducing the intake of fluids with meals helps to avoid watering down your digestive enzymes and acids which are critical to ideal nutrient absorption.

That said, room temperature or, more commonly, warm beverages such as green tea help to support digestive enzymatic activity.  This helps you to stay hydrated and potentially improve your digestion at the same time.  That said, enjoy your green tea a half hour before or after eating, not during your meal, according to a typical traditional Asian diet.

Make Soup a Regular Meal

Soup is a hydrating food that helps to fill you up without packing yourself with calories. Many traditional Asian diet habits include soup with many if not most meals. They should be a broth-based, not cream-based soup. Like green tea, many of these meals support the digestive process.

Use Chopsticks and Small Plates

Serving the dishes that make up your meals on small plates is a fantastic way to eat smaller portions.  Choose one smaller plate for your whole meal or use very small plates to contain your portion of each part of the meal. Chopsticks are also a great way to eat because they help to ensure you take a reasonable sized bite instead of shoveling huge amounts into your mouth. This slows down the pace of your eating and gives your stomach the chance to register to your brain that it’s full before you overeat.

Review: I F Weight Loss Diet

Review: I F Weight Loss Diet

I F weight loss has become a tremendously popular over the last handful of years.  In fact, it has become one of the trendiest eating strategies. That said, there have been dozens – if not hundreds – of highly popular fads and strategies in the name of shedding extra pounds. Popularity can’t be the top test of whether or not something is appropriate for you.  Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a much closer look at what it’s all about and whether or not it has the potential to be safe and effective for you.

Let’s look more closely at what an I F weight loss diet is all about.

What is an I F Weight Loss Diet?

An I F weight loss diet stands for intermittent fasting.  This means that it alternates between periods of eating normally and brief periods in which no food or calorie-containing beverages are consumed. This isn’t a single type of program.  Instead, it is a way of eating that can be interpreted in many different ways.

There are lots of different types of I F weight loss diet programs.  While some restrict hours of the day, others restrict days of the week.  Some are more extreme, requiring several consecutive days of eating very little or nothing at all.  Typically speaking, those are not considered to be the main form of intermittent fasting strategy.

Which Types of Intermittent Fasting Are Most Popular?

There are a handful of I F weight loss diet that are popular at the moment.  The majority involve eating food only during a limited window of the day.  Often, it requires a ratio of something similar to 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours in which eating is permitted per day.  That said, others are more or less restrictive than that ratio.

Moreover, while some I F weight loss diets allow you to eat virtually anything during your permitted window of time, others require you to stick to a certain calorie limit, macronutrient ratio or other types of eating restriction.

Some people find this method very helpful and can lose weight efficiently when using it.  It is important to point out that it is not safe for everyone.  Many very common medical conditions can make this type of eating strategy inappropriate and unsafe. Therefore, it’s extremely wise to speak with your doctor before assuming that I F weight loss is right for you.

Review: The MIND Diet

Review: The MIND Diet

The MIND Diet is a combination of two proven and popular diets: Mediterranean Diet and DASH.  It was designed to focus specifically on the foods from those eating strategies that are known to support brain health. Initial research into this form of dieting suggests that it could have the potential to support brain wellness and reduce the risk of mental decline.

As there have yet to be any methods of fully preventing or reversing dementia or Alzheimer’s, the hope is to be able to use MIND Diet strategies to make as big of a difference based on lifestyle as possible.

Does the MIND Diet Work?

The idea behind the MIND Diet is to eat foods such as nuts, berries, and leafy greens to reduce a person’s risk of developing a progressive brain disorder. The letters in the name of this eating strategy stand for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.  It was first developed by Rush University Medical Center nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris.

The development of the MIND Diet was funded by the National Institute on Aging.  The first published version of this eating strategy was in February 2015. The research determined that eating in this way decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s development by about 35 percent among people who followed it moderately well.  That said, among those who followed it quite rigorously, there as a 53 percent drop in Alzheimer’s risk.

