There are so many kinds of diet with so many aims, from weight loss, better health, or to follow a particular lifestyle. And with so many diet plans out there with their own promises, it’s probably quite difficult to decide which one is right for you.

So, we decided to review five types of popular diet along with their advantages and disadvantages, with the intention of refreshing your mind on these trends. From Raw Food to Ketogenic to the Mayo Diet, here’s what to consider before you jump on the latest bandwagon. Your waistline would say thank you to you!

1.     Raw Food Diet

A Raw Food Diet is a diet where you get to just eat, well, raw food. This diet doesn’t allow your food to be cooked beyond 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Some famous celebrities who have reportedly tried out and love this diet include Demi Moore and Amanda Seyfried.

 The diet consists mainly of raw and dehydrated fruits and vegetables that you can turn into varieties of smoothies and soups if you don’t want to eat your vegetables and fruits raw. The people who follow this type of diet drink unpasteurised milk and cheese made with raw milk and some even eat raw fish and meats.

 Advantages of this diet:

  • There is research that hypothesises on the health benefits of a raw-food diet, and, in one study, people who consumed raw food had lower levels of LDL cholesterol, which, as we all know, is bad cholesterol. By eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, you can also control your blood pressure.
  • The diet will be low in sodium as well, so it may help in lowering your chances of strokes and stomach cancer; improve your heart health and bone strength; as well as optimise your liver function. The result of this diet, which is weight loss and the stabilisation of weight afterwards, can help in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
  • Other studies and anecdotal evidence show that the diet will help improve your skin condition as well as treating constipation. Other studies show how a raw-food diet can lower the amount of anti-nutrients and carcinogens in your diet.

 Downsides of this diet:

  • The downsides of raw food diet are that as you are missing out on animal-based products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy, so you will miss out on a chunk of vitamin B12, which is necessary to transform fat and protein into energy as well as other essential functions. You also won’t be getting enough vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin that will protect you from a lot of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and even cancer.
  • A study published in The Journal of Nutrition concluded that 38 per cent of participants of raw-food diets were lacking in vitamin B12. Raw foodists who include raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products can also increase the risk of foodborne illness. Someone who adopts a completely raw-food lifestyle will significantly reduce the types of foods they can eat.
  • Some legumes can be difficult to eat and digest without cooking, and cutting out certain food groups means that you are probably not getting all the essential nutrients that your body needs. The lifestyle can also impact your social life as most cafés and restaurants don’t really cater to raw foodists. 

 2.     OCD/Intermittent Fasting

OCD (Obsessive Corbuzier’s Diet), a type of diet that was introduced and popularised by one of the most famous figures in Indonesia’s entertainment world, Deddy Corbuzier, has steadily grown in popularity due to many success stories spread by word of mouth and the media. OCD doesn’t dictate which foods you are allowed or not allowed to eat: it’s basically an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting.

There are several types of “eating window”. For those who are interested in trying this diet, you can only eat at a certain period of time, which can be within eight hours or six hours depending on what kind of eating patterns you are looking for.

One example is 16 hours of fasting, so if you start your diet at 1pm, you are only allowed to eat until 9pm; beyond that hour, you aren’t allowed to eat anything except non-calorie “foods” drink such as black coffee, tea and water. This is usually done by beginners. There are other timeframes that you can try out, depending on your needs and lifestyle.

 Advantages of this diet:

  • The major appeal of OCD is that no foods are restricted. It doesn’t talk about which foods to avoid and which ones to eat, it is just about when you should eat. Eating fewer meals over time can lead to a decrease in calorie intake and, in the end, weight loss.
  • OCD actually helps in reducing cooking preparation time and can actually simplify your life. We already know that following a calorie-restricted diet is really hard.
  • Other benefits are that you can see a positive change when it comes to body cells and molecular levels. OCD will change hormone levels, which makes the body burn fat more easily. When you do OCD, your body thinks that food is scarce, so energy must be drawn from somewhere else, so it directs itself to stored fats instead of food.
  • There is also research on fasting, which was mostly done on animals and which shows that following this diet shows improvements in inflammation oxidative stress and insulin resistance. However, we have to note that the studies published were mostly short and tested on animals. Further study is needed on humans to really test the benefits of fasting. And we don’t like animal testing.

Downsides of this diet:

  • Hunger is the main side-effect of OCD, which will lead to feeling of weakness and tiredness. While this effect may be temporary, this can negatively affect energy levels and work performance. Being too hungry can also lead people to binge in non-fasting times, which could lead to weight gain and uncontrollable blood sugar levels.
  • This diet can worsen any binge-eating disorder. OCD can also potentially lower the metabolism by directing the body into starvation mode, which will cause muscle breakdown to be used for energy instead of fat. There are studies that show how this can occur within 24 hours of fasting.
  • The solution is to do resistance training to prevent muscle loss. If you have a medical condition, you have to consult with your doctor before trying OCD. Pregnant or lactating woman and teenagers have certain nutritional demands that may possible not be met through OCD.

  3.     Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet mimics the lifestyle of people from the Palaeolithic period 10,000 years ago, when people were still hunting and roaming around in the wilderness. It is unlike modern diets that are full of junk and processed food.

