Chances are, if you heard about a diet from a friend, or maybe on social media, you Googled it. Diets are a hot topic right now. If you’re trying to lose weight, control your diabetes, or just looking for a healthier lifestyle, you have probably searched for the latest trendy diet. Each year, different diets come and go. The 2018 trending diets on Google range from science-backed favorites, emerging research interests, and programs that have just arrived on the diet scene. Rest assured, whether you want to eat like a carnivore or herbivore, Google has you covered.
1. Keto Diet
The Keto, or ketogenic, diet tops the Google trends list. The popularity of the keto diet is based on a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat principle. The premise behind the diet is that if you are not consuming carbohydrate for fuel, the body will produce a substance called ketones to be used for energy instead. This sends the body into a state of ketosis.
A proper keto diet should consist of heart healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts, and also lean proteins such as salmon and chicken breast, and non-starchy vegetables like green beans, greens and broccoli. The Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that ketosis is achieved when carbohydrate intake is 5 percent of daily calories and fat intake reaches 80 percent of daily calories.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the keto diet is relatively safe for weight loss in the short term, however, long term application of the diet is not recommended.
2. Dubrow Diet
The Dubrow diet originated from two reality TV stars, Heather Dubrow, and her husband Dr. Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon. The Dubrow diet is based on intermittent fasting and happens in stages. Their version of intermittent fasting is going a period of time without eating (fasting) and the rest of the day following a restricted diet, AKA, a low-calorie diet.
There isn’t any research to validate the efficacy of this diet in particular and the research surrounding intermittent fasting for weight loss is inconclusive. This diet does have some positive attributes. It focuses on a whole food approach, without shunning any food group in particular. The biggest criticisms behind this diet are the caloric restriction which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, and the focus on losing weight for superficial reasons, instead of health reasons.
3. Noom Diet
The people at Noom are harnessing the power of social media and linking technology to dieting. The Noom diet is based off the app that focuses not only on the dieting aspect of healthy eating, but on behaviors associated with eating, such as emotional and disordered eating. Per the Noom website, the program is 16 weeks long.
After downloading the app, your goals are personalized and it’s up to the user to log in nutrition and fitness data. Noom is focused on making lifestyle changes and it encourages users to stay up to date on the latest health and fitness information. Noom has been compared to Weight Watchers and relies on the user to stay in touch with all aspects of their health, not just the weight component. For example, being mindful about eating, stress reduction, and getting enough sleep.
4. Carnivore Diet
As the name implies, the carnivore diet consists mainly of animal foods. We’re talking beef, chicken, pork, and dairy, among others. This could also be classified as a very low carbohydrate diet or a zero carbohydrate diet if you’re fully committed and do not eat dairy, which is an animal food, but contains carbohydrates.
Registered dietitian, Dr. Lisa Young says the carnivore diet, "can't be good for long term health, it is devoid of so many foods known to promote good health, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains". This diet has the potential to be high in saturated fat and low in health promoting nutrients such as monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and fiber.
There is no evidence to support the carnivore diet for weight loss. However, there is much research on low carbohydrate diets. A 2015 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition placed subjects on a low carbohydrate (LC) diet of 14 percent or a high carbohydrate (HC) diet of 53 percent. Both groups lost weight and improved health, but found the LC diet may be a good option for diabetes management.
5. Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is the number one diet of 2018 (tying with the DASH diet), according to U.S News and World Report. The Mediterranean diet places an emphasis on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and dairy. It also encourages heart healthy fats in foods such as olive oil, seafood, and walnuts. Research on the Mediterranean diet is conclusive in its benefits for general health. When using the Mediterranean diet for for weight management, a 2018 study published in Nutrition and Diabetes found the Mediterranean diet was successful in preventing weight gain and preventing unhealthy weight gain and obesity over time.
6. Optavia Diet
Optavia is a direct selling company that utilizes coaches to provide health information for the customer. The diet consists of 6 specially timed meals, called “fuelings” that are eaten every 2 to 3 hours. There are variations of each of their diet plans and the fuelings are prepacked food provided by Optavia. You are required to cook at least one meal a day, called the “lean and green” meal, depending on the type of plan you choose. According to U.S. News and World Report, Optavia was ranked number 3 for Best Fast Weight Loss Diet and number 29 for Best Overall Diet. Their nutrition focus is on lean proteins, vegetables, and overall healthy eating habits.
7. Dr. Gundry Diet
Steven Gundry, medical doctor and author of Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution and The Plant Paradox puts an emphasis on nutrition as health promoting while focusing on foods that may be missing in the average diet. The typical American diet is low in foods that promote a healthy digestive system. His diet philosophy is largely plant based, with one exception — lectins. He forbids lectins on his diet, claiming they are damaging your digestive system and are the real reason behind your weight gain. Lectins are found in wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and many other plant foods.
The research conducted on lectins is most certainly inconclusive. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Molecular Sciences indicates lectins may have antimicrobial and anti-tumor activity. Dr. Gundry also places importance on feeding the gut with pre- and probiotic foods. Overall, his diet plan encourages weight loss as a slow and patient process while eating a healthful, plant based diet.
8. Intermittent Fasting Diet
Fasting, or intermittent fasting, is getting a lot of buzz for promoting fast and healthful weight loss. A fasting diet restricts food for certain times throughout the day. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are four types of fasting methods. Time restricted fasting is eating within a certain window, typically 6 to 8 hours, and then not eating for the remaining hours of the day.
Alternate day fasting is switching between days of eating and days of fasting — or eating a small amount of calories, usually less than 500, on opposite days.
The 5:2 eating plan is 5 days of regular eating followed by 2 days of restricted eating, again, usually around 500 calories. The last type of fasting is periodic fasting, where there are several days throughout the month where calories are restricted.
There is some evidence to show that intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss, but the results are similar to general calorie restricted diet patterns, according to 2017 research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
9. FODMAP Diet
The low FODMAP diet was created by researchers at Monash University in Australia to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPS are foods, such as garlic, onions, dairy, apples, and artificial sweeteners that aren’t absorbed in the digestive tract of some individuals. Keeping FODMAP foods out of the diet are successful in alleviating IBS symptoms, such as abdominal pain and bloating, according to a 2017 study published in Nutrients. With proper diet instruction, following a low FODMAP diet is feasible and sustainable for short and long term IBS therapy.
10. Shepherd's Diet
The Shepherd’s Diet was created by a fitness instructor named Kristina Wilds. Her 7-step process is based off of her biblical principles and includes features like What Would Jesus Eat? Grocery Field Guide and “The Moses Secret” Fat Loss Protocol. Their website claims to aid in a healthy metabolism and strengthen the immune system using natural methods, to include fasting and stress reduction. There is no scientific backing or evidence to support the efficacy of this particular diet and the creator does not hold any formal medical training.
Always consult with your physician before starting on any specialized or regimented diet plan. When researching the diet that is best for you, always keep in mind the safety of the diet for your needs. Be cautious of diets that promise extraordinary results. If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications, your diet could significantly affect your health. Not all diets are created equal. Just because one diet works for someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean you will have the same results. Always remember, some diets trend in and out of favor, so be on the lookout for Google diet trends in the future!
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Ketogenic Diet
- Noom Website
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Comparison of low- and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomized trial
- Nutrition and Diabetes: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and long-term changes in weight and waist circumference in the EPIC-Italy cohort
- U.S. News and World Report: U.S. News Reveals Best Diet Rankings for 2018
- Optavia Website
- Journal of Molecular Sciences: Legume Lectins: Proteins with Diverse Applications
- Dr. Gundry Website
- National Institutes of Health: Calorie Restriction and Fasting Diets: What Do We Know?
- Journal of the American Medical Association:Effect of Alternate-Day Fasting on Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese Adults
- Nutrients: Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis
- Monash University: FODMAP Diet
- The Shepherd's Diet website
- LIVESTRONG: Keto Diet and Meal Plans
- LIVESTRONG: Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight
- LIVESTRONG: List of Foods and Points in Weight Watchers
- LIVESTRONG: Is Going All-Meat Right For You?
- LIVESTRONG: Mediterranean Diet Food List
- LIVESTRONG: How to Create Your Own Diet Similar to Medifast
- LIVESTRONG: About the Dr. Gundry Diet Evolution
- LIVESTRONG: 13 Do's and Don't of Intermittent Fasting
- LIVESTRONG: What Vegetables Can I Eat with IBS?
- LIVESTRONG: Bible Diet Plan
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe?
- Chicago AND: So, What is the Ketogenic Diet?