More research is needed to know precisely what long-term impact following the MIND Diet can have.  Still, the same research team has done more study into this eating plan and has found that its impact on preventing cognitive decline is better than both the DASH and Mediterranean Diets on their own.

Not a Dieting Plan Specifically for Weight Loss

Though the MIND Diet is considered to be very healthy, it is not necessarily a plan for weight reduction.  That said, many people who have followed this eating program have found that their weight has been easier to manage. Its focus on whole grains, vegetables – particularly dark green ones – nuts, beans, lean proteins, healthy fats such as olive oil, and other nutrient dense foods helps to avoid empty calories and foods that are less satisfying. In fact, it recommends avoiding highly sugary and processed fatty foods.

Before switching to the MIND Diet, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. This can help you to know that it will be appropriate for you and will assist you in finding the right guidance to follow to do it properly, particularly at the start as you familiarize yourself with it.

Review: Mediterranean Diet

Review: Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is an eating strategy that has received a considerable amount of attention from the scientific community and the media.  It is praised as a heart healthy eating plan that also comes with a range of additional potential advantages such as the potential for weight loss.

This eating plan has undergone a number of different studies of different natures, sizes and purposes and many have brought about positive results.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet combines well balanced nutrition with the traditional food preparation methods used in the Mediterranean region.  These flavors have been used as a part of that culture for a long time, but interest in it as a healthy lifestyle started in the 1960s.

At that time, researchers observed that people living in the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Greece had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and that it caused fewer deaths than was the case in northern Europe and the United States. Studies into the regions have shown that the traditional way of eating is indeed linked with a reduced risk of factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

Eating Healthy

As a result of the research into the Mediterranean Diet, it has become one of the healthy eating plans the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends for the prevention of chronic illness and the promotion of overall health.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) also recognizes this eating style as a sustainable healthy dietary pattern.  The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognizes it as an intangible cultural asset.

What’s Involved in the Mediterranean Diet?

To follow the Mediterranean Diet, you will need to eat in a way similar to the traditional cuisines of peoples traditionally living along the Mediterranean Sea.  This means that there isn’t a specific strict way of eating.  After all, this diet is made up of meals eaten by people from multiple countries over time.  People don’t naturally choose only a small number of very specific dishes.

Instead, it is more of a style of eating.  The traditional Mediterranean Diet is typically high in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and olive oil.

The primary parts of this type of eating strategy include:

  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats each day
  • Eating poultry, fish, eggs and beans each week
  • Eating a moderate amount of dairy products
  • Eating a limited amount of red meat

Other additional factors often valued as a part of the Mediterranean Diet are enjoying one glass of red wine on occasion, remaining physically active, and eating meals with friends and family.

Review: Paleo Diet

Review: Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet – also known as the Paleolithic Diet, the Stone Age Diet, the Caveman Diet or the Hunter-Gatherer Diet – was created to provide a lifestyle strategy to overcome illness associated with the way we live our modern lives.

Who Created the Paleo Diet?

That said, since it was first created, it has become better known as a highly popular weight loss plan. It is based on a method that restricts or even eliminates certain food types and individual foods. It has been followed by certain top celebrities from Matthew McConaughey to Megan Fox and Ray Mears.

Still, just because a diet is popular, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily effective or that it is appropriate for everyone even if it can be effective.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at any diet, including this one, and to speak with your doctor before making any major changes to what you eat or how you prepare it.

What is the Paleolithic Diet?

To follow the Paleo Diet, you will need to start focusing on foods that may have been the top choices of our Paleolithic ancestors around a thousand years ago. According to the creators of this diet, this was a time before agriculture.  Therefore, our ancestors from that time ate essentially anything they could hunt or gather.

Some of the foods they ate included:

  • Meat,
  • Fish,
  • Fruit,
  • Vegetables,
  • Nuts, and
  • Roots.

