Popular diets are nearly as en vogue as the latest fashion trends. Like couture, it seems as though every season there’s a fashionable new way of eating people are pining over. If your head is spinning quicker than a model’s catwalk turn, don’t fret; we’ve spoken with an expert and are here to guide you down the diet runway.
Which Diet is Right For You?
We’re kicking off our list with one of Carolyn’s favorite diets, the DASH diet. “I think one of the healthiest ways to eat, now and forever, is what they call the DASH diet,” she says. A lifelong approach to eating, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. DASH proponents encourage participants to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits while consuming a moderate amount of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
This diet also emphasizes lower sodium intake with only 2,300 milligrams of sodium being consumed per day. Easy food swaps help make DASH a lifestyle change and not simply a fad. Order brown rice instead of white rice for your burrito bowl; choose whole-wheat pasta for at-home Italian recipes, and load up on vegetables instead of protein when ordering from your favorite Chinese take-out spot. Whatever your swaps are, Carolyn encourages DASH-ers to keep things fresh.
Perhaps the most trendy diet on our list is keto, also known as the ketogenic diet. Keto is best described as a way of eating that emphasizes high healthy fats, moderate lean proteins and low carbohydrates. With this diet, “you’re essentially putting yourself into ketosis,” says Carolyn. “Ketosis means your body is burning fat to stay alive because you’re tricking your body by reducing the carbs.” Ketosis is a natural, fat-burning, ketone-producing metabolic state.
A little more than a decade old, the Nordic diet was created in 2004 as a way to not necessarily lose weight but develop healthy eating habits. The diet is based on the traditional way of eating by Nordic people, or those who live in Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The principles are easy enough to remember and include focusing on fatty fish like salmon and herring, complex carbs like nuts and seeds, and organic fruits and vegetables like berries and beets.
Paleolithic (“paleo”) dieting is the concept of cutting modern, processed foods that are riddled with sugar and fat, which, according to Carolyn, is something we should be doing anyway. “Added sugar is in so many things. It’s like sunshine. Too much sunshine will give you skin cancer, but we need sunshine for good health. Sugar, like the sun, can be overdone,” she says. Paleo is often characterized by high protein and has been nicknamed “the caveman diet” because proponents focus on foods presumed to have been eaten by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.