The term diet has several meanings, but in general it refers to a change in eating habits and/or dietary requirements that lead to weight loss or maintenance of a weight. In nutrition, the diet is generally the sum total of all food ingested by an animal or human being. The term “diet” can also be used when referring to a period of time (e.g., a diet with the Atkins diet). The term “dietary” can also refer to the amount or type of food ingested and the duration over which the food is ingested.
A brief explanation of diet will help explain the distinction between the two main types of diets: The low-fat/low-calorie diet and the low-GI diet (also called high fiber diet). In the low-fat/low-carbohydrate diet, carbohydrates are the main source of energy. The diet bans the consumption of fats, such as those found in butter, mayonnaise, and cream. This diet advises dieters to consume large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. The GI diet (the name of which is probably closer to “good taste”) suggests that a person’s response to the food (the amount of pleasure that they get from it) is improved by eating a significantly larger amount of foods that have a low Glycemic Index, such as blueberries, prunes, strawberries, apples, and watermelon. These foods have a low glycemic index and therefore go well with a low GI diet.
The two diets are not recommended for everyone; in particular, diabetics and individuals with specific medical conditions should first consult their doctor before undertaking either plan. Diets that include a reduction in salt and sugar are especially beneficial for people with diabetes because the decreased levels of glucose in the bloodstream cause blood insulin levels to decrease. If a diabetic individual chooses to use a salt substitute instead of table salt, then the intake of foods with high glycemic index (which includes many canned goods, some fruit juices, and white rice) would be encouraged. These foods, however, should still be eaten in moderation and portion sizes reduced. For those who follow the GI diet, it is suggested that a small amount of table salt is replaced with sea salt.
Both diets are extremely healthy because they both help the body rid itself of toxins and increase the absorption of nutrients in the body. However, there are many people who react to a low GI diet by eating more frequently, but not consuming any fruits or vegetables. This can be problematic, because the body cannot handle having so much food, and can store the excess energy as fat. This is why most doctors will recommend a GI diet in conjunction with a weight loss plan if you have a history of obesity or being overweight.
For this reason, many doctors do not support the concept of a GI diet and weight loss plan. However, in recent years there has been a strong increase in soy products, which are low in glycemic index but high in essential nutrients. Soy products are a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet and can improve health and nutrition significantly. Soy products also have unique bioreactors that few other vegetable oils or fruits have, making them highly beneficial for health.
A diet soft drink is also not recommended on a GI diet. This is because of the way that calorie counting works when using a diet soft drink. Calorie counting requires you to count the number of calories in every glass of diet soft drink, which can make it very difficult to stay within the allotted number of calories per day. By drinking only water or natural spring water, the calories in the diet soft drink can be counted over a longer period of time, and a more accurate calorie count can be obtained.