What Does Diet Mean Actually? All You Need to Know about Dieting
There is no doubt that maintaining a proper diet contributes to leading a healthy life. You can find many diet types on the Internet. Some of you may probably already follow several diets to reach your win-win weight level. But the reality is that many in this world don’t have a clear-cut idea of what does diet mean? After seeing this common question, we are pretty much sure that you probably recall your daily dietary regimen where the big mac is always present on the top list! In fact, many may think eating fresh veggies all the time should be the diet that all suggest! But can you ever think of the actual meaning of diet?
Diet doesn’t stand for banning your favorite pizza, or Choco shakes completely! Diet is all about nutrient-rich food that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, does that mean consuming pizza or a big mac is good for a healthy choice? Well, don’t be confused; today, we will answer these questions which will help you understand what does diet mean??
What Does Diet Mean?
Before talking about what does diet mean, let’s have a look at when the word diet first appeared? In this fast-paced world, the word diet was first used in the 13th century. In the Middle and early modern English periods, the diet used to stand for “way of living.” Moreover, in modern English, it means “habitually taken food and drink.
Diet actually refers to the food that you usually eat. Regarding health, the diet refers to the foodstuffs that can help you remain healthy and lose weight. Such a diet will be well-balanced and full of ingredients that provide you with vitamins and minerals. Though the term healthy or balanced diet seems different to many, according to a report , a healthy diet contains green vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains.
So, does that mean consuming Big mac occasionally and following a balanced diet regularly matters to your health? Let’s see what the scientific report says about it.
Why Does Maintaining a Balanced Diet Matter?
A balanced diet ensures that you gain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body’s functioning. A balanced diet consists of healthy diet food like
- Green veggies and fresh fruits
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Nuts and legumes
According to WHO, following a balanced diet will ensure you do not suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. To do so, you need to consume various foodstuffs like cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and even animal meat. Doing so regularly ensures that you gain all the vitamins and minerals necessary. Moreover, a balanced diet also means avoiding processed foodstuffs rich in salt, sugar, and trans fat. Doing so allows you to keep excessive fat deposition at bay and have a lean body frame according to your body type.
Types of Diet
So, after knowing what does diet mean, you may have the question, are there any types of diet, right?
Well, diets can be divided into different types as well. Below, we will highlight three different types to help you understand your options.
1. Traditional diet
Traditional diets revolve around foodstuffs consumed by the natives all over the world for hundreds of years. These foodstuffs have a culinary history and a long track record of being healthy.
Types of traditional diet:
We will go into details about different traditional diet pyramids to help you understand what foodstuffs they revolve around and their benefits.
The Mediterranean diet revolves around the food of the natives and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. These foodstuffs include whole grains, spices, nuts, fish, seafood, eggs, and poultry. Using these ingredients, you can make a healthy choice meal like Kasha Salad with Hazelnuts and Feta.
The advantage here is that it reduces cardiovascular diseases because of the consumption of traditional foodstuffs and has limited fat content. However, the low iron level in this diet is one of its main drawbacks.
The Asian diet heavily relies on legumes, seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, along with some soy products. Rice is the primary source of starch in this diet. In terms of meat, the diet includes fish. However, this diet has no meat and dairy products.
The benefit of the Asian diet is that it provides you with plenty of protein without consuming a lot of meat. It is rich in vitamins and minerals because of green leafy vegetables. On the flip side, the reliance of this diet on tea and coffee means that you are likely to consume higher amounts of sugar. The salt in the delicacies prepared for this diet is also on the higher side.
Latino diet includes many foodstuffs that are good for your heart, like red beans, black beans, avocado, peppers, tomatoes, grilled lean meats, rice, and so on. Primarily, corn oil is used in this diet.
The primary advantage of the Latino diet is that it is not only healthy but also simple to follow. It often consists of one-pot meals; therefore, you need not prepare multiple delicacies at every meal. However, the disadvantage of this diet is similar to the previous Asian diet. The sodium and sugar intake is higher if you exclusively follow this diet. Not only that, this diet does not offer an appropriate quantity of fresh fruits. That means this diet may not be suitable for healthy fitness meals if you have certain conditions.
A vegetarian diet simply revolves around the fact that you need not consume meat or meat byproducts. Therefore, you cannot consume meat, seafood, or poultry when following this diet. Other than that, the foodstuffs and fruits that are byproducts of plants can be easily consumed in this diet.
