From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


Editor-In-Chief: Prab R Tumpati, MD
Obesity, Sleep & Internal medicine
Founder, WikiMD Wellnesspedia &
W8MD medical weight loss NYC and sleep center NYC

In the realm of nutrition, a diet refers to the total sum of food ingested by an individual. Notably, every individual or cultural group has its specific dietary habits—these pertain to the choices made when deciding what foods to consume. While human beings are naturally omnivores, cultural, religious, and personal beliefs often dictate specific food preferences and aversions. The healthfulness of these choices can vary significantly, and they can influence an individual's overall health, mortality, and even cultural identity.

Diet and cancer (giant) ad

Cultural Dietary Choices[edit | edit source]

Cultural and religious factors frequently determine dietary choices. For instance:

  • Judaism: Only allows consumption of Kosher foods.
  • Islam: Dictates Halal (permitted) and Haram (prohibited) foods.

These dietary preferences are intrinsically tied to a region's cuisine. For instance, in the US, red meat is a staple, while the Japanese diet revolves around fish and rice. Latin-American countries often rely on rice and beans, whereas the Middle East has a preference for lentils and pita bread.

The fear of foodborne illnesses has also historically shaped dietary habits. One hypothesis suggests that religious dietary restrictions may have originated as safety measures to prevent acute foodborne illnesses.

Individual Dietary Choices[edit | edit source]

Individual dietary preferences often emerge from health concerns, ethical considerations, or other personal reasons. For instance:

Vegetarianism/Veganism: Abstinence from certain or all animal products. Fruitarianism: Consumption of primarily fruits. Living foods diet and Raw foodism: Primarily uncooked and unprocessed foods. Industrialized nations often face challenges like high intake of animal fat, sugar, and alcohol, while facing a deficit in dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. Modern lifestyle changes, combined with health and overeating concerns, influence contemporary eating habits. Sometimes, physicians or alternative medicine practitioners may advocate dietary changes as part of a holistic treatment approach.

Modern diets have also been impacted by apprehensions related to genetically modified foods and their potential effects on health and the environment. This has birthed a counterculture emphasizing organic and locally sourced foods.

Diets for Weight Management[edit | edit source]

Main article: Dieting

Dietary adjustments are often adopted to attain specific goals, such as weight loss or gain, athletic training, or addressing specific health concerns like cardiovascular health or cancer prevention. Transitioning to a specific diet can shift the body's energy balance, thereby altering body fat reserves. Some diets even modify or recommend specific foods to adhere to the dietary requirements. Often, these diets are complemented with exercise. For weight loss, physicians sometimes recommend a very low-calorie diet, which eliminates empty calories, in conjunction with other weight loss strategies.

Dietary Health[edit | edit source]

Discrepancies between energy consumed and expended can result in either starvation or excessive adipose tissue accumulation, leading to body fat.[5] Nutrient deficiencies can lead to severe health repercussions. For example:

Other health concerns related to diet include obesity, which increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes,[10] and eating disorders, which adversely affect mental health and food consumption patterns.

Types of Diets[edit | edit source]

Diets can be classified based on their primary objectives:

  • Weight-loss diets: Aims to reduce body weight, though what works for one might not work for another due to metabolic and lifestyle differences.
  • Weight-gain diets: Adopted by professional athletes, such as wrestlers or football players, to increase body mass.
  • Medical diets: Designed for specific medical conditions. For instance, diabetics often adopt a diet to manage blood sugar levels. Other examples include the Ketogenic Diet for epileptics, gluten-free diets for those with celiac disease, and low-sodium diets for individuals with kidney disease.

Allergic reactions to specific foods might also necessitate dietary modifications.

