October 28, 2022

12 Healthy Diets That May Work for You

Consider one of these plans to improve your health and eating habits

Person holding a salad in a bowl.

No matter your reason for starting a diet — whether it’s to lose weight, establish better eating habits or part of a healthier lifestyle — we know you’re probably thinking, Which diet is right for me?

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

New trendy diets pop up on our radars all the time — we’re looking at you fruitarian diet, 100 diet, grapefruit diet, carnivore diet and raw foods diet. But there are some tried-and-true options that can help you reach your wellness goals.

We’ve put together a list of recommended diets, as well as some strategies that aren’t necessarily “diets” but involve changing your relationship with food.

Get on board with eating whole foods

The Mediterranean diet continues to be the gold standard for eating healthy because it does just that — by eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats and olive oil, you can reap all the heart-healthy benefits, says dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD.

Like the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet focuses on whole foods found in the Nordic region but touts using canola oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil, explains registered dietitian Courtney Barth, RD.

The Volumetric diet is all about filling up on as many low-calorie, healthy foods as you want, says Zumpano. The results? You don’t feel as hungry as you may on other diets.

Thinking about going vegan or vegetarian?

If you’ve been toying with the idea of going vegan or vegetarian, there are some options that let you dip your toe into those ways of eating.

Advertisement

According to registered dietitian nutritionist Rosemarie Lembo James, RD, CNSC, LDN, for those who don’t want to go full vegan, the pegan diet combines the philosophies of both a vegan diet and the paleo diet with the goals of lowering blood sugar and inflammation in your body.

And if you’re not ready to go full vegetarian, the flexitarian diet lets you enjoy meat occasionally but puts the spotlight on enjoying fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts, says registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD.

Consider cutting back on certain foods

You may have heard your friends singing the praises of the keto diet. According to registered dietitian Sharon Jaeger, RD, LD, by eating a limited amount of carbs and upping your fat intake, the idea is that your body enters ketosis and uses fat for fuel. It’s not for everyone, but if you have Type 2 diabetes or obesity, it can be helpful.

Another diet that focuses on cutting carbs is the Atkins diet, but this plan includes different phases that dictate how many carbs you have, says registered dietitian Maxine Smith, RD, LD.

If you have hypertension, Patton adds that the DASH diet encourages you to cut back on the amount of sodium you consume, which can help lower your blood pressure.

The name says it all, but the Whole 30 diet is about eating specific whole foods for 30 days, explains Jaeger. There aren’t any calorie restrictions but you have to eliminate certain foods (think dairy, beans, alcohol and sugar) for 30 days to “reset” your body before slowly reintroducing those foods.

Advertisement

Change the way you view food

If you’re looking to change your relationship with food, psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, says intuitive eating might be for you. It’s a focus on trusting your body and looking for satiety cues that can help you decide what to eat and how much. And the best part? No food is off the table.

For those of us who mindlessly eat while bingeing Netflix (raises hand), consider mindful eating. This philosophy focuses on why and how we eat, with the goal of slowing down and enjoying what we’re eating, says Smith.

Intermittent fasting can be helpful for those who are looking to reduce their calorie intake. The idea is that you cycle between fasting and eating, explains registered dietitian Anna Taylor, RD, LD. There are different methods, like eating for eight hours and then fasting for 16 hours.

Before you start a diet, it’s best to discuss it with a healthcare provider. But no matter which diet you pick, a focus on healthy eating is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Related Articles

Flaxseed sprinkled on a salad in a white bowl on a dark wooden table
January 31, 2024
Flaxseed: A Little Seed With Big Health Benefits

Ground flaxseed is full of heart-healthy omega-3s, antioxidants and fiber, and easy to add to just about any recipe

Person eating healthy bowl of noodles with fitness items floating around head
January 17, 2024
How To Shed 10 Pounds — For Good!

Actively choose healthy habits not only when it comes to food and nutrition, but also physical activity and your mental health

close-up of plate with eggs, wheat toast, avocados, hands holding knife and fork
January 9, 2024
Does Reverse Dieting Work?

This strategy doesn’t boost metabolism, but it may help maintain weight loss

Oranges in bowl and tofu meal in bowl
December 7, 2023
Should You Take Iron With Vitamin C?

This pairing has long been thought to help your body better absorb iron

Person eating a frosted pink donut.
November 9, 2023
Cheat Days: The Great Debate

These breaks may have some benefits — but they promote an unhealthy attitude toward food

Person during a consultation with their dietitian.
November 8, 2023
Could You Have a Fructan Intolerance?

A low-FODMAP elimination diet can help identify your symptoms

person with burgers and fries on plates over their lap
October 15, 2023
13 Reasons Why People Overeat

Being bored, not getting enough sleep and waiting too long to eat can all contribute

Healthy meal of salmon, brown rice and broccoli with peas on a white plate.
September 28, 2023
10 Tips for Changing Your Diet After a Stroke

It can be overwhelming, but habit changes help lower your risk of another stroke

Trending Topics

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try

Exercise and diet over three months is hard to accomplish.
Everything You Need To Know About the 75 Hard Challenge

Following five critical rules daily for 75 days may not be sustainable

Person in foreground standing in front of many presents with person in background holding gift bags.
What Is Love Bombing?

This form of psychological and emotional abuse is often disguised as excessive flattery

Ad