Most people can’t eliminate all unhealthy foods from their diet. We just don’t have that kind of will-power. Still, if you want to eat healthier without stressing over the ingredients in your food all day long, there’s good news. The MIND diet has been scientifically proven to work. Plus, it’s officially the simplest diet to stick with!
The MIND diet, which is essentially a mix of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, is all about helping people reduce their risk of developing dementia in old age. It’s been shown to help people reduce the risk of dementia and other illnesses associated with memory loss. It focuses on drawing distinctions between foods that are good for your brain versus foods that can do serious harm to your cognitive functions.
Here’s what’s good for your brain:
- Leafy greens and other veggies
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
And the food groups to stay away from:
- Red meat
- Butter and margarine
- Cakes and candy
- Fried foods
If your main gripe with diets is the endless restrictions and limitations, the MIND diet is definitely the one for you. The main idea is to up your intake of foods that are good for your brain. When picking up groceries for the week, just make sure to go heavy on the foods that are good for your brain. Go for snacks packed with vegetables, beans, and nuts. Eat fish at least one day a week.
When it comes to foods that aren’t all that great for your brain, the good thing is that you don’t have to completely cut them out of your life. Just make sure they don’t comprise the majority of your diet. Lay off packaged and processed goods at the store, limit your butter consumption as much as possible, and definitely go easy on everything fried, as well as fast food.
Although the MIND diet may be the simplest to follow, it’s not the only option if you want to stay healthy and happy. Plus, it focuses on a very specific goal – to keep your brain functioning smoothly well into old age. Your may have other goals for yourself. For example, some people want to lose weight, others want to cut out animal products, some want to prepare their body for pregnancy, and many people just want the simplest food plan they can stick to even during their busiest days.
Most effective diets
- The DASH Diet
- TLC Diet
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Hypertension) Diet
Objective: The aim of this diet is to help people regulate high blood pressure.
The formula: This list is kind of a no-brainer. You need to load up on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid candy and other foods packed with sugar and red meat. Also, it’s important to cut down on your salt intake.
TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet
Objective: Reduce cholesterol as much as possible
The formula: This diet is great if your primary goal is a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. The main thing to get rid of is fat. Take it easy on lard and cream, butter, pork, and other food that contains a lot of saturated fats. Upping the amount of fiber in your diet and reducing cholesterol is also key.
Diets for losing weight
- Weight Watchers
- The HMR Program
- The Biggest Loser Diet
Objective: Shed two lbs weekly
The formula: The main things that make this diet effective is flexibility and group support. Plus, you don’t actually have to cut anything out of your diet completely. They key is to go for foods that keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. This should help you cut down on calories and sugar while upping your overall protein intake.
The HMR (Health Management Resources) Program
Objective: The goal is to lose weight sustainably by making lifestyle adjustments – replacing snacks with more fruit and vegetables, getting more exercise, and reducing overall calorie intake.
The formula: The most important part of this diet entails replacing heavy snacks and meals with low-calorie options. You’ll be opting for health bars, shakes, cereals, and, of course, fruits and veggies.
The Biggest Loser Diet
Objective: Lose weight and get healthy with exercise and calorie reduction.
The formula: The best thing to do is to pick up a Biggest Loser book for a complete list of lifestyle tips. You’ll find a diet pyramids that will give you an overview of the right nutrition plan and teach you how to choose quality calories. You’ll be consuming balanced meals, including several servings of fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. Get ready to limit your desserts to just 200 calories a day.
The most effective commercial diets
- The Mayo Clinic Diet
- The Weight Watchers Diet
- Jenny Craig Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet
Objective: Shed a lot of weight in the first two weeks (about 8 pounds), then continue dropping 1-2 lbs a week until you’ve reached your goal.
The formula: The Mayo Clinic has put together a diet book with a food pyramid that will help you get rid of bad eating habits and replace them with good ones. No counting calories or cutting out food groups. Plus, you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want.
The Weight Watchers Diet – See above
The Jenny Craig Diet
Objective: It’s fairly simple – you lose 2 lbs a week until you’ve hit your target weight, then work to keep the weight off.
The formula: Jenny Craig makes things really hassle-free by providing you with prepackaged meals that are balanced in terms of calories, fat, and portion size.
The most effective plant-based diets
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Flexitarian Diet
- The Ornish Diet
The Mediterranean Diet
Objective: This is the all-around good health diet. Take care of your body and brain, lose weight, and prevent cancer and diabetes.
The formula: The diet gets its name from people in the Mediterranean, who are known for having longer lifespans and fewer diseases. Get ready to make lifestyle changes, like getting more exercise. You’ll also cut down on red meat, sugar, and saturated fats while increasing your intake of olive oil, fish, nuts, and all kinds of produce.
Objective: This diet helps you lose weight and stay in good health. Studies show that flexitarians weight 15% less on average, have lower rates of life-threatening diseases, and live almost 4 years longer.
The formula: Think of this diet as being a vegetarian with some exceptions. You don’t have to cut out meat altogether, but you’ll be replacing the majority of your meat intake with products like tofu, eggs, and other protein replacements. And of course, there will be more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy.
The Ornish Diet
Objective: The goal here is to help you stay slim, keep heart disease and diabetes away, and regulate your blood pressure and cholesterol. The exercise plan is less strict than with other diets.
The formula: The founder of this diet is a professor of medicine at the University of California. He splits up food into five groups, from most to least healthy. You use these groups as building blocks for your grocery cart.
Simplest diets to stick to
The Fertility Diet
Objective: If you’re planning on starting on expanding your family, this plan can help boost your fertility.
The formula: This diet will encourage you to opt for good fats, whole grains, and plant protein. Keep away from bad fats, refined carbs, red meat, eggs, and soda.
MIND Diet – See above