Glossary of diets[edit | edit source]

  • 24-hour diet recall - A method used by nutritionists to assess an individual's dietary intake over the previous 24 hours, helping to evaluate eating habits and guide dietary recommendations.
  • A calorie is a calorie - A phrase expressing the view that all calories are equal in terms of weight management, though this concept is debated in nutrition science considering the quality and source of calories.
  • Activated charcoal cleanse - A detoxification method involving the consumption of activated charcoal to purportedly remove toxins from the body, despite limited evidence supporting its efficacy and safety.
  • Agrifood systems - The complex network of activities involved in the production, processing, and distribution of food, and how these processes affect nutrition, health, and the environment.
  • Ambronite - A brand of meal replacement products designed to provide balanced nutrition with natural ingredients, marketed towards individuals seeking convenient and healthy eating options.
  • Arachnophagy - The practice of eating spiders, considered a form of * entomophagy, or the consumption of insects, which is common in some cultures and touted for its potential environmental and nutritional benefits.
  • Atkins diet - A low-carbohydrate diet promoted for weight loss, which emphasizes protein and fat intake while restricting carbohydrates to alter the body's metabolism from metabolizing glucose to burning stored fat.
  • Atlantic diet - A dietary pattern prevalent among people living near the Atlantic Ocean, characterized by high consumption of fish, seafood, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • BRAT diet - An acronym for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast; a diet often recommended for individuals experiencing gastrointestinal distress, due to its bland nature and ease of digestion.
  • Beverly Hills Diet - A fad diet focused on the consumption of fruits and the claim that proper food combining can lead to weight loss, lacking scientific evidence for its effectiveness.
  • Bland diet - A diet consisting of foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber, recommended for people with certain digestive problems, such as ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Blood type diet - A diet based on the idea that an individual's blood type determines which foods are best for their health, a concept that lacks scientific backing.
  • CALERIE - An acronym for Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy, a research study examining the effects of calorie restriction on health and longevity in humans.
  • CRAM diet - A dietary plan emphasizing the consumption of cereals, rice, and milk, aimed at providing affordable, nutritious food options for populations in need.
  • CRON-diet - Stands for Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition; a diet that aims to reduce calorie intake to extend lifespan while ensuring adequate nutritional intake.
  • Caloric deficit - A nutritional state where the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended, leading to weight loss.
  • Calorie restriction - A dietary regimen that reduces calorie intake without incurring malnutrition, studied for its potential to improve health and extend lifespan.
  • Cardiac diet - A heart-healthy diet designed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, focusing on foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium while rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats.
  • Chew and spit - A disordered eating behavior involving the chewing of food and then spitting it out instead of swallowing, to avoid calorie intake.
  • Chinese food therapy - A practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses dietary choices to heal and prevent diseases, based on the therapeutic properties of foods.
  • Christian diet programs - Dietary plans that incorporate Christian beliefs and practices, such as fasting and prayer, aiming to improve both spiritual and physical health.
  • Climatarian diet - A diet focused on reducing the environmental impact of food consumption, prioritizing the intake of foods with a low carbon footprint and minimal effect on climate change.
  • Cookie diet - A fad diet where individuals consume specially formulated cookies as a means of weight loss, typically as meal replacements.
  • Cotton ball diet - A dangerous and unhealthy weight loss trend involving the ingestion of cotton balls soaked in liquids to create a sense of fullness and reduce food intake.
  • DASH diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; a diet plan recommended to prevent and control hypertension, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Daniel Fast - A biblically inspired partial fast that restricts specific food groups and is undertaken for spiritual and health benefits, emphasizing whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, while avoiding processed foods, meat, and dairy products.
  • Detoxification (alternative medicine) - Practices aimed at eliminating toxins from the body, often through diets, fasts, and supplements, though their efficacy is widely debated and generally unsupported by scientific evidence.
  • Diet (nutrition) - The sum of food consumed by a person or organism, or a specific regimen of food intake designed for health, cultural, religious, or weight management reasons.
  • Diet and obesity - The relationship between dietary habits and the development of obesity, focusing on how overconsumption of calories, poor food choices, and lack of physical activity contribute to weight gain.
  • Diet food - Foods specifically formulated to assist in weight loss or weight management, often lower in calories, fat, or carbohydrates compared to their regular counterparts.