By following the Paleo Diet, it is claimed that you can lose as much as a kilo. The method of the diet is just to eat whatever people in the Palaeolithic age ate and not eat what they didn’t eat. So say goodbye to sugars, dairy and grains. On the other hand, welcome meat, fish, bird, fruits and vegetables. Aside from following this diet, it is advised to exercise as much as two-and-a-half hours every week.

 Advantages of this diet:

  • By following this diet, you will consume a cleaner diet that is free of additives, preservatives and chemicals. It is likely to reduce inflammation in your body as well because you will consume more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  • You will get more iron if you consume more red meat. The high amount of protein present in this diet means that you will feel fuller for much longer, so you will eat less. Most people who follow this diet will lose weight because of the narrower choice of food.

 Downsides of this diet:

  • The downside is that you are missing out on dairy, which is a source of calcium and vitamin D. The Paleo Diet is also low in carbohydrates and there studies showing how the limitation of carbohydrates can impact memory performance and mood.
  • The Paleo Diet can get quite expensive because you have to consume more meat. This diet is really difficult to be followed by vegetarians, as it excludes beans as well. Athletes who need training in order to increase their performance will also need between 3 to 6 grammes of carbohydrates per pound of their bodyweight each day, which can be hard to fulfil with just fruits and vegetables.

  4.     Ketogenic Diet

One of the most popular diets right now is the Ketogenic Diet, which focuses on a high-fat and low-carb intake and which will get your body into a “ketosis” condition. Fundamentally, the liver will release ketones, which are substances that are made your body to be able to break down fat for energy.

This state of ketosis will metabolise fat to release energy, which lets you burns fat instead of burning carbs. The result is that there will be weight loss. However, there are some advantages and downsides of this diet that you should take note of.

 Advantages of this diet:

  • The potential advantages of this diet are that it will balance out your blood sugar level. There is a study done on animals that shows how a ketogenic diet might help increase cognitive performance. Those who are suffering from digestive problem may have an advantage when following the ketogenic diet as more fats intake can potentially improve bowel movement.
  • The Ketogenic Diet may also potentially help in decreasing the level of inflammation in the body which can help in healing body discomfort due to inflammation. Another advantage is that the diet will give you a stable source of energy throughout the day as once someone is adapted to consuming fats in their ketosis diet will stay full for a longer time.

 Downsides of this diet:

  • As with any diet, when you completely omit carbs and replace them with fats, your body will need some time to get used to the new changes. You will most probably experience brain fog, muscle cramps, tiredness, diarrhoea, and nausea. Lack of carbohydrates will lead to a drop in blood sugar so we advise you to follow this diet under the monitoring of your dietitian.
  • For athletes, this might not be a suitable diet as when you perform using fat and ketone bodies, you are not going to perform as fast as you can when you use glucose and carbohydrates. It is especially hard on women’s bodies as their bodies go on high alert faster when they sense decreased energy and fewer nutrients coming in, so many women have found that a low-carb diet did wonders for their husbands, but it didn’t work for them, but threw their menstrual cycle out of whack.
  • The insulin that is released from carbohydrates is an anabolic hormone, which contributes towards muscle building. Being on a Ketosis Diet means you will be on a low-insulin diet and that will impact muscle-building.

  5.      Mayo Diet

The Mayo Diet was developed by the Mayo Clinic, which is one of the leading medical institutions in the US. This diet offers a unique “pyramid of food”. You can eat as much as possible of all low-calorie food such as fruits and vegetables.

The first stage of the diet is called “Lose it!” and lasts for two weeks. You don’t have to count calories, but you do need to consume a healthy breakfast, plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and also 30 minutes of exercise per day.

You are not allowed to eat while watching TV, consume any sugar unless it comes from fruits, and also not eat too much meat and dairy products. The second stage, which is called “Live It!”, is where you start counting calories and allowed to break rules, but are still able to lose weight. In 2008, the Mayo diet programme in the “Lose it!” stage done by 53 staff members in a medical centre for two weeks showed that, on average, participants lost an average of 3.5kg, a pretty enticing result.

Advantages of this diet:

  • The Mayo Diet has shown a huge amount of potential in terms of heart health as the diet focuses more on eating lots of fruits, whole grains and vegetables. It puts limitations on the amount of consumption for saturated fats and salt, which prevents high cholesterol and high blood-pressure levels. The Mayo Diet also helps to prevent diabetes as it encourages more consumption of high-fibre fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that will stabilise blood sugar.

Downsides of this diet:

  • The downside with the diet is that in stage 1, which is the Lose It phase, it requires deprivation and restriction of sugary snacks, unless it is fruits or vegetables. It also restricts fat, dairy products and makes dining out much more difficult.
  • The second phase requires calorie counting and focuses on the number of servings per day. You will need appropriate portioning of food by using measuring cups if you want to be successful in this diet. You will also need to learn and get adapted to the Mayo Clinic’s unique food pyramid, which features unlimited servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Another downside is that the recommended alcohol intake is just 75 calories per day and not a single amount of alcohol within the first stage period. One serving on red wine (140 grammes) has 125 calories, so having less than half a glass of wine might not be a realistic expectation for many people.

 See Also: 5 Myths About Veganism You Need To Debunk Right Now

Tags: Lifestyle, Food, Weight Loss, Raw Food Diet, Diets, Intermittent Fasting, Ocd Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, Paleo Diet, Ketogenic Diet