The 9 Best diet for overall health and fitness

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Best diet for overall health and fitness: Diets aren’t simply for weight loss. While altering your diet may be one of the perfect methods to lose weight, it will possibly also be a gateway to improving your habits, focusing in your health, and main an extra energetic way of life.

Yet the sheer quantity of obtainable diet plans might make it troublesome to get began. Different diets will probably be extra appropriate, sustainable, and efficient for completely different people.

Some diets purpose to curb your urge for food to reduce your meals intake, whereas others recommend limiting your intake of calories and both carbs or fats. Some focus extra on sure eating patterns and way of life adjustments, relatively than on limiting sure foods.

What’s extra, many provide health advantages that transcend weight loss.

Here are the 9 greatest diet plans that will help you improve your overall health.

1. The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has lengthy been thought of the gold normal for nutrition, disease prevention, wellness, and longevity. This is predicated on its nutritional advantages and sustainability.

How it really works

The Mediterranean diet is based on foods that people in international locations like Italy and Greece have historically eaten. It is rich in:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • entire grains
  • fish
  • nuts
  • lentils
  • olive oil

Foods such as poultry, eggs, and dairy products are to be eaten in moderation, and red meats are restricted.

Additionally, the Mediterranean diet limits:

  • refined grains
  • trans fat
  • processed meats
  • added sugar
  • different extremely processed foods

Health benefits

This diet’s emphasis on minimally processed foods and plants has been related to a reduced threat of a number of continual diseases and increased life expectancy. Studies also present that the Mediterranean diet has a preventive impact in opposition to sure cancers (1Trusted Source).

Though the diet was designed to lower heart disease threats, quite a few research points out that its plant-based, high unsaturated fats dietary sample can also help in weight loss (2).

A systematic evaluation analyzing 5 completely different research discovered that, compared with a low fats diet, the Mediterranean diet resulted in better weight loss after 1 year. Compared with a low carb diet, it produced related weight loss outcomes (3Trusted Source).

One research in more than 500 adults over 12 months discovered that larger adherence to a Mediterranean diet was related to double the chance of weight loss upkeep (4Trusted Source).

Additionally, the Mediterranean diet encourages eating loads of antioxidant-rich foods, which can assist combat inflammation and oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals (5Trusted Source).

Other advantages

Recent research have also discovered that the Mediterranean diet is related to decreased threat of mental issues, together with cognitive decline and melancholy (6Trusted Source).

Eating much less meat is also related to an extra sustainable diet for the planet.


Since the Mediterranean diet doesn’t put a giant emphasis on dairy products, it’s essential to be sure to still get sufficient calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

2. The DASH diet (Best diet for overall health and fitness)

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH, is an eating plan designed to assist deal with or prevent high blood pressure, which is clinically often called hypertension.

It emphasizes eating loads of fruits, vegetables, entire grains, and lean meats. It is low in salt, red meat, added sugars, and fats.

While the DASH diet just isn’t a weight loss diet, many people report losing weight on it.

How it really works

The DASH diet recommends particular servings of completely different meals teams. The quantity of servings you’re inspired to eat is dependent upon your every day calorie intake.

For instance, every day a mean individual on the DASH diet would eat about:

  • 5 servings of vegetables
  • 5 servings of fruit
  • seven servings of healthy carbs like entire grains
  • two servings of low-fat dairy products
  • two servings or fewer of lean meats

In addition, it’s advisable to devour nuts and seeds two to a few times per week (7Trusted Source).

Health advantages

The DASH diet has been proven to reduce blood pressure levels and a number of heart disease threat factors. Also, it might assist lower your threat of breast and colorectal cancers (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

Studies present that the DASH diet can also enable you lose weight. For instance, an evaluation of 13 research discovered that people on the DASH diet lost extra weight over 8–24 weeks than people on a management diet (12Trusted Source).

Another research in adults with weight problems over 12 weeks discovered that the DASH diet helped lower complete body weight, body fats percentage, and absolute fats mass in research members whereas preserving muscle energy (13Trusted Source).

Other advantages

In addition to weight loss, the DASH diet might assist fight melancholy signs (14Trusted Source).

A comparative research over 8 years discovered that even average adherence to the DASH diet was related to lower melancholy threat (15Trusted Source).


While the DASH diet might help with weight loss and lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, there may be combined proof on salt intake and blood pressure.

Eating too little salt has been linked to increased insulin resistance, and a low sodium diet isn’t the best alternative for everybody.

