The Ten Ultimate Human Diets For Health, Longevity & Anti-Aging

We have compiled a list of the 10 best diets for human health.

And we don't mean only for the sake of a temporary solution to weight loss. We've compiled this list so you can find a permanent healthy eating plan not only to attain a healthy weight but to also gain better health, peace of mind, happiness and longevity. Read on to find the best diets to achieve that (in no particular order)

The Low Glycemic Diet

The Glycemic Index (GI) was originally devised to help diabetics. The index is a ranking of carbohydrate foods which measures the rate at which the blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels rise when a particular food is eaten. A high glycemic diet causes those ups and downs in energy that so many of us go through each day in which we have another sugar filled cup of coffee or can of soda and keep the cycle going. A low glycemic diet is about regulating your blood sugar which makes it a diet that is very good for diabetics as well as everyone else. 

Pure glucose has a rating of 100 – so the nearer a food is to 100, the higher it’s GI rating is. This indicates how quickly the food is converted to blood sugar, and, how quickly the blood sugar levels will drop. Foods with a low GI rating will be absorbed more slowly, helping to keep blood sugar levels constant.

A low glycemic diet can help to lower
blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of some forms of heart disease and can aid in weight loss. Carbohydrates that do not raise a person's blood glucose levels too much, too fast are considered the more desirable foods to eat on a low glycemic diet. Desirable components of a low glycemic diet include whole grains, vegetables (minus the potatoes), fruits and beans. The eating of fruits is preferred over the drinking of juices.
What is the glycemic load?

Research: Over the past 20 years 120 published research studies have been conducted on the value of a low GI-diet. Several lines of recent scientific evidence have shown that individuals who followed a low-GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease than others.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Age-related Adult Macular Degeneration (AMD), which leads to blindness, is higher in 42 percent in those with a high-GI diet and concluded that eating a lower-GI diet would eliminate 20 percent of AMD cases. The glycemic index is supported by leading international health organisations including the American Diabetes Association. %placeToCut
Foods Eaten:
Low glycemic foods
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Potatoes, refined/processed foods, white rice, raisins, dates, cooked carrots, ripe bananas, sugar.

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The Vegetarian Diet

In general, the term "vegetarian" is used to describe any diet that emphasizes the consumption of plant foods, avoids the consumption of animal flesh, and discourages the consumption of other animal products. In its most restrictive form, a vegetarian diet excludes all animal foods, including animal flesh, dairy products and eggs.

Vegetarians cite personal health, spiritual and religious beliefs, concern about animal welfare, and distress over the economic and environmental consequences of a meat-based diet as reasons for adopting a plant-based diet.

A significant body of population-based research documents the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. For example, a paper published in 1999 summarized the results of a study associating diet with chronic disease in a group of nearly 35,000 Seventh day Adventists living in California. The members of the group who followed a vegetarian diet (defined as eating no red meat, poultry, or fish) had lower incidences of many diseases, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ischemic heart disease than the nonvegetarians. Also in 1999, Key, et al., analyzed the combined results from five studies involving a total of more than 76,000 people that compared the incidence of disease among vegetarians (defined as eating no red meat, poultry or fish) to that of nonvegetarians with similar lifestyles. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was 24% lower in vegetarians than nonvegetarians.
Foods