Alternative Diets and Health Trends: What’s Right For Me?
If you’re like most people, and you’ve been wanting to start eating healthier, then you’ve probably done a bit of research into the popular diets and health trends that people are talking about. Most people are familiar with vegetarianism, veganism, and other popular diets, but when it comes to the rest, it can all get a little confusing. Let’s talk about the most popular diet trends so that you can decide which may be best for you!
Vegetarianism is probably the most popular or well-known diet trend because of its widespread use and easy adaptability. It’s become easier than ever to be a vegetarian in today’s society due to the sheer number of people who have made the switch to a plant-based diet. Traditionally, being vegetarian simply means to avoid eating meat or meat products, though there are several different kinds of vegetarians. For example, lacto-ovo vegetarians include dairy and egg products in their diet. Then, there are those who consider themselves to be mostly vegetarian, but allow themselves to eat meat once in a while. These people sometimes call themselves “Flexitarians.”
Pescatarian diets are another popular option that many people are turning to. Pescatarians don’t eat meat or poultry, but they do continue to eat seafood. Seafood is high in protein and is often included for health reasons, or as a stepping stone to a full vegetarian diet.
So, how does veganism compare to vegetarian and other plant-based diets? What most people don’t realize about veganism is that being vegan is more than a diet trend; it’s a lifestyle. That means that not only do vegans not eat meat, dairy, poultry, and other animal products, but they do not incorporate any other animal products or by-products into their life. This could mean not buying or wearing leather, animal fur, and other animal products, nor supporting companies that use or harm animals in the production of their products. Things like makeup, clothes, and furniture are all things that may not be compatible with a vegan lifestyle. Cruelty-free products are becoming more and more popular, as companies look to lessen their dependence on animals and cater to this market as well.
The raw foods diet is an interesting diet that most people aren’t aware even exists. The raw foods diet is exactly what it sounds like—it consists of uncooked, raw, or unprocessed vegan foods only. People who eat a raw foods diet commonly believe that cooked or processed foods have lost most of their nutritional value, and so strive to eat foods that are rich in nutrients, as nature intended. It’s believed that cooked foods have been exposed to high temperatures and chemicals can be harmful to the body when consumed.
You’ve also probably heard of the “gluten-free” craze that has swept the nation in recent years. But what exactly is gluten and why do some people avoid it in their diet? Gluten is found naturally in grains and is used as a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten can trigger negative health consequences in people with Celiac disease or in those with gluten sensitivity. As a result, many people have turned to gluten-free substitutes.
Now that you know a little bit more about the most popular diets or health trends, you may be able to make a more informed decision as to whether one of these options might be right for you. Whether you’re interested in trying out vegetarianism, switching to a plant-based or raw foods diet, or going towards a more vegan lifestyle, there’s something for everyone. Each diet can be tailored to fit your lifestyle and can be altered to fit your individual health needs. Always consult a doctor before making a drastic or sudden change in diet, especially if you have specific health needs.