Some recommended diets that help reverse obesity-related health conditions

Obesity is treatable as any other chronic illness by nutritional and physical therapies and sometimes also psychological counselling and surgical procedures. But basically it rolls down to a long term energy management through reduced eating and increased exercise.

Weight reduction

Dieting is simpler when only trying for weight reduction. Do the math on calorie intake and output, get a calories deficit and you should lose weight. There are various diets for weight loss, from liquids only, no carbs, high protein, vegan, point based, to even a Palaeolithic diet (eating like a caveman). But for reversing a disease condition related to obesity like high blood pressure, high blood sugar or high cholesterol one needs stricter adherence to and manipulation of specific nutrient components of the diet. The Mediterranean diet, Mayo Clinic diet, TLC diet and DASH diet are some medically recommended diets.

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of cooking and eating rather than a diet. It is possibly one of the best for weight loss and overall health benefit. Olive oil, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, fruits and vegetables are the therapeutic ingredients in the daily diet. Refined foods, red meat, saturated and trans fats are downplayed. Spices and herbs flavour foods not salt. Adapting these with limited calories reduces weight and prevents some major illnesses.

The TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet focuses on lowering cholesterol and is endorsed by the American Heart Association. It works well for those who are at risk or already have a heart condition. Moderately low fat diet, less than 7 per cent of saturated fats, less than 200mg cholesterol, sufficient calories to reduce or maintain weight and exercise will reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good. This means you must eat fat free dairy, lean meat, avoid fried foods and choose unsaturated oils. TLC diet also helps reverse metabolic syndrome.

DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is the best diet for those with high blood pressure giving results within a fortnight and with time, reducing up to 14 points on blood pressure readings. It aims on reducing sodium in foods while increasing potassium, calcium and magnesium content by including daily 4 to 5 servings of fruits, 2 to 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fat free milk or curds, high fibre grains, minimal fat and sugar intake and a weekly 4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes within required calories.

Mayo Clinic Diet is an effective lifelong lifestyle makeover to losing weight. It stresses on healthy food choices, physical activity and discarding unhealthy lifestyle habits. It includes a variety of foods and is easy to be adapted to one’s usual eating pattern and taste buds. The initial two week phase kick starts the dieting process whereby the dieter reduces three to four kilos which is meant as motivation to continue the weight loss program. The program teaches you portion control and empowers you to plan your own diets.

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