The advantage of the vegetarian diet is that it reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems and can be one of the great options for a healthy choice meal. The options are also plenty. On the flip side, protein sources are limited in this diet.
2. Modern Diet
A modern diet is defined as one which is high in sugar, oil, meat, and fats. Opposite this, traditional diets usually rely on consuming fiber and food grains.
One of the primary advantages of the modern diet is that it is easily available and extremely affordable. That is why, if you stick to the modern diet, finding suitable foodstuffs and delicacies isn’t going to be a problem.
The downside is the excessive consumption of fats in this diet. That is why, rather than entirely relying on the modern diet, it is better to mix it with other healthy diets to ensure that you consume fats in limited quantities.
What most people do not know about the modern diet, however, is that it consists of good cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol. If you reduce the proportion of bad cholesterol in the modern diet, it is much healthier.
Traditional Diet Vs. Modern Diet
Now that you know the traditional and modern diets, you might have a question: What is the primary difference between traditional and modern diets?
Traditional diet plans rely on food grains that are naturally produced. Apart from that, the legumes and vegetables consumed are not processed either. That is why; you get all the nutrients from such a diet. However, procuring such high-quality food grains and fruits is not that easy.
On the other hand, the modern diet offers you various delicacies and is easy to follow. The flip side is that if you’re not careful, you might consume a significant quantity of fat which isn’t good for your health. While each of these diets has their advantages and disadvantages, it is better to stick to the traditional diet as far as possible.
According to the report , it was stated that our body’s main goal of nutrition is none other than to reduce nutrient defines. In addition, the groundbreaking fact is that if the nutritional level is excessive, your body may face issues like quantitative control of the absorption and storage of nutrients. Which ultimately links to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. In fact, excessive nutrition downregulates reproductive capacity and induces types of cancers. That means savvy sugar drinks with cheesy burgers may satisfy your taste but ultimately produce a health risk to you.
3. Diet Based on Food Types and Preferences
After knowing the topic of diet or its type, you may have thought that all about diet, right?
Well, until now, the diets we have been discussing are defined by time. We discussed the traditional diets which have been around for hundreds of years and even the modern ones. Now, after sharing the detail about what does diet mean, we will cover the diets which are based on food preferences:
A carnivorous diet primarily relies on consuming fish, meat, and other byproducts derived from animals. This includes eggs and some limited dairy products.
The primary advantage of a carnivorous diet is that it is very rich in protein. However, such a diet is high in fat and sodium. Because of the same, you must work hard to balance these if you stick to the carnivorous diet.
A ketogenic diet consists of a high quantity of fat and low carbohydrates. The purpose of this diet is to reduce carbohydrate intake and replace the deficit with fat. When you do so, your body enters a state of ketosis and uses fire to produce energy. Consequently, you start losing weight.
While following this diet, you can consume seafood, fish, low carbohydrate veggies, avocados, poultry, eggs, and so on. Anything which is low in carbohydrates and high in fats can be consumed while following this diet. Apart from weight loss, it reduces the chances of suffering from heart disease.
The problem is that the ketogenic diet results in increased appetite, improper sleep, and fluctuating energy levels.
An omnivorous diet allows you to eat animals and plants and derive energy from the same. Because of the same, you can eat most vegetables, fruits, algae, and fungi.
The advantage is that you can find such foodstuffs anywhere around the world. Also, since you are allowed to consume most foodstuffs as well as fruits, you can have a nutrient-rich diet.
Similar to many other types of diet, the omnivorous diet is also high in fat. Apart from that, some studies state that it might accelerate aging.
The Pescetarian diet is similar to the combination of a vegetarian diet with seafood. That is why; you will be able to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, eggs, fish, and other seafood. However, you still have to avoid other meat and poultry products.
The advantage of this diet is that apart from reducing the chances of cardiac problems, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps you fight free radicals.
The disadvantage of this diet is that if you rely too heavily on seafood, your mercury levels might increase, resulting in muscle weakness and reduced motor skills.
A vegan diet revolves around foodstuffs derived from plants. While following the vegan diet, you cannot consume anything from animals, even if it is a byproduct. That is why; you won’t be able to consume any dairy products or eggs.
A vegan diet can help you with weight loss. However, the downside is that you might not get all the nutrients when you follow this diet.
This diet makes you alternate between regular meals and fasting in between. With the help of this diet, you can lose weight and even reverse some lifestyle-related diseases.