A low sodium diet just like the DASH diet is extra applicable for people with hypertension or different health circumstances that profit from or require sodium restriction (16Trusted Source).

More analysis is required in this space to grasp how a low sodium diet can have an effect on insulin resistance in people with out hypertension.

3. Plant-based and flexitarian diets

Vegetarianism and veganism are the most well-liked variations of plant-based diets, which limit animal products for health, moral, and environmental causes.

However, extra versatile plant-based diets also exist, such as the flexitarian diet. This is a plant-based diet that enables eating animal products in moderation.

How it really works

Typical vegetarian diets limit meat of every kind but enable dairy products. Typical vegan diets limit all animal products, together with dairy, butter, and generally different byproducts like honey.

The flexitarian eating plan doesn’t have clear-cut guidelines or suggestions about calories and macronutrients, so it’s thought of extra of a way of life than a diet. Its ideas include:

  • consuming protein from plants as an alternative of animals
  • eating mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and entire grains
  • eating the least processed, most pure kinds of foods
  • limiting sugar and sweets

Additionally, it permits the flexibleness to devour meat and animal products sometimes.

Health advantages

Numerous research have proven that plant-based diets can reduce your threat of creating continual diseases, together with improved markers of metabolic health, decreased blood pressure, and reduced threat of kind 2 diabetes. They can also enable you lose weight (17Trusted Source).

Flexitarian diets have also been proven to reduce the chance of kind 2 diabetes and improve metabolic health and blood pressure, plus might have their very own weight loss advantages. (18Trusted Source).

Other advantages

For those that wish to lead a sustainable way of life, reducing your meat consumption can also reduce greenhouse fuel emissions, deforestation, and soil degradation (19).


Plant-based eating patterns like vegetarianism and veganism can generally be troublesome to keep up and might really feel limiting, particularly if you happen to’re switching from a extra meat-based eating type.

And whereas the flexibleness of the flexitarian diet makes it easy to observe, being too versatile with it might counteract its advantages.

4. The MIND diet

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet combines features of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to create an eating sample that focuses on brain health.

How it really works

Like the flexitarian diet, the MIND diet doesn’t have a strict meal plan, but as an alternative encourages eating 10 particular foods with brain health advantages.

Per week, MIND consists of eating:

  • six or extra servings of green, leafy vegetables
  • one serving of non-starchy vegetables
  • 5 or extra servings of nuts

Other foods it encourages a number of times every week include:

  • berries
  • beans
  • olive oil
  • whole grains
  • fish
  • poultry

Health advantages

Research exhibits that the MIND diet might reduce an individual’s threat of creating Alzheimer’s disease, and research present that the MIND diet is superior to different plant-rich diets for improving cognition (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

Research also exhibits that the MIND diet will help sluggish cognitive decline and improve resiliency in older adults (22Trusted Source).

It might also assist delay the onset of the motion dysfunction Parkinson’s disease (23Trusted Source).

There is little analysis regarding the MIND diet and weight loss. Yet, since it’s a mixture of two diets that promote weight loss, the MIND diet might also enable you lose weight.

One manner it will possibly assist promote weight loss is that it encourages limiting your consumption of foods like:

  • butter
  • cheese
  • red meat
  • fried meals
  • sweets

However, extra analysis must be performed regarding the MIND diet and weight loss.

Other advantages

By combining the perfect of two diets, the MIND diet has lots to supply and gives some extra flexibility than stricter diets.

While you may eat more than the ten meals teams it recommends, the nearer you persist with the diet, the better your outcomes could also be.

5. WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

WW, previously Weight Watchers, is one of the most well-liked weight loss packages worldwide.

While it doesn’t limit any meals teams, people on a WW plan should eat inside their set quantity of every day factors to assist them attain their supreme weight (24Trusted Source).

How it really works

WW is a points-based system that assigns completely different foods and drinks a price, relying on their calorie, fats, and fiber contents.

As you’re employed to succeed in your required weight, you need to keep inside your every day level allowance.

Health advantages

Many research present that the WW program will help you lose weight (25Trusted Source).

For instance, a evaluate of 45 research discovered that people who adopted a WW diet misplaced 2.6% extra weight than people who acquired normal counseling (26Trusted Source).

