Here are some diets that go beyond weight loss and focus on building lasting habits, mindfulness
For some, the mere mention of a diet is newsworthy. It conjures up images of hungry, unhappy people constantly counting calories and worrying about the extra gram they’ve put on. However, some diets go beyond weight loss. They focus on building lasting habits, focus, and mindfulness.
The MIND diet: A fusion of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) focuses exclusively on brain health. In addition to reducing the risk of dementia, an improvement in concentration can be expected. “Food has a huge effect on cognition. Such dietary plans increase the resistance of neurons to toxic attacks caused by food and ensure better concentration over time. Because the MIND diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it supports mental processes and provides upregulation of genes, while maintaining nerve impulse function,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Uma Mehela.
Flexitarian diet: It is a vegetable diet that encourages the consumption of animal products in moderation. “It basically teaches you to be flexible in your food choices. Even though people on this diet are largely vegetarians, they don’t take a strong stance against animal products. It can be difficult to make the transition to vegetarianism or veganism and a fluid diet such as Flexitarian helps,” says Mehela.
The DASH Diet: Acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, it is a plan for preventing high blood pressure. It includes foods high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium and limits those high in saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. “The diet improves bone strength and is known to delay
or prevent osteoporosis in some,” she says.
The Mayo Clinic Diet: This one is a great example of a diet that sets the stage for building new habits and behaviors. It is one of the few diets that actively encourages exercise. “The base of
this plan is a pyramid in which eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and staying active is at its core. Carbohydrates come next, followed by proteins, fats and sweets,” says Mehela.
Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Up to 50% of calories come from carbohydrates, 30% from fat and about 20% from protein. Inspired by one of the healthiest diets, the Mediterranean diet, this one adds green tea and dark chocolate to the mix. Fresh foods are prioritized, especially those that are anti-inflammatory in nature such as whole grains, squash, watermelon, tomatoes, spinach, almonds, walnuts, salmon, tuna and more. It limits processed foods that can alter gut bacteria, which in turn can prevent the immune system from working properly. “Research shows that time-restricted eating can still help this diet because certain genes that cause inflammation can be inactive or active at different times of the day,” she says.