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Six Of The Most Popular Diets of 2014 — I’m Surprised #6 Made The List!

You’ve decided to try dieting. You’re going to start exercising more, and eating right. But wait… what does “eating right” mean, exactly? Since crash dieting can often lead to regaining weight after you go off the diet, what kind of life-long eating habits should you establish? Resolve to eat only high fat, low carb? Join the Paleo movement? Eat only gluten-free?

Google and Yahoo released a list of their most searchable diets in 2014. Here are brief synopses of the six that made both of their top ten lists, as well as a U.S. News ranking of the 35 “best” diets. According to their web site: “To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.”

DASH Diet

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) created this diet, so it has to be decent right? Designed to help lower blood pressure, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

What To Eat:

  • Load up on grains and veggies. These give you lots of fiber, calcium, protein, and potassium — all of which fight off or reduce blood pressure.
  • Eat lean protein like poultry and fish in moderation, which are heart-healthy and low-fat choices.
  • Eat plenty of fruits.
  • Incorporate low-fat or fat-free dairy products for calcium and protein.
  • Ditch the salt! Flavor your food with fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice or lemon zest, etc.

Additional Info:

  • No phases.
  • Overall calorie restrictions based on gender, age, and activity level.
  • Limit red meat, sweets, and added fats.
  • Plenty of resources available for shopping and cooking ideas.
  • Dash has been shown to be a promising diet for controlling and preventing diabetes.
  • This diet isn’t necessarily for losing weight, but rather for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, you still may lose weight, depending on your previous eating habits and if you add in exercise as well.
  • U.S. News ranked this diet as #1.

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Mediterranean Diet

People who live in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea supposedly live longer and have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. The secret? An active lifestyle and a diet that is low in sugar, saturated fats, and red meat. Their food pyramid emphasizes grains, fruits, and veggies the most, taking up about 50% of your daily intake.

What to eat:

  • Chow down on lots of veggies.
  • Use good fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados.
  • Eat whole grains. Traditional Mediterranean grains include bulgur, barley, farro and brown rice.
  • Prepare poultry or seafood twice a week, with a slightly higher emphasis on seafood. Incorporate tuna and salmon, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, or shellfish like mussels and oysters.
  • Eat dairy like greek yogurt and some cheeses.
  • Moderate wine consumption is acceptable.
  • Have a sweet craving? Reach for fresh fruit.

Additional Info:

  • No phases.
  • Overall calorie restrictions based on gender, age, and activity level.
  • Limit saturated and trans fat, sugary drinks, and sweets.
  • Limit red meat consumption to a couple times a month.
  • Plenty of resources available for shopping and cooking ideas.
  • Can help prevent or control diabetes.
  • On this diet, it’s crucial to follow an active lifestyle to reap the most benefits!
  • Women on this diet may live longer than those who aren’t.
  • U.S. News ranked this diet as #3.
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C. Kramer is back in the Mitten State after a brief residency in the Sunshine State. She has an adorable dog-child, and enjoys reading, writing, going to the theatre, and finding pins on Pinterest. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor.