Changes in Eating Habits
Many people are trying to stick to a New Years Resolution, often involving some sort of change in eating habits. Here is some information regarding some of the most popular diets trending right now.
1) Mediterranean Diet- A heart healthy diet that encourages foods like fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. It is limited in meats, cheeses, and sweets. Since many of the foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, about 35% of the calories can come from fat, which is consistent with other heart-healthy diets. These oils as fats have a protective effect on the heart. This is more of a healthy way of life than a diet, and can have the effects of decreased cholesterol, preventing heart disease, and preventing type 2 diabetes. It may also prevent cognitive decline.
2) The DASH Diet- This diet is aimed at preventing and lowering high blood pressure. There is an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein. Sweets, desserts, and red meat are off limits, and cutting back on salt is important. The plan suggests eventually decreasing sodium to 1500 mg per day.
3) MIND Diet- This way of eating is aimed at preventing Alzheimer's Disease by focusing on brain healthy foods. It is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. The diet emphasizes eating from the 10 brain healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine. The five unhealthy food groups to avoid include: red meats, butter & margarine, cheeses, sweets, and fried or fast food. Two large studies have shown significantly slower cognitive decline in people who ate at least 2 servings of vegetables per day.
Remember, most “diets” emphasize the same basic healthy points: increase fruits and vegetables, limit sugars. The best type of meal plan for you is one that you can maintain and achieve your goals without feeling deprived. Talk with your physician or a nutritionist to help determine which type of diet may be best for you and your individual needs.
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