In this diet type, you can consume a lot of things like fish, seafood, potatoes, beans, legumes, berries, and so on. You need to avoid calorie-dense foodstuffs or foods that are high in sugar or fat.
This diet helps you with weight loss, can improve brain function, and reduce the probability of diseases. However, sticking to this diet, in the long run, is cumbersome because of the schedules you need to follow.
As the name indicates, this diet relies overwhelmingly on fruits. You need to cut out most of the other foodstuffs.
Consequently, your life expectancy increases and this diet doesn’t consume much water; therefore, it is eco-friendly. However, the natural sugar in fruits can result in high sugar levels.
Recent Science-Backed Diet Facts Regarding Heart Health
After knowing the facts about what diet means and its types, we are pretty sure that you might want to know what scientists say about diet, right? Or are there any recent reports are there which signifies the facts about healthy meal choice?
According to a recent study by Dr. James O’Keefe, the Pesco-Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the use of extra virgin olive oil instead of oils and butter, can certainly provide cardiac and metabolic benefits to the individual because of the reduced level of low-density lipoprotein present in this diet. According to a clinical trial, following this diet, including mixed nuts, the probability of suffering from cardiac disease was reduced by 28%.
In the study, Dr. James O’Keefe also discusses Intermittent fasting, which tends to be a limitation of daily intake of calories in a particular time window. According to the report, Dr. James O’keefe specifically stated that if you want to live a heart-healthy life, then it’s best to follow a Pesco-Mediterranean diet with daily time-restricted eating, which is an ideal cardioprotective diet.
Things to Avoid While Following Any Diet
No matter what diet mean to you or which diet you follow, it is necessary to avoid a few mistakes to gain health benefits. We will cover these mistakes below so that it becomes easier for you to gain the maximum amount of benefit from any diet.
Avoid unhealthy fats
Not every fat is bad for your body. Fat can be classified into good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Whichever type of diet you follow, strive to avoid bad cholesterol and prefer healthy diet food. A healthy choice meal that contains good cholesterol benefits your body, whereas bad cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. By avoiding unhealthy fats, you will also be able to reduce this risk.
According to Harvard, a high quantity of sodium can result in various diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and even stroke. That is why, whichever type of diet you follow, it is best to avoid foodstuffs containing a significant quantity of sodium.
Consuming a significantly high quantity of sugar results in a higher appetite which means that the calories you consume are on the higher side. Not only that, sugar can be addicting as well, which further increases your chances of consuming sugary foodstuffs. Additionally, excessive sugar consumption increases the deposition of fat in the body, thus making you gain weight. Due to these reasons, it is best to avoid sugary foodstuffs no matter the diet you’re consuming.
Avoid highly processed foods.
Highly processed foods consist of bad cholesterol, sugar, or sodium. If you have read the above tips carefully, you will know that you must avoid these three. That is why it is best to avoid highly processed foodstuffs as well.
Avoid refined grains
Refined grains increase insulin resistance in your body, thereby increasing the chance of type II diabetes and cardiovascular problems. That is why it is best to avoid these.
Add whole foods
Whole foods usually contain a high quantity of protein and other nutrients. They do not undergo excessive processing. That is why you should always add them to your diet.
Well, after knowing about what does diet mean, another thing you need to maintain most importantly. Well, it’s none other than drinking plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water is a necessity irrespective of the diet you’re consuming. It accelerates your metabolic activity, helps the body absorb more nutrients, and also removes toxins from your body. Because of all these advantages, drink at least 2.5 L of water per day.
Do I need to consult a doctor before following the diet?
Well, while knowing a diet’s meaning, it is advisable to consult a doctor before adopting any diet on a strict basis. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or are obese, you should consult your doctor before adopting a diet plan.
Do modern diets link to weight gain?
Remember, while discussing what does diet mean, we share the importance of a balanced diet and the modern diet disadvantage?
According to this report by David R Seaman, Professor of Dept. of Clinical Sciences at National University of Health Sciences, FL, modern diet and lifestyle are fueling weight gain among people.
Thus, rather than following the latest fad diet, it is a good idea to go through our guide to understand a balanced diet and how you can consume a healthy fitness meal to reduce the fat in your body and still consume the nutrients which your body craves. Remember picking up healthy diet food or adding healthy choice meals cannot help to lose weight but also it will limit the health risk that no one wants to have! At the end of the day, everyone wants to live a healthy life, right? So, gather proper knowledge about what does diet mean and enjoy healthy meals peacefully!