Types of diets

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:33 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:33 pm

It seems practically every week, a new diet craze is being launched. Some advocate eating only those foods that your ancestors could have hunted or gathered, as in the Paleolithic (pail-ee-oh- LITH-ick) or 'cave man'-type diets. Others claim that to lose weight, you must eat foods in certain combinations or limit your choices according to your blood type. A number of diets claim that carbohydrates cause weight gain and therefore stress eating protein-rich foods with little regard to fat content. Still other plans present an opposite argument, urging you to eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. There are also various types of vegetarian diets, ranging from those that allow fish, eggs, or dairy, to those which allow no animal products at all. With so many conflicting viewpoints, it can be hard to know which diet is best. One guideline is to look for a plan that emphasizes moderation. Avoid diets which restrict you to a single food or food group; these plans are nutritionally inadequate and usually hard to maintain. Unless you're under a doctor's supervision, it's probably best to avoid very low calorie diets as well. Most people require at least 1100 (eleven hundred) to 1200 (twelve hundred) calories a day to meet basic nutritional needs and maintain a normal metabolism.

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