On the other hand, the foods you will not be consuming on the Paleo Diet include:

  • Grains,
  • Legumes,
  • Dairy,
  • Processed oils,
  • Refined sugar, and
  • Salt

The reason those foods aren’t permitted on the Paleo Diet is because the creators of the diet believed that those became available only after agriculture became a part of the average human life.

Watching Your Macros

In terms of macronutrient balance, Paleo encourages a low carbohydrate and high protein eating strategy. It does not have any specific recommendation for calorie counting and makes no mention regarding the type of exercise that should be followed.

In terms of its macronutrient balance, Paleolithic dieting can reflect many other lower carb and high protein diets.  What makes it unique is the justification for balancing the macros this way.  The claim is that the foods are selected because they are what the body evolved to process first. It’s what the body naturally digests the best as opposed to being forced to cope with it.

Paleo Controversy

As popular as this diet may be, it is also quite controversial. The idea behind it is that by choosing the options our ancestors ate, we are more likely to opt for foods that the body is actually prepared to properly digest and use. The hunter-gatherer body could digest precisely what Paleolithic people could find on the land around them. That didn’t include chips, fries or cakes.

The claim is that by living this way, we can become more fit and healthy and can reduce the risk of degenerative disease, certain cancers, arthritis and heart disease. The belief is that many of those conditions came about as a result of more modern lifestyles following the development of agriculture. Moreover, the idea is that if a Paleolithic person died young, it wasn’t because of disease – particularly chronic illness – but was rather because of having to live in a harsh environment where accidents were commonplace.

Furthermore, in recent years, a large and growing body of evidence has shown that the Palaeolithic people did not eat in the way the creators of this diet claimed.  Instead, they did eat grains.  Substantial evidence revealed that oats and many more grains were a regular part of our ancestors’ diets.

Caveman Diet Drawbacks

That said, this more “natural” way of living does have certain drawbacks, such as being low on soluble fiber consumption and can risk an inadequate intake of antioxidant vitamins (such as A, E and C), phytochemicals, monosaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, and many other low-glycemic index carbohydrates. Weight can indeed be lost on this diet, but it remains rare for a dieter to keep it up over the very long term, leading to potential nutrition, metabolism and weight issues.

Review: Flat Belly Diet

Review: Flat Belly Diet

The Flat Belly Diet is an eating strategy designed to help people lose weight effectively. It was created by Prevention magazine editors. This diet promises to make weight loss fast and easy, especially when it comes to fat stored around the middle. This is supposed to occur in about one month.

What is the Flat Belly Diet Supposed to Do

The diet’s creators say that the Flat Belly Diet lets dieters change the way they eat to drop the pounds. In fact, exercise isn’t a requirement of this plan. That said, the creators of the diet do underscore that if you do exercise, it can help to boost results from the other efforts made throughout the month.

Two Diet Phases

There are two phases to the Flat Belly Diet. The first is four days long and is meant to help combat bloating. It uses specific drinks and foods to help followers to overcome bloating. That way, the dieter won’t be carrying extra size that doesn’t need to be there and that isn’t even caused by body fat.

The second phase is a four-week eating plan that affords dieters a set number of calories. Women eat about 1,600 calories per day. Men follow a similar plan but with a higher number of daily calories allowed.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

The Flat Belly Diet places the emphasis on eating foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Dieters must also eat lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies. Every meal must contain MUFAs. These foods include options such as seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil and soybeans.

No Solid Research

Despite the fact that the Flat Belly Diet was created by well respected people, the diet itself hasn’t been uniquely successful in research. Large clinical trials haven’t shown that using this technique is any more effective than any other calorie-restricted strategy.

Though a dieter might lose weight using these methods, they’re likely because of the calorie limitations and because it encourages healthy and nutritious eating, according to the Mayo Clinic’s analysis. This indicates that the additional methods recommended by the diet aren’t necessarily promoting additional weight loss. Instead, it’s the methods that are the same as other calorie restricted healthy diets that are helping these dieters to drop the pounds.

Though it advertises itself as a type of quick fix, it isn’t really all that different from following other traditional calorie-based diets with a focus on nutrition.