National Nutrition Week 2018: Three balanced diets which promote a healthy lifestyle

The Flexitarian, DASH and Mediterranean diets allow users to eat whatever they want, with a little restriction and no counting of calories! Health bhi, taste bhi.

A diet which allows you to eat whatever you want, without judging you or body-shaming you? Yes, and we’ve found not one, but three such diets. Imagine that. If you must diet, these might just be the ones you should try out, given that they promote a healthy lifestyle and informed food choices – instead of cutting out food groups in totality from your diet.

Flexitarian Diet

As the name suggests, this is a flexible diet that includes mostly plant-based food products but also allows the consumption of meat and other animal products in limited portions. Started by dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner, this diet follows no clear-cut rules and is more of a lifestyle change than just a curtailing of food groups and food intake.

Some of the food items one can have while following this diet are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes/dal while meat and dairy products are to be consumed in a limited quantity. You’re to eat less processed foods and limit the intake of sugary products.

Not only weight loss, this diet promotes heart health as well. Since it is high in fiber and healthy fats, it’s good for the heart. The inclusion of less sugary products, helps control blood pressure levels.


Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), this diet has been structured to suit the needs of people with high blood pressure. With a diet regime rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, it provides a sufficient amount of nutrients that are required by the body on a daily basis. The DASH diet also allows the intake of lean protein sources such as chicken and fish.

High blood pressure can result in a number of health conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure and the increased possibility of a stroke. the DASH diet has been proven to control these health problems. Additionally, since this diet is low in red meat, salt and sugary products, calorie intake gets reduced and helps in weight loss.

Mediterranean Diet

This diet is based on the traditional foods eaten by people in Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece and has been promoted by the medical fraternity since 1960. Research showed that people in these places had much lower incidences of heart disease as compared to Americans and this was mostly because of their dietary differences.

Like the Flexitarian and DASH diet, this one too recommends eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Other than that, one can have moderate amounts of fish, poultry and dairy products – although, red meat needs to be avoided as much as possible. Prohibiting processed foods and sugary products, this diet has a number of benefits, especially since it promotes heart health and controls blood pressure levels.

Although these diets sound healthy and easy-to-follow, don’t take our word for it. Do ask a doctor before following any of them.

Have you tried any one of the above-mentioned diets?

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