- Vegetarian: Vegetarians do not eat any meat. They eat lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. One great part of a vegetarian diet is all the antioxidants you eat. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from harming healthy tissues in your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules. They bond with stable molecules, but end up destroying them. This breaks down tissues and ages you. Antioxidants attach to the free radicals and save your healthy molecules from being killed. Yay!
- Paleo: People on a Paleo diet eat the way our ancestors did. The idea is that we evolved eating these foods, our genes are expecting these foods, so we should eat these foods. They eat meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits and veggies. They eliminate all dairy, grains, beans, and potatoes. The Paleo diet helps you lose weight and stay healthy.
- Gluten-free: Gluten is a protein found in some grains, including wheat, rye, and barley. A gluten-free diet eliminates these grains (and all products containing them) and is essential for people who are gluten intolerant. Some experts say that gluten-free diets are good for everybody because gluten is inflammatory. This inflammation can cause problems anywhere in the body, even if you are not diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Many people on this type of diet claim to have fewer aches and pains in their joints, more energy, and just feel better overall.
- Traditional Foods: Traditional, or real food, is what my family eats. We eat natural food that is minimally processed and prepared in ways to maximize nutrition. This includes naturally probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. We eat meat from pasture-raised animals, farm-fresh eggs, and fresh local produce. These foods provide the vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids that are necessary for optimal health.
One thing all healthy diets seem to have in common is veggies, which are important in every eating plan. Mom is right; you should eat your broccoli. (And carrots, and Brussels sprouts, and green beans.) The other thing they have in common is that people on healthy diets often say that they feel great. They pay attention to what's on their plate. That's why different people can feel good, even if they don't eat the same way. There is no one right way to eat. Maybe I eat this way, and you eat that way. That's OK, as long as I don't force my diet on you, or vice versa. All I'm trying to do is to get people to notice what they eat and how it makes them feel. I want nutrition to matter. And maybe the most important thing isn't what you do eat, but what you don't.