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List of Diets

Well-known nutritional diets:

Okinawa diet
The Okinawa diet is a commercially promoted weight-loss diet based on the standard diet of Ryukyu Islanders. People from these Japanese islands (of which Okinawa is the largest) have the highest longevity in the world. This is partly attributed to the Ryukyuan diet, but also to other factors such as lifestyle, genetics, and psycho-spiritual health.

The diet followed is relatively low in calories, and also incorporates fish. Moderation in eating is the approach taken by most Ryukyuans.

A study of the high rate of centenarians in Okinawa was carried out to derive any useful lessons for the rest of the world.

Organic food diet
Organic food is, in general, food that is produced without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In everyday conversation, organic is a broad reference, that can apply equally to store-bought food, to food originating in a home garden where no synthetic inputs are used, or even to food gathered (or hunted) in the wild. By contrast, certified organic food is produced according to strict production criteria, within an often governmental regulatory framework. In an increasing number of countries, including the US, Japan and in the European Union, organic certification is a matter of law, and it is illegal to use the term organic (at least, commercially) without following the prescribed rules of organic production. Therefore, confusion and debate can arise between different answers to, "What is organic?"

Ornish Diet
The Ornish Diet is a somewhat popular diet that was developed by Dr. Dean Ornish M.D. in his book A Program for Reversing Heart Disease. It is a diet that is specifically formulated to reverse heart disease but has recently been used as a weight loss program. This vegetarian diet emphasizes low fat, filling foods which includes legumes and other high-fiber foods.

The Ornish Diet is a very strict one. Any cholesterol and saturated fat containing foods are prohibited. All meats are also not allowed although nonfat dairy products and egg whites are allowed. This diet propones complex carbohydrates (fruit, grains, etc.) and limits simple ones (sugars, honey, alcohol.) The Ornish diet is 10% fat, 20% protein, and 70% carbohydrates. The typical American diet is 45% fat, 25% protein and 30% carbohydrates.

Ovo-lacto vegetarian diet
An ovo-lacto vegetarian (sometimes referred to as octo-lacto vegetarian) is a vegetarian who consumes eggs and dairy products. Ovo means "Eggs" and Lacto means "Dairy". Contrast this with strict vegetarians and vegans who consume neither.

Most vegetarians are ovo-lacto vegetarians. Generally speaking, when one uses the term vegetarian an ovo-lacto vegetarian is assumed.

Paleolithic diet
The Paleolithic diet is a dietary system. Its supporters argue that since human genetics have scarcely changed since the stone age an ideal diet would be a reconstructed stone age diet, such as the one humans and proto-humans used throughout prehistory. Therefore through studying archeology and modern hunter gatherers we can learn what a healthy diet looks like.

This diet is concerned primarily with health issues, as opposed to ethical or economic concerns. Advocates of paleolithic nutrition believe that the best foods for the human body are those that humans are best adapted to eat. Proponents argue that dietary related diseases are caused by straying from this approach.

Foods which are not edible raw and unprocessed are excluded from the diet. The foods falling into this category are mainly starchy vegetables (e.g. cereals, beans and potatoes). Foods which are included in the diet are meat, fish, fruits, vegetables which are edible raw, mushrooms, nuts, eggs and honey. The single exception to this rule is dairy products. Dairy products are excluded despite being edible raw since they are nevertheless a post agricultural food.

Some closely related diets, such as that recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Evolution Diet, are more lenient: they mainly exclude foods developed in the last few centuries, and claim to improve upon the Paleo-diet by studying specific factors that contribute to health and longevity. Dairy, whole grains, legumes, and potatoes are therefore encouraged insofar as one's specific ancestry allows them to be tolerated, and culturing of foods is encouraged.

The non-animal foods available on the diet are the same as those available in raw veganism. However, there are two fundamental differences between raw veganism and the paleodiet: Firstly, paleodieters consume meat and other animal products (in fact usually more is consumed than on a standard modern diet, in some cases substantially more). Secondly, any and all food can be cooked if desired.

