List of diets

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An individual's diet is the sum of food and drink that he or she habitually consumes. Dieting is the practice of attempting to achieve or maintain a certain weight through diet.[1] People's dietary choices are often affected by a variety of factors, including ethical and religious beliefs, clinical need, or a desire to control weight.

Not all diets are considered healthy. Some people follow unhealthy diets through habit, rather than through a conscious choice to eat unhealthily. Terms applied to such eating habits include "junk food diet" and "Western diet". Many diets are considered by clinicians to pose significant health risks and minimal long-term benefit. This is particularly true of "crash" or "fad" diets – short-term weight-loss plans that involve drastic changes to a person's normal eating habits.

Only diets covered on Wikipedia are listed.

Belief-based diets[edit]

Some people's dietary choices are influenced by their religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs.

  • Buddhist diet: While Buddhism does not have specific dietary rules, some buddhists practise vegetarianism based on a strict interpretation of the first of the Five Precepts.[2]
  • Edenic diet: A diet based on what Adam and Eve are believed to have consumed in Garden of Eden. Usually either vegetarian or vegan, and based predominantly on fruit.[citation needed]
  • Hallelujah diet: A form of Christian vegetarianism developed in the 1970s. The creators interpret a verse from the Bible as suggesting that Christians should only consume seed bearing plants and fruits.[3]
  • Hindu and Jain diets: Followers of Hinduism and Jainism often follow lacto-vegetarian diets, based on the principle of Ahimsa (non-harming).[4]
  • Islamic dietary laws: Muslims follow a diet consisting solely of food that is halal – permissible under Islamic law. The opposite of halal is haraam, food that is Islamically Impermissible. Haraam substances include alcohol, pork, and any meat from an animal which was not killed through the Islamic method of ritual slaughter (Dhabiha).[5]
  • I-tal: A set of principles which influences the diet of many members of the Rastafari movement. One principle is that natural foods should be consumed. Some Rastafarians interpret I-tal to advocate vegetarianism or veganism.[6]
  • Kosher diet: Food permissible under Kashrut, the set of Jewish dietary laws, is said to be Kosher. Some foods and food combinations are non-Kosher, and failure to prepare food in accordance with Kashrut can make otherwise permissible foods non-Kosher.[citation needed]
  • Word of Wisdom: The name of a section of the Doctrine and Covenants, followed by members of the Latter Day Saint movement. Dietary advice includes eating meat sparingly "in times of winter, or of cold, or famine".[7]

Vegetarian diets[edit]

Main article: Vegetarianism

A vegetarian diet is one which excludes meat. Vegetarians also avoid food containing by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin.[8]

  • Fruitarian diet: A diet which predominantly consists of raw fruit.[9]
  • Lacto vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet that includes certain types of dairy, but excludes eggs and foods which contain animal rennet.[10] A common diet among followers of several religions, including Hinduism and Jainism, based on the principle of Ahimsa (non-harming).[4]
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy.[10]
  • Vegan diet: In addition to the requirements of a vegetarian diet, vegans do not eat food produced by animals, such as eggs, dairy products, or honey.[8]

Semi-vegetarian diets[edit]

Main article: Semi-vegetarianism
  • Flexitarian diet: A predominantly vegetarian diet, in which meat is occasionally consumed.[11]
  • Kangatarian: A diet originating from Australia. In addition to foods permissible in a vegetarian diet, kangaroo meat is also consumed.[12]
  • Pescetarian diet: A diet which includes fish but not meat.
  • Plant-based diet: A broad term to describe diets in which animal products do not form a large proportion of the diet. Under some definitions a plant-based diet is fully vegetarian; under others it is possible to follow a plant-based diet whilst occasionally consuming meat.[13]

Weight control diets[edit]

Main article: Dieting

A desire to lose weight is a common motivation to change dietary habits, as is a desire to maintain an existing weight. Many weight loss diets are considered by some to entail varying degrees of health risk, and some are not widely considered to be effective. This is especially true of "crash" or "fad" diets.

Many of the diets listed below could fall into more than one subcategory. Where this is the case, it is noted in that diet's entry.

Low-calorie diets[edit]

Main article: Calorie restriction
  • Body for Life: A calorie-control diet, promoted as part of the 12-week Body for Life program.[citation needed]
  • Cookie diet: A calorie control diet in which low-fat cookies are eaten to quell hunger, often in place of a meal.[14]
  • Hacker's diet: A calorie-control diet from The Hacker's Diet by John Walker. The book suggests that the key to reaching and maintaining the desired weight is understanding and carefully monitoring calories consumed and used.[citation needed]
  • Nutrisystems Diet: The dietary element of the weight-loss plan from Nutrisystem, Inc. Nutrisystem distributes low-calorie meals, with specific ratios of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.[citation needed]
  • Weight Watchers diet: Foods are assigned points values; dieters can eat any food with a points value provided they stay within their daily points limit.[15]

Very low calorie diets[edit]

Main article: Very low calorie diet

A very low calorie diet is consuming fewer than 800 calories per day. Such diets are normally followed under the supervision of a doctor.[16]

Zero-calorie diets are also included.