What’s extra, people who observe WW packages have been proven to be extra profitable at sustaining weight loss after a number of years, compared with those that observe different diets (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

Other advantages

WW permits flexibility, which makes it easy to observe. This permits people with dietary restrictions, such as these with food allergies, to stick to the plan.


While it permits for flexibility, WW may be pricey relying on the subscription plan and the size of time you plan to observe it.

Studies present that it might take as much as 52 weeks to supply vital weight loss and scientific advantages (27Trusted Source).

Additionally, its flexibility could be a downfall if dieters select unhealthy foods.

6. Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a dietary technique that cycles between durations of fasting and eating.

Various forms exist, together with the 16/8 technique, which entails limiting your calorie intake to eight hours per day. There’s also the 5:2 technique, which restricts your every day calorie intake to 500–600 calories twice per week.

While it’s primarily often called a diet for weight loss, intermittent fasting might have highly effective advantages for each your body and brain.

How it really works

Intermittent fasting restricts the time you’re allowed to eat, which is a straightforward strategy to reduce your calorie intake. This can result in weight loss — until you compensate by eating too much meals throughout allowed eating durations.

Health advantages

Intermittent fasting has been linked to anti-aging results, increased insulin sensitivity, improved brain health, reduced inflammation, and many different advantages (29Trusted Source, (*9*)).

Both animal and human research present that intermittent fasting might also increase heart health and prolong lifespan (31Trusted Source32, 33Trusted Source).

It can also enable you lose weight.

In a evaluate of research, intermittent fasting was proven to trigger 0.8–13% weight loss over a interval of 2 weeks to 1 year. This is a considerably better percentage than many different strategies (34Trusted Source).

Other research discovered that intermittent fasting can increase fats burning whereas preserving muscle mass, which may improve metabolism (35Trusted Source36Trusted Source).

Other advantages

While sure diets can have lots of guidelines, require frequent journeys to the grocery retailer, and may be troublesome to observe, intermittent fasting is named a extra simple-to-follow eating plan.

Due to the character of the diet, there are fewer meals that you should put together, cook dinner, and clear up after.


In normal, intermittent fasting is protected for most healthy adults.

That stated, these delicate to drops in their blood sugar levels ought to speak with a health skilled earlier than beginning intermittent fasting. These teams include people:

  • who’ve diabetes
  • who’ve low weight
  • who’ve an eating dysfunction
  • who’re pregnant
  • who’re breastfeeding or chestfeeding

7. The Volumetrics diet

The Volumetrics diet was created by Penn State University nutrition professor Barbara Rolls and is supposed to be a long-term way of life change relatively than a strict diet.

How it really works

The eating plan is designed to advertise weight loss by having you refill on nutrient-dense foods which are low in calories and high in water.

Meanwhile, it limits calorie-dense foods like cookies, candies, nuts, seeds, and oils.

The Volumetrics diet divides meals into 4 classes based mostly on meals’s calorie density, which may be calculated with a components created by Rolls. These classes are:

  • Category one: consists of foods of very low calorie density, like non-starchy fruits and vegetables, nonfat milk, and broth-based soup
  • Category two: consists of low calorie-dense foods, like starchy fruits and vegetables, grains, breakfast cereal, low fats meat, legumes, and low fats combined dishes like chili
  • Category three: consists of medium calorie-dense foods, like meat, cheese, pizza, bread, and ice cream
  • Category 4: consists of high calorie-dense foods, like crackers, chips, chocolate candies, nuts, butter, and oil

Meals on the Volumetric diet consist mostly of foods from classes one and two, with restricted quantities of meals from classes three and 4.

No foods are completely off-limits on the Volumetrics diet, and exercise is inspired for a minimum of 30–60 minutes every day.

Health advantages

The Volumetrics diet encourages nutritious foods which are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can assist increase your intake of key nutrients and defend in opposition to nutritional deficiencies.

Research also links diets with a low calorie density to improved diet high quality (37Trusted Source).

Additionally, it limits the amount of processed foods you’ll eat, which may lower your threat of creating sure cancers and heart disease (38Trusted Source39Trusted Source).

The Volumetrics diet might also enable you lose weight.

A evaluate of 13 research in more than 3,000 people discovered that diets rich in low calorie density foods led to increased weight loss. Similarly, an 8-year research in more than 50,000 ladies discovered that high calorie-dense foods led to increased weight achieve (40Trusted Source41Trusted Source).


While the Volumetrics diet could also be efficient for health advantages and weight loss, it requires understanding of Volumetrics, which entails studying concerning the calorie levels of foods in relation to portion sizes and nutrient levels.