The generally prescribed proportions of protein, fat, and carbohydrate are approximately 20-35%, 30-60%, and 20-35% by calories. By calories the diet is commonly around 45-65% animal products and 35-55% plant products. Alternatively, because of the large amount of water in fruits and vegetables, the diet is, by weight, roughly 2/3 plant products and 1/3 animal products.

The vitamin and mineral content of the diet is very high compared to a standard diet, in many cases a multiple of the RDA.

Perricone diet
Nicholas Perricone is a controversial dermatologist who has written several books, primarily on the subject of maintaining the appearance of youth. He has appeared in a few special programs on PBS, and sells his own line of skincare products. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Dr. Perricone presents himself as a radical in the dermatological community, repeatedly encouraging his audience to challenge the status quo. He compares his work relating diet to skincare with Ignaz Semmelweis's work on handwashing and the spread of disease in the 1800s.

Pesco/Pollo vegetarianism
"Pesco/pollo vegetarianism", "pescetarianism" or "semi-vegetarianism" are neologisms coined to describe certain lifestyles of restricted diet. Most commonly, these include the practice of not eating certain types of meat (most commonly "red" meat such as beef, pork, lamb) while allowing others, such as seafood. There are usually no restrictions on non-flesh animal products such as dairy, eggs, or leather. Those observing such a diet often do so for health reasons although many do practice for ethical or religious reasons.

Pritikin diet
The Pritikin Diet was created by Nathan Pritikin and enhanced by his son Robert Pritikin. It is a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. (cf. Atkins diet) The theory is that we have an instinct to eat fat that was developed in the early days of man. The instinct was useful then because opportunities to eat fat were rare, and the fat helped to store calories to make it through the lean times. Now that fat is readily available, though, the instinct causes us to eat too much of it, adding unneeded weight and causing other bad side effects. The goal is that by learning to live on carbohydrates with a small amount of fat and exercising regularly a person can achieve the lean and healthy body of our remote ancestors rather than the overweight and unhealthy body of today.

This diet is grounded on a very simple theory: in order to feel satisfied (and hence want to stop eating), a human being needs to consume enough food, of any sort, until he or she has ingested a certain amount of bulk--physical weight. Fat, as a substance, is not per se bad; it is necessary, but obviously it poses the risk of heart disease when consumed in excess. Moreover, fat contains more calories per pound of its physical weight than do carbohydrates. (The Nutritional Facts labels do acknowledge this.) It's something like the opposite of the old riddle, "Which weighs more--a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?" In this case, a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of carbohydrates or a pound of protein but contains more calories. That is the reason one pound of steak contains more calories than one pound of broccoli. It is not because the broccoli is per se more healthful: both foods contain nutrients we need that the other does not. The result: a given quantity of fat will tack on more calories than the same quantity of other nutrients.

The stomach and the body, according to Dr. Pritikin's theory, do not "know" whether the bulk ingested consists of fat or anything else. We need to know that before we eat it. The body knows only whether it has obtained sufficient bulk to feel sated or satisfied. Hence the Pritikin principle advocates a low-density, high-bulk diet. This means the trusty standbys: fruit, vegetables, lean meats and fish, and plenty of nonsoluble fiber, all of which generally promote good health. Processed, overly fatty and dried foods, on the other hand, should be avoided--not only because they have additives and artificial ingredients, or have less nutritional value--but rather because they are low-bulk and high-calorie. Eating a fat-drenched muffin will cause a person ingest a lot of calories without getting much overall satisfaction. The result: the person will want to eat more.

The principal advantage of the Pritikin diet over others is that it is less radical and hence less risky. It requires balanced meals with foods whose nutritional value is indisputable: fresh vegetables, fruit, and above all fiber--which reduces the risks of colon cancer and helps the body remove cholesterol. The Pritikin diet, however, saw its heyday in the 1970s and is distinctly less popular today, perhaps because it does not offer immediately perceptible results.


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