  • Breatharian diet: A diet in which no food is consumed, based on the belief that food is not necessary for human subsistence.[17]
  • KE Diet: A diet in which an individual feeds through a feeding tube and does not eat anything.[18]

Low-carbohydrate diets[edit]

Main article: Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Atkins diet: A low-carbohydrate diet, populised by nutritionist Robert Atkins in the late-20th and early-21st centuries.[19] Proponents argue that this approach is a more successful way of losing weight than low-calorie diets;[20] critics argue that a low-carb approach poses increased health risks.[21]
  • Dukan Diet: A multi-step diet based on high protein and limited carbohydrate consumption. It starts with two steps intended to facilitate short term weight loss, followed by two steps intended to consolidate these losses and return to a more balanced long-term diet.[22]
  • ITG Diet: A 3-step diet based on limiting carbohydrate consumption combined with low fat protein to maintain muscle. The first step is followed to reach the dieter's goal weight while steps two and three focus on returning the body and dieter to a healthy balanced diet for long term weight maintenance.[23]

Low-fat diets[edit]

Main article: low-fat diet
  • McDougall's starch diet is a high calorie, high fiber, low fat diet that is based on starches such as potatoes, rice, and beans which excludes all animal foods and added vegetable oils. John A. McDougall draws on historical observation of how many civilizations around the world throughout time have thrived on starch foods.

Crash diets[edit]

Crash diet and fad diet are general terms. They describe diet plans which involve making extreme, rapid changes to food consumption, but are also used as disparaging terms for common eating habits which are considered unhealthy. Both types of diet are often considered to pose health risks.[24] Many of the diets listed here are weight-loss diets which would also fit into other sections of this list. Where this is the case, it will be noted in that diet's entry.

  • Beverly Hills Diet: An extreme diet which has only fruits in the first days, gradually increasing the selection of foods up to the sixth week.[25]
  • Cabbage soup diet: A low-calorie diet based on heavy consumption of cabbage soup. Considered a fad diet.[26]
  • Grapefruit diet: A fad diet, intended to facilitate weight loss, in which grapefruit is consumed in large quantities at meal times.[27]
  • Israeli Army diet: An eight-day diet. Only apples are consumed in the first two days, cheese in the following two days, chicken on days five and six, and salad for the final two days. Despite what the name suggests, the diet is not followed by Israel Defense Forces. It is considered a fad diet.[28]
  • Junk food diet: A diet largely made up of food considered to be unhealthy, such as high-fat or processed foods.[29]
  • Subway diet: A crash diet[30] in which a person consumes Subway sandwiches in place of higher calorie fast foods. Made famous by former obese student Jared Fogle, who lost 245 pounds after replacing his meals with Subway sandwiches as part of an effort to lose weight.[30]
  • Watermelon diet: Liberace and his handlers covered up the entertainer's AIDS diagnosis by publicly attributing his suffered severe weight loss and health problems to anemia brought on by a strict watermelon-only diet; they later reversed those claims to publicize that Liberace was gravely ill from anemia, emphysema and heart disease.[31][32]
  • Western dietary pattern: A diet consisting of food which is most commonly consumed in developed countries. Examples include meat, white bread, milk and puddings.[33] The name is a reference to the Western world.
  • Sadness dietary pattern: A diet consisting of grief and mourning and hence loss of appetite which is most commonly consumed by teenagers. Examples include break-up, exam-failure, non-fullfilment of desire etc.

Detox diets[edit]

Main article: Detox diet

Detox diets involve either not consuming or attempting to flush out substances that are considered unhelpful or harmful. Examples include restricting food consumption to foods without colourings or preservatives, taking supplements, or drinking large amounts of water. The latter practise in particular has drawn criticism, as drinking significantly more water than recommended levels can cause hyponatremia.[34]

  • Juice fasting: A form of detox diet, in which nutrition is obtained solely from fruit and vegetable juices. The health implications of such diets are disputed.[35]

Diets followed for medical reasons[edit]

People's dietary choices are sometimes affected by intolerance or allergy to certain types of food. There are also dietary patterns that might be recommended, prescribed or administered by medical professionals for people with specific medical needs.