This could also be simpler for some compared to others.

8. The Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic Diet was created by the respected medical group of the identical identify.

How it really works

Designed to be a way of life change over a fast repair, the Mayo Clinic Diet focuses on changing much less healthy behaviors with ones which are extra prone to assist longevity and weight loss.

Rather than banning sure foods, the Mayo Clinic Diet makes use of a pyramid to encourage exercise and illustrate portions of foods you need to be consuming.

Fruits, vegetables, and physical exercise make up the bottom of the pyramid, adopted by carbs in the following layer, then protein and dairy, fat, and lastly, sweets.

The diet consists of two phases. An preliminary, 2-week part designed to kick-start your weight loss by introducing 5 more healthy habits and encouraging you to interrupt 5 widespread much less healthy habits.

The second part is extra of a way of life change designed to be adopted long-term, encouraging schooling about nutritious meals selections and portion sizes in addition to being physically energetic.

Health advantages

Little analysis is offered concerning the health advantages of the Mayo Clinic Diet.

However, the Mayo Clinic tells customers to anticipate about 10 pounds of weight loss throughout the first 2 weeks, and as much as 2 pounds throughout the second part.

Since diets rich in fiber can increase satiety by making you’re feeling extra full, the Mayo Clinic Diet might contribute to weight loss. It might also lower your threat of creating kind 2 diabetes (42Trusted Source).

Additionally, research present that exercising whereas on a lower-calorie diet is simpler at selling weight loss than weight-reduction plan alone (43Trusted Source).

However, extra analysis is required to find out the effectiveness of the Mayo Clinic Diet for weight loss.


While the digital model of this system consists of meal plans, recipes, a meals tracker, digital group periods, at-home exercises, and extra, it should value you month-to-month to purchase into this system.

9. Low carb diets

Low-carb diets are among the many hottest diets for weight loss. Examples include the Atkins diet, ketogenic (keto) diet, and low carb, high fats (LCHF) diet.

Some varieties reduce carbs extra drastically than others. For occasion, very low carb diets just like the keto diet limit this macronutrient to under 10% of complete calories, compared with 30% or much less for different types (44Trusted Source).

How it really works

Low carb diets limit your carb intake in favor of protein and fats.

They’re usually larger in protein than low fats diets, which is essential, as protein will help curb your urge for food, increase your metabolism, and conserves muscle mass (45Trusted Source).

In very low carb diets like keto, your body begins utilizing fatty acids relatively than carbs for energy by changing them into ketones. This course of is known as ketosis (46Trusted Source).

Health advantages

Research means that low carb diets might reduce threat factors for heart disease, together with high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They might also improve blood sugar and insulin levels in people with kind 2 diabetes (47Trusted Source48Trusted Source).

Many research point out that low carb diets can help weight loss and could also be simpler than standard low fats diets (49Trusted Source50Trusted Source51Trusted Source).

For instance, a evaluate of 53 research made up of 68,128 members discovered that low carb diets resulted in considerably extra weight loss than low fats diets (52Trusted Source).

What’s extra, low carb diets seem like fairly efficient at burning dangerous stomach fats (53Trusted Source54Trusted Source55Trusted Source).


In some circumstances, a low-carb diet might increase LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol levels. Very low carb diets can also be troublesome to observe and trigger digestive upset in some people (56Trusted Source).

In very uncommon conditions, following a really low-carb diet might trigger a situation often called ketoacidosis, a harmful metabolic situation that may be deadly if left untreated (57Trusted Source58Trusted Source).

The bottom line

Many diets can help you lose weight and provide distinctive health advantages.

Some of the most well-liked eating plans include the Mediterranean diet, WW (Weight Watchers), the MIND diet, the DASH diet, intermittent fasting, plant-based diets, low-carb diets, the Mayo Clinic Diet, and the Volumetrics diet.

While all of the above diets have been proven to be efficient for weight loss, the diet you select ought to rely in your way of life and meals preferences. This ensures that you’re extra prone to persist with it in the long run.

And earlier than beginning any type of new diet, it’s all the time a good suggestion to speak together with your doctor about your private health historical past. They will help you determine which plan would work greatest for you.

Additionally, when you’ve determined to begin a brand new diet, a registered dietitian will help you navigate the brand new guidelines and assist the plan meals that you just really need to eat. (Best diet for overall health and fitness)

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