There are many diets that will work but it is way important to find something that you like and can stick to in the long run. Here are meal plans for 3 different healthy diets that are scientifically proven to be effective.
All of them include detailed information on foods to eat, foods to avoid, along with sample menus. You must identify your preferences and choose what you think best suits you.
1. Paleo Diet
Currently the most popular “diet” in the world is the Paleo diet. Based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors including whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they look like in nature.
Our ancestors were genetically the same as modern humans who thrived unprocessed, healthy foods and were very much free any illness and diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
1. Meats: Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, pork and others.
2. Fish and Seafood: Salmon, thaddock, shellfish, rout, shrimp, (wild caught is best).
3. Vegetables: Kale, broccoli, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
4. Fruits: Bananas, Apples, oranges, blueberries, pears, avocados, strawberries, etc
5. Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or eggs (Omega-3 enriched).
6. Tubers: Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc.
7. Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, tallow, etc.
8. Salt and Spices: Sea salt, rosemary, himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, etc.
9. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
1. Legumes: Beans, lentils etc.
2. Grains: like pasta, bread,wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
3. Sugar & those high Fructose Corn Syrup: Sodas, candy, fruit juices, pastries, table sugar, ice cream, etc
4. Trans Fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. (referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils)
5. Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, etc
6. Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially those referred to as low-fat
7. Highly Processed Foods: Everything labelled “diet” or “low-fat”
8. Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Sucralose, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Acesulfame Potassium.
2. Tea – green tea
A Sample Paleo Menu
- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs, with a piece of fruit.
- Lunch: Chicken burgers
- Dinner: Salmon, fried in butter, with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Chicken with vegetables
- Lunch: Sandwich in a curly lettuce leaf, with any meat and fresh vegetables.
- Dinner: Ground beef stir fry, with vegetables. Some fruits.
Simple Paleo Snacks
1. Baby carrots
2. A bowl of berries with some coconut cream
3. A piece of fruit
4. Hard boiled eggs
5. Homemade beef jerky
6. A handful of nuts
2. Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is known for the traditional foods that people used to eat in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece in the year 1960 and is very effective for preventing heart diseases. It is researched that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many different diseases.
A lot of studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and prevents heart attacks, strokes, type-2 diabetes.
The diet prescribed in the studies is high in plant foods, and low in animal foods. However, eating fish and seafood is much recommended at least twice a week. Note that you must consider all of this as a general guideline and that the plan can be adjusted to individual needs and preferences and likes.
1. Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
2. Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
3. Whole Grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread and pasta.
4. Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
5. Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
6. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
7. Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado and avocado oil.
8. Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, and more.
9. Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
10. Dairy: Cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
11. Herbs and Spices: Basil, pepper, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, mint, etc.
12. Fish and Seafood: Salmon, sardines, trout, crab, tuna, mackerel, mussels, shrimp, oysters, clams, etc.
Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened drinks, processed meat, refined grains, added sugar, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
1. Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc
2. Refined Oils: canola Oil, Soybean oil, , cottonseed oil etc
3. Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
4. Added sugar: Soda, ice cream, candies, table sugar etc.
5. Highly processed foods: Everything labeled “low-fat” or “diet”
6. Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, nuggets, etc.
2. Red Wine – 1 glass per day (optional)
A Sample Mediterranean Menu
- Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with sliced fruits and nuts.
- Lunch: Pasta
- Dinner: Grilled salmon, served with brown rice and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in olive oil.
- Lunch: Greek yogurt with grapes, oats and nuts.
- Dinner: Grilled lamb, with salad and potato.
Some Healthy Snacks
1. A handful of nuts
2. A piece of fruit (Apple slices)
3. Baby carrots
4. Some berries or grapes
5. Greek yogurt
3. Low-Carb, Real Food Based Diet (LCRF)
This is perfect for people who wants to lose weight, optimize health and lower the risk of diseases. It involves eating natural, unprocessed foods with a low carbohydrate content.
What foods you should eat depends on a few things, including how healthy you are, how much you exercise and how much weight you have to lose.
1. Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken pork and others. (Grass-fed is best)
2. Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and the like (Wild-caught fish is best)
3. Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
4. Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots etc.
5. Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
6. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc.
7. High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, butter, heavy cream
8. Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, lard, olive oil, butter and cod fish liver oil.
Do not eat: Sugar, wheat, seed oils, transfats, artificial sweeteners, “diet” and low-fat products and highly processed foods.
1. Sugar: Sodas, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream etc.
2. Gluten Grains: Wheat, spelt, barley and rye. This also includes bread and pasta
3. TransFats: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
4. High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils: Cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, grape seed, corn, safflower and
5. Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium.
6. “Diet” and “Low-Fat” Products: Many dairy products, cereals, crackers, etc.
7. Highly Processed Foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
A Sample Low-Carb Menu
This provides no more than 50 grams of total carbs per day, but you can go beyond it if you are an active, healthy eating individual.
- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
- Lunch: Burgers and veggies from the last night.
- Dinner: Salmon with butter and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter or coconut oil.
- Lunch: Grass-fed yogurt with blueberries and a handful of almonds.
- Dinner: Cheeseburger (no bun), served with vegetables and salsa sauce.*Include a variety of vegetables in your diet. If your goal is to remain under 50 grams of carbs per day, then there is room for plenty of veggies and one fruit per day. Again, if you’re healthy, lean and active, you can add some tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as some healthier grains like rice and oats.
Some Healthy, Low-Carb Snacks
- A Piece of Fruit
- Full-fat Yogurt
- A Hard-Boiled Egg or Two
- Baby Carrots
- Leftovers From The Night Before
- A Handful of Nuts
- Some Cheese and Meat