  • Best Bet Diet: A diet designed to help prevent or mitigate multiple sclerosis, by avoiding foods with certain types of protein.[36]
  • Colon Cancer Diet: Calcium, milk and garlic are thought to help prevent colon cancer. Red meat and processed meat may increase risk.
  • Diabetic diet: An umbrella term for diets recommended to people with diabetes. There is considerable disagreement in the scientific community as to what sort of diet is best for sufferers.[citation needed]
  • DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension): A recommendation that those with high blood pressure consume large quantities of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and low fat dairy foods as part of their diet, and avoid sugar sweetened foods, red meat and fats. Promoted by the US Department of Health and Human Services, a United States government organisation.[37]
  • Elemental diet: A medical, liquid-only diet, in which liquid nutrients are consumed for ease of ingestion.[38]
  • Elimination diet: A method of identifying foods which cause a person adverse effects, by process of elimination.[39]
  • Gluten-free diet: A diet which avoids the protein gluten, which is found in barley, rye and wheat. It is a medical treatment for coeliac disease.[40]
  • Healthy kidney diet: This diet is for those impacted with chronic kidney disease, those with only one kidney who have a kidney infection and those who may be suffering from some other kidney failure.[41] This diet is not the dialysis diet [42] which is something completely different. The healthy kidney diet restricts large amounts of protein which are hard for the kidney to breakdown but especially limits: potassium and phosphorus rich foods and beverages. Liquids are often restricted as well- not forbidden, just less of.[43][44]
  • Ketogenic diet: A high-fat, low-carb diet, in which dietary and body fat is converted into energy. Used as a medical treatment for refractory epilepsy.[45]
  • Liquid diet: A diet in which only liquids are consumed. May be administered by clinicians for medical reasons, such as after a gastric bypass[46] or to prevent death through starvation from a hunger strike.[47]
  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet: A diet that aims to restrict the intake of complex carbohydrates such as found in grains and complex sugars. It is promoted as a way of reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease and autism.
  • Strict Avoidance Diet: Once someone has been diagnosed with a food allergy, being that there is no validated cure yet (2013), they must follow a strict avoidance diet to those specific foods they are allergic to. (i.e. if you have been diagnosed with a peanut, fish, tree nut, ginger allergy you must not consume even the smallest portion of those items or it could evoke a life-threatening reaction. Every person reacts differently to different allergens but at any point the reaction could become more severe and it is best to strictly avoid these items.

Other diets[edit]

  • Eat-clean diet: Focusses on eating foods without preservatives, and on mixing lean proteins with complex carbohydrates.[52]
Basket of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in Israel
  • Feingold diet: A diet which attempts to combat hyperactivity by avoiding foods with certain synthetic additives and sweeteners.[citation needed]
  • Fit for Life diet: The dietary aspect to Fit for Life, a book by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Its recommendations include not combining protein and carbohydrates, not drinking water at meal time, and avoiding dairy foods.[53]
  • Food combining diet: A nutritional approach where certain food types are deliberately consumed together or separately. For instance, some weight control diets suggest that proteins and carbohydrates should not be consumed in the same meal.[51]
  • F-plan diet: A high-fiber diet, intended to facilitate weight loss.[citation needed]
  • Gerson therapy: A form of alternative medicine, the diet is low salt, low fat and vegetarian, and also involves taking specific supplements. It was developed by Max Gerson, who claimed the therapy could cure cancer and chronic, degenerative diseases. These claims have not been scientifically proven, and the American Cancer Society claims that elements of the therapy have caused serious illness and death.[54]
  • The Graham Diet: A vegetarian diet which promotes whole-wheat flour and discourages the consumption of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. Developed by Sylvester Graham in the 19th century.[55]
  • Hay diet: A food-combining diet.
  • High-protein diet: A diet in which high quantities of protein are consumed with the intention of building muscle. Not to be confused with low-carb diets, where the intention is to lose weight by restricting carbohydrates.
  • High residue diet: A diet in which high quantities of dietary fiber are consumed. High-fiber foods include certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.[56]
  • The IF Diet: A diet using 3 kinds of Intermittent Fasting.
A group of people in winter clothing, standing around piles of meat lying on the snow.
Sharing of frozen, aged walrus meat among Inuit families.
  • Inuit diet: Inuit people traditionally consume food that is fished, hunted or gathered locally; predominantly meat and fish.[57]
  • Jenny Craig: A weight-loss program from Jenny Craig, Inc. It includes weight counselling among other elements. The dietary aspect involves the consumption of pre-packaged food produced by the company.[58]
Kangaroo meat at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne
An assortment of foods on a worktop. They are: tofu, wheat miso, bancha tea, umeboshi prumes brown rice, sea salt and nori.
Some common macrobiotic ingredients
  • Negative calorie diet: A claim by many weight-loss diets that some foods take more calories to digest than they provide, such as celery. The basis for this claim is disputed.[63]
  • Paleolithic diet: Can refer either to the eating habits of humans during the Paleolithic era, or of modern dietary plans based on these habits.
  • Prison loaf: A meal replacement served in some United States prisons to inmates who are not trusted to use cutlery. Its composition varies between institutions and states, but as a replacement for standard food, it is intended to provide inmates with all their dietary needs.
  • Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise: A diet which focusses on the consumption of unprocessed food.
  • Raw foodism: A diet which centres on the consumption of uncooked and unprocessed food. Often associated with a vegetarian diet,[66] although some raw food dieters do consume raw meat.[67]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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