List of Diets
Well-known nutritional diets:
Macrobiotics (from the Greek "macro" (large,
long) + "bio" (life)) is a lifestyle that incorporates
a dietary regime. The word was first coined by Christoph Wilhelm
Hufeland of Germany with his book, "Makrobiotik oder
Die Kunst, des Menschliche Lebens zu Verlängern"
("Macrobiotics, or the Art of Extending Ones Life"),
Japanese philosophers and physicians inspired Georges Ohsawa
to finally formalize this methodology. Among them chronologically
were Kaibara Ekiken, Andou Shoeki, Mizuno Nanbaku, and Sagen
Ishizuka and his disciples Nishibata Manabu and Shojiro Goto.
Macrobiotics was brought to Europe from Japan by the philosopher
Georges Ohsawa, after spending much time with Nishibata Manabu,
(who taught extensively in Paris), and subsequently to North
America in the late 1960s by his pupils Herman Aihara, Michio
Kushi and Aveline Kushi among many others. Before the word
Macrobiotics became global in usage (and also how the term
translates from the Japanese language) it was known as the
For those wishing to adopt the diet, it is recommended, as
for all diets, to read more about it, and consult a Dietitian
or Physician before starting, or in the case of illness. Some
even consult a macrobiotic counselor. It is generally recommended
that any diet be adopted gradually, for instance, reducing
animal products, refined flour, sugar, dairy products and
adding more whole grain and vegetable quality foods.
The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model inspired
by the traditional dietary patterns of the countries of the
Mediterranean basin, particularly Italy, Greece, and Spain.
These common patterns include a high consumption of fruit
and vegetables, bread and other cereals, olive oil and fish.
Also wine should be consumed, but in moderate quantities.
“Discovered” in 1945 by the American doctor Ancel
Keys, who disembarked in Salerno (Italy) with the U.S. Army,
the Mediterranean diet has gained common currency only in
the 1990s. It is based on what from the point of view of conventional,
mainstream nutrition is considered a paradox: that although
the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to consume
relatively high amounts of fat, they have far lower rates
of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the United
States, where similar levels of fat consumption are found.
One of the main explanations is thought to be the large amount
of olive oil used in the Mediterranean diet -- in contrast
to the high amount of animal fats in a typical American diet.
Olive oil lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, while animal
fats tend to increase cholesterol levels. In addition, the
consumption of red wine is also thought to be a factor, because
it contains flavonoids with powerful antioxidant properties
(this effect of the red wine is also called the French paradox,
due to France's high red wine consumption).
Dietary factors may be only part of the reason for the health
benefits enjoyed by these cultures. Genetics, lifestyle, and
environment may also be involved.
Muslim dietary laws provide a set of rules as to
what Muslims eat in their diet. These rules specify the food
that is halal, meaning lawful. They are found in Qur'an, the
holy book of Islam, usually detailing what is unlawful, or
haram. There are some more rules added to these in fatwas
(which are not often held to be authoritative by most Muslims)
by Mujtahids with various degrees of strictness.
Islamic law prohibits a Muslim from consuming alcohol, eating
or drinking blood and its by-products, and eating the meat
of a carnivore or omnivore, such as pork, monkey, dog or cat.
For the meat of an animal to be halal it must be properly
slaughtered by a Muslim or a Person of the Book (Christian
or Jew), while mentioning the name of God; for instance, the
animal may not be killed by being boiled or electrocuted,
and the carcass should be hung upside down long enough to
be blood-free. According to some fatwas, the animal must be
slaughtered only by a Muslim. However, other fatwas dispute
this, and rule from the orthodox Qur'anic position, that according
to verse 5:5 of the Qur'an (which declares that the food of
the People of the Book to be halal), the slaughter may be
done by a Jew or a Christian. Thus, many observant Muslims
will accept kosher meat, especially if halal options are not
Some of these traditional dietary restrictions may have been
created to prevent trichinosis, which can be caught from undercooked
pork, and other similar diseases.
Natural Foods Diet
The Natural Foods Diet is the avoidance of all unnatural
and refined/processed ingredients. These ingredients include
refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, hydrogenated
oils, artificial sweeteners, artificial food colors, artificial
flavorings, and other similar ingredients. Unlike most other
popular weight-loss programs, there is no counting required
for practitioners of the Natural Foods Diet.
Note that Sucanat, Stevia, raw honey, and maple syrup are
allowed as sweeteners as they are non-processed and all natural.
Sea salt is also preferred over table salt.
Proponents of the natural foods diet argue that unnatural
ingredients promote obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease,
and mood problems.
Negative calorie diet
In a negative calorie diet and several versions of this diet,
dieters are to eat and drink food products that are nutritous
but are claimed to have a negative caloric effect; i.e., they
provide fewer food calories than the calories needed to digest
them. There is no evidence that any foods are truly negative
calorie. The "negative calorie" foods allowed in
this diet are mainly vegetables and fruits, including:
- green cabbage
It is difficult to obtain well-balanced nutrients from this
diet, and so these foods are more effective as substitutes
for caloric snacks than as means for losing weight.
No-Grain Diet by Dr. Mercola
The No-Grain Diet was developed by osteopathic physician
Joseph Mercola. He claims that overconsumption of grains and
sugars is the cause of many degenerative diseases, such as
diabetes and cancer as well as obesity. The purpose of the
diet is mainly for optimum health, and is claimed by its adherants
to improve or heal those diseases. Recently, he is calling
this diet the "Total Health Program" including a
3-stage "Nutrition Plan".
The No-Grain Diet emphasizes organic vegetables with limited
fruits, quality meats, eggs and oils such as virgin coconut
and virgin olive oils. It discourages the eating of any grain-products,
sugars, most fish, most polyunsaturated oils and processed
foods. It is controversial, in that it calls eating grains
an "addiction", and goes against the recommendation
of mainstream nutritionists, who advise multiple servings
of grains per day.
"Metabolic Typing" is seen as essential, which
provides adjustments of the diet depending on each person's
metabolic needs. Metabolic Typing is based on the assumption
that each person has a unique way in which food is metabolized
in the body, making it impossible to find one diet which works
for all people. Three metabolic types are distinguished as
Carb, Protein or Mixed Type, depending on the ratio of carbohydrates,
proteins and fats each type of person is supposed to require
in his daily diet. The diet is then adjusted to those metabolic
types. This part of Mercola's diet appears to be identical
to the Metabolic Typing Diet by William L. Wolcott