Key Points: The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended for people with high blood pressure, but has also proved to be effective for weight loss. It focuses on reducing sodium intake and heavily emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. It’s kind of your typical, basic “healthy diet.”
Good for: people with high blood pressure, diabetics, people looking to shed pounds.
Cons: can be difficult to keep sodium levels under control, must track servings from each food group.
What to Buy: fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, grains, and low fat dairy.
Gluten Free Diet
Key Points: A diet that restricts gluten intake including barley, wheat, and rye. It’s risen in prominence among people who don’t necessarily need to adopt a gluten free diet, and studies show it may not offer any health benefits for those who don’t have Celiac’s or are not gluten sensitive/intolerant.
Good for: Individuals with Celiac disease or those who have a sensitivity to gluten.
Cons: Potential to be a lack of fiber; gluten free products are often higher in fat and sugar to make up for the loss in wheat which can lead to weight gain. There can also be a reduced carb intake if you’re not getting carbs from other sources.
What to Buy: Fruits and vegetables, lean meats, gluten-free products (where appropriate), lentils, non-wheat grains like quinoa and flax.
Low GI Diet
Key Points: GI stands for Glycemic Index and was designed to help those with diabetes control blood sugar levels. It focuses on carbs and puts a number from 1-100 based on foods’ glucose level. High GI foods are things like white rice and bread, potatoes, sodas, and pretzels, while low GI foods include such things as oatmeal, peanuts, beans, and some veggies.
Good for: diabetics.
Cons: foods that have a low GI index are not necessarily healthy and vice versa (example: cake vs parsnips);
What to Buy: Apples, citrus, beans, fish, lean meat, whole wheat breads, brown or basmati rice
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