  • Diet in diabetes - Dietary strategies aimed at managing blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, typically involving careful monitoring of carbohydrate intake and balancing with insulin or other diabetes medications.
  • Dietary conservatism - A principle favoring minimal changes to traditional diets and skepticism towards new foods and dietary trends, often motivated by health, environmental, or cultural preservation concerns.
  • Dietary energy supply - The amount of energy available for consumption in a person's diet, usually measured in calories or kilojoules, essential for maintaining bodily functions and supporting physical activity.
  • Dietary management - The use of diet and nutrition as a key component in the prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as in the maintenance of overall health and well-being.
  • Dieting - The practice of restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight or for medical reasons.
  • Eaternity - A concept promoting diets that are not only healthy for individuals but also sustainable and beneficial for the planet, often emphasizing plant-based foods and reduced meat consumption.
  • Eatwell Guide - A policy tool used in the United Kingdom to define government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet.
  • Elemental diet - A diet consisting of easily digestible formulas that provide all essential nutrients in an easily absorbed form, often used in medical settings for patients with severe digestive issues.
  • Elimination diet - A method of identifying food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances by systematically removing certain foods from the diet and then gradually reintroducing them to observe for adverse reactions.
  • Entomophagy in humans - The practice of consuming insects as food, considered a sustainable and nutritious source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Ethical omnivorism - A dietary choice that involves consuming animal products that are obtained in an ethical, sustainable manner, focusing on animal welfare, environmental impact, and health.
  • F-Factor (diet) - A diet based on high-fiber intake to promote weight loss and overall health, emphasizing the nutritional importance of fiber in the diet.
  • FODMAP - An acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, short-chain carbohydrates that can cause digestive distress in some individuals, leading to a dietary approach that minimizes their consumption.
  • Fad diet - A diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet, often lacking in scientific evidence or nutritional soundness.
  • Fasting - The voluntary abstinence from all or some foods or drinks for a period of time, often practiced for religious, health, or medical reasons.
  • Fasting in religion - The practice of fasting as a spiritual or religious discipline, found in many faith traditions around the world as a means of purification, devotion, or penance.
  • Fasting mimicking diet - A diet that aims to provide the health benefits of fasting while still allowing the individual to eat small amounts of food, designed to mimic the metabolic effects of fasting.
  • Feingold diet - A dietary program designed to improve health and behavior by eliminating certain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as naturally occurring salicylates.
  • Fluid restriction diet - A diet that limits the intake of liquids to manage or prevent medical conditions such as kidney failure or heart disease, where fluid balance is critical.
  • Food and drink prohibitions - Dietary rules or laws that restrict or forbid the consumption of certain foods and drinks, often based on religious, cultural, or health grounds.
  • Freeganism - A practice focused on reducing consumer waste and environmental impact by reclaiming and eating discarded food, often from retail outlets, restaurants, and waste bins.
  • Gluten-free diet - A diet that excludes the protein gluten, found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, essential for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Gluten-free, casein-free diet - A dietary regimen that eliminates all sources of gluten and casein, a protein found in milk and dairy products, often adopted by individuals with autism spectrum disorders or dairy intolerances, though scientific evidence supporting its benefits varies.
  • Grapefruit diet - A fad diet, also known as the Hollywood Diet, that promotes rapid weight loss through a regimen primarily consisting of grapefruit or grapefruit juice, claiming that the fruit has fat-burning properties.
  • Hara hachi bun me - A Confucian teaching advocating eating until one is 80% full, practiced in Okinawa, Japan, and associated with longevity and reduced risk of chronic diseases.
  • Hay diet - A nutritional philosophy that separates food into three groups: alkaline, acidic, and neutral, and advises against consuming acidic and alkaline foods at the same meal. Lacks scientific evidence but was popular for its claimed health benefits.
  • Health Management Resources - A provider of weight management programs and diet products designed to help individuals lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle through meal replacements and behavioral strategies.
  • Healthy diet - A balanced intake of food providing all necessary nutrients in the correct amounts, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, essential for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases.
  • High-protein diet - A diet that emphasizes high intake of proteins for weight loss, muscle gain, or health maintenance, often adopted by athletes and individuals looking to improve body composition.
  • Ikaria Study - An epidemiological study focused on the residents of Ikaria, Greece, who are known for their exceptional longevity, examining the dietary patterns and lifestyle factors contributing to their health outcomes.
  • Indigenous Australian food groups - Traditional foods consumed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including a variety of plant and animal sources, recognized for their nutritional value and cultural significance.
  • Intermittent fasting - A dietary approach that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, employed for weight loss, health improvement, and longevity, with various methods including daily time-restricted feeding and alternate-day fasting.
  • International No Diet Day - An annual celebration focused on body acceptance and diversity, and raising awareness of the dangers of dieting and body shaming.
  • Intuitive eating - A dietary philosophy that encourages individuals to eat based on their body's hunger and fullness cues, promoting a healthy attitude toward food and body image without strict dieting.
  • Inuit cuisine - Traditional foods of the Inuit people, consisting mainly of raw meats and fish, known for high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and adaptation to the Arctic environment.
  • Islamic dietary laws - Dietary guidelines followed by Muslims, including prohibitions against consuming alcohol and pork, and requirements for halal slaughtering practices.
  • KE diet - Also known as the Feeding Tube Diet, involves a restrictive, low-calorie diet delivered through a nasogastric tube, criticized for potential health risks and lack of sustainability.
  • Ketogenic diet - A high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children and increasingly popular for weight loss and health optimization.
  • Kimkins - A controversial low-carbohydrate diet that came under criticism for promoting extremely low calorie intake and potential health risks, leading to legal actions against its founder.
  • Lacto vegetarianism - A vegetarian diet that includes dairy products but excludes meat, fish, and eggs, focusing on plant-based foods alongside milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Leaky gut syndrome - A hypothesized condition in which the intestinal lining is more permeable than normal, allegedly allowing toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream, though it is not widely recognized by the medical community.
  • Lipid hypothesis - The theory that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease, which has shaped dietary guidelines and recommendations.
  • Liquid diet - A diet consisting only of liquids or foods that turn into a liquid at room or body temperature, often prescribed for medical reasons, such as before or after certain surgeries, or for medical conditions that require reduced solid food intake.
  • List of diets - An enumeration of various dietary patterns and plans, ranging from those designed for weight loss, health improvement, or the management of specific health conditions, to those based on ethical, environmental, or cultural considerations.
  • Low sodium diet - A diet that restricts the intake of sodium to manage or prevent hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, emphasizing fresh, unprocessed foods over canned, processed, or fast foods high in sodium.
  • Low-FODMAP diet - A diet that reduces the intake of fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) to manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Low-carbohydrate diet - A diet that restricts carbohydrate consumption, often for weight loss or the management of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, typically emphasizing proteins and fats as primary sources of dietary calories.
  • Low-carbon diet - A dietary choice aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production and consumption, favoring plant-based foods over meat and dairy products due to their lower carbon footprint.
  • Low-fat diet - A diet that restricts the intake of fats, especially saturated fats and cholesterol, to prevent heart disease and manage weight, focusing on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
  • Low-fiber/low-residue diet - A diet designed to reduce the amount and frequency of stool production by limiting fiber intake, often recommended before certain medical procedures or for people with digestive disorders.
  • Low-protein diet - A diet that limits protein intake, often prescribed for individuals with certain kidney or liver diseases to help manage symptoms and slow disease progression.
  • Low-quantity diet - A diet that emphasizes the reduction of food portions and overall caloric intake, often used as a method for weight loss and managing calorie balance.
  • Low-sulfur diet - A diet that minimizes intake of sulfur-containing foods, recommended for individuals with certain health conditions, such as sulfur sensitivity or specific types of kidney stones.
  • MIND diet - A dietary regimen designed to reduce the risk of dementia and decline in brain health, combining elements of the Mediterranean and DASH diets with emphasis on brain-healthy foods.
  • Macronutrient preload - A dietary strategy involving the consumption of a specific macronutrient (protein, fat, or carbohydrate) before a meal to reduce overall calorie intake and manage weight.
  • Meal replacement - A nutritionally balanced beverage or bar designed to replace a regular meal, often used in weight loss programs to control calorie intake while providing essential nutrients.
  • Mediterranean Diet Foundation - An organization dedicated to promoting the Mediterranean diet as a model of healthy eating, based on traditional dietary patterns of the Mediterranean region.
  • Mediterranean diet - A dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, and moderate wine consumption, associated with numerous health benefits.
  • Metabolic typing - A controversial approach to nutrition that suggests individuals have unique metabolic needs and that diets should be customized based on these metabolic types, lacking significant scientific support.
  • Montignac diet - A weight-loss diet developed by Michel Montignac, focusing on the glycemic index of foods and recommending the consumption of low-glycemic index carbohydrates to manage weight and improve health.
  • Morning banana diet - A fad diet that suggests eating bananas in the morning can lead to weight loss, despite limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.
  • Muesli belt malnutrition - A term referring to health problems, such as nutritional deficiencies, that may arise from an excessively restrictive health-food diet, emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to healthy eating.
  • Mushroom diet - A diet that incorporates a variety of mushrooms due to their nutritional benefits, including high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and their potential role in weight management.
  • Negative-calorie food - A hypothetical food that supposedly requires more energy to digest than it provides in calories, with common examples including celery and cucumbers, though the concept is largely debunked by nutritionists.
  • Noom - A mobile health app that uses psychological principles to encourage healthy eating habits and weight loss through behavior change, providing personalized coaching and support.
  • Nutrient timing - The practice of consuming specific types of nutrients at strategic times in relation to physical activity to enhance performance, recovery, and overall health.
  • Nutritional biodiversity - The variety and variability of foods available and consumed by humans, promoting dietary diversity to ensure a broad intake of nutrients and support sustainable food systems.
  • Okinawa diet - A dietary pattern observed among the inhabitants of Okinawa, Japan, noted for their longevity, which emphasizes low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, particularly vegetables and legumes, with minimal meat consumption.
  • Organic food - Food produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, or growth hormones, often associated with environmental and health benefits.
  • Overeaters Anonymous - A recovery program for individuals struggling with compulsive overeating, based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, offering support and a framework for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and eating habits.
  • Pescetarianism - A diet that includes fish and seafood as the only sources of meat, with all other proteins coming from plant-based foods, often adopted for health, environmental, or ethical reasons.
  • Planetary health diet - A diet developed to support sustainable food systems and promote health, emphasizing a large intake of plant-based foods and limited consumption of animal products to reduce environmental impact and improve global health.
  • Pollotarianism - A dietary pattern that excludes red meat and fish but includes poultry as the primary source of meat, often chosen for health, environmental, or ethical reasons, aiming to reduce the impact of meat consumption while still obtaining animal protein.
  • Polymeal - A conceptual meal based on research suggesting that consuming specific foods such as fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic, and almonds could significantly reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
  • Portfolio diet - A dietary pattern designed to lower cholesterol levels, emphasizing a portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods such as soluble fiber, nuts, soy protein, and plant sterols.
  • Preoperative fasting - The practice of not eating or drinking for a certain period before undergoing surgery to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration during anesthesia.
  • Pritikin diet - A low-fat, high-fiber diet plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, developed by Nathan Pritikin, aimed at improving heart health and promoting weight loss.
  • Protein-sparing modified fast (diet) - A very low-calorie diet designed to promote rapid weight loss while minimizing the loss of muscle mass, primarily consisting of lean protein sources, and very low in fats and carbohydrates.
  • Prozis - A European brand and online retailer specializing in nutritional supplements and sports nutrition products, catering to individuals focused on fitness, health, and well-being.
  • Pure, White and Deadly - A book by John Yudkin that argues the consumption of sugar is linked to various health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, contributing to the debate on the impact of sugar on health.
  • Ralstonism - A social movement and dietary regimen founded by Sylvester Graham in the 19th century, advocating whole wheat flour and vegetarian meals, emphasizing dietary reform as a means to health.
  • Raw animal food diets - Diets that consist of uncooked animal foods such as meat, fish, and dairy, based on the premise that cooking destroys nutrients and natural enzymes, though these diets raise concerns about foodborne illnesses.
  • Raw foodism - A dietary practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed plant foods, believed by its adherents to be more healthful and more natural than cooked foods.
  • Reducetarian Foundation - An organization promoting the reducetarianism concept, encouraging individuals to reduce their consumption of meat and animal products to improve health, protect the environment, and enhance animal welfare.
  • Renal diet - A diet prescribed for individuals with kidney disease, focusing on controlling the intake of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein to manage kidney function and delay disease progression.
  • Rice diet - A low-fat, low-sodium diet that emphasizes rice as the primary carbohydrate source, historically used for the treatment of hypertension and kidney disease.
  • Rosedale diet - A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet proposed by Ron Rosedale, aimed at improving metabolic health by regulating the hormone leptin.
  • Sattvic diet - A dietary philosophy derived from Ayurveda, emphasizing foods that are fresh, juicy, light, nourishing, and tasty, believed to promote a calm, clear, and compassionate mind.
  • Seaganism - A dietary practice that combines veganism with the inclusion of seafood, aiming to maintain a plant-based diet while obtaining nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
  • Soft diet - A diet consisting of foods that are soft in texture, easily chewed and digested, often recommended for patients recovering from surgery or those with certain digestive disorders.
  • Sonoma diet - A weight loss plan inspired by the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, emphasizing portion control, enjoying food, and incorporating ten "power foods" for health benefits.
  • Soul food health trends - Changes and adaptations in traditional African-American cuisine, known as soul food, towards healthier cooking methods and ingredients to reduce the risk of diet-related diseases.
  • Specific carbohydrate diet - A restrictive diet that eliminates specific carbohydrates believed to contribute to intestinal disorders, particularly used by individuals with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease.
  • Sustainable diet - A diet with low environmental impacts that contributes to food and nutrition security and healthy life for present and future generations, focusing on plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food.
  • Swank diet - A diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables, proposed by Dr. Roy Swank for patients with multiple sclerosis, based on the hypothesis that saturated fat consumption may worsen the disease.
  • TOPS Club - Take Off Pounds Sensibly, a nonprofit weight-loss support group offering tools and programs for healthy living and weight management through lifestyle changes.
  • The Hacker's Diet - A diet and exercise program created by John Walker that applies engineering principles to the problem of weight loss, focusing on calorie balance and sustainable habits.
  • Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes - A set of recommendations by the National Cholesterol Education Program aiming to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including dietary adjustments, physical activity, and weight management strategies to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
  • Tongue Patch Diet - A controversial weight loss method that involves sewing a small patch onto the tongue, making it painful to eat solid foods and thereby forcing the individual to adhere to a liquid-only diet.
  • Total Diet Study - Research programs conducted by various health organizations to analyze the nutrient composition and presence of contaminants in the food supply to assess the nutritional quality and safety of diets.
  • Vegetarianism - A dietary practice abstaining from the consumption of meat, poultry, and, in some cases, fish, with variations including lacto-ovo vegetarianism (includes dairy and eggs) and lacto vegetarianism (includes dairy).
  • WFPB - An acronym for Whole Food, Plant-Based diet, emphasizing foods in their whole form, particularly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and avoiding processed foods and animal products.
  • Weight Watchers (diet) - A weight management program that uses a point system to track food intake, encouraging participants to make healthier eating choices and engage in physical activities for weight loss and maintenance.
  • Weight cycling - The repeated loss and regain of body weight, also known as "yo-yo dieting," which can have negative health effects, including increased risk for metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and psychological stress.
  • Wellspring Academies - Residential weight loss and wellness programs for young people, focusing on healthy eating, physical activity, and behavioral therapy to promote long-term weight management and lifestyle changes.
  • Werewolf diet - Also known as the lunar diet, a fad diet based on the lunar phases, claiming that fasting or eating specific foods in alignment with the moon's cycle can aid in detoxification and weight loss.
  • Western pattern diet - A dietary pattern characterized by high intakes of red and processed meats, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains, associated with increased risks of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Whole30 - A 30-day dietary program that eliminates sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy from the diet, intended as a reset to identify food sensitivities and promote healthier eating habits.
  • Yupʼik cuisine - The traditional diet of the Yupʼik people of Alaska, focusing on subsistence foods obtained from hunting, fishing, and gathering, including fish, marine mammals, and berries, known for its nutritional value and cultural importance.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Diet plays an indispensable role in human health, culture, and individual identity. Making informed dietary choices can lead to a healthier life, both physically and mentally. As research continues, our understanding of the intricate relationship between diet and health will deepen, offering newer insights and strategies for optimal nutrition.

Diet Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD