In the previous article, we discussed 4 other diets which are slightly restrictive. Today, let’s talk about other types of diet available, that are more balanced. The 4 diets including the DASH Diet, Flexitarian Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and the MIND Diet contain all type of food and nutrients, but in different proportion.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a balanced and flexible meal plan which helps in maintaining heart health and lowering the blood pressure of an individual. Although the DASH Diet and Mediterranean Diet have a pretty similar diet plan, DASH Diet aims to reduce the total sodium intake to about 1500mg per day, alongside with the balanced diet.
When following the DASH Diet, it is very crucial to always reduce your saturated and trans fat intake as well as the sodium intake, while increasing your intake of various nutrients and minerals. For example, to reduce the sodium intake, you can always flavor your food with herbs and spices instead of salt.
Vegetarian + Flexible = Flexitarian Diet.
Individuals who follow Flexitarian diet will normally consume a plant-based diet, with the occasional consumption of fish, poultry, and meats. A complete vegetarian diet may be hard to follow for a normal individual.
But with a Flexitarian diet, an individual can obtain the health benefits of a plant-based diet alongside with the extra benefits from the meat protein. This study has shown that Flexitarian Diet provides benefits related to weight loss, metabolic health as well as diabetes prevention.
Mediterranean diet is a diet based on Southern Europeans’ eating habits. The meal plan normally contains lots of plant food, olive oil, fish, poultry, grains, and beans. It is known as a healthy diet as it contains low trans fat, saturated fat, highly processed meat, and food. Besides, it also contains a high content of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), fiber, vitamins as well as minerals.
Hence, Mediterranean diet creates a positive impact on our heart health, providing protection against diabetes or even stroke. Although it is known to help in reducing the risk of getting certain disease, it is always better to consume the diet in moderation, since the diet contain higher content of fat. For better results, besides following the diet, the individual should also lead an active lifestyle.
MIND Diet is the intervention diet of Mediterranean diet and DASH diet. According to the study by Agarwal, P., et al, the MIND Diet aims to prevent cognitive decline, as well as slows down the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The diet aims to boost the intake of different categories of brain health food. For example, green leafy vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, wholegrains, as well as small amount of wine. The MIND diet can be considered as a diet which is very approachable and sustainable. It can be considered as a healthy diet as it contains lots of antioxidants which help in reducing the oxidative stress.
In conclusion, regular healthy lifestyle should always be incorporated with all the healthy diet for better results.
- Agarwal, P., et al., MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence and Delayed Progression of ParkinsonismA in Old Age. J Nutr Health Aging, 2018. 22(10): p. 1211-1215.
- Martinez-Gonzalez, M. and Martin-Calvo, N. (2016). Mediterranean diet and life expectancy; beyond olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 19(6), pp.401-407.
- Nicastro, H. (2019). NIH researcher available to discuss DASH eating plan for lowering blood pressure | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). [online] Nhlbi.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2019/nih-researcher-available-discuss-dash-eating-plan-lowering-blood-pressure