Every Type of Diet, Explained

In case you're thinking, "What even is gluten?"

MAREN CARUSO/OFFSET

Creating a healthy lifestyle is hard. It's even harder when you have no idea what anything means. We consulted a registered dietitian, a celebrity nutritionist, and an internist to help break down the trends.

Alkaline Diet

The goal of an alkaline diet is to reduce the acidity in the body—which will supposedly aid in treating or preventing diseases—by nixing foods that are on the acidic side, like meat, dairy, eggs, and grains.

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Blood Type Diet

This diet centers on the claim that certain foods have chemical reactions specific to your blood type and sticking to foods your blood type reacts positively to will help you shed pounds, give you an energy boost, and improve your overall health.

Clean Eating

There isn't an exact definition for clean eating, but it's basically all about opting for natural foods and avoiding foods that have seen the inside of a factory.

Gluten-Free

Say good-bye to foods with grains like wheat, barley, and rye—each contains a protein known as gluten. This diet is necessary if you're one of the 1 percent of Americans who suffer from celiac disease.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasters alternate between periods of eating and fasting to create metabolic changes to promote weight loss. Fasting periods range from a few hours to days of not eating or severely restricting calories.

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Low-Carb (See: Atkins, South Beach, Dukan, Zone)

It's exactly what it sounds like: These popular weight-loss plans eliminate or restrict foods high in carbs, like rice, pastas, and breads, and up your intake of fats and proteins.

Mediterranean Diet

Eat as they do in countries along the Mediterranean Sea: olive oil, seafood, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, even wine— not so much dairy, meat, and processed foods. Bonus: It's considered a balanced, heart-healthy diet.

Paleo

Known as the caveman diet, this eating plan sticks to basics like lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts (and cuts out the fun stuff: sugar, booze, potatoes, and dairy). The philosophy is that this is how humans are "meant" to eat.

A version of this article appears in the July issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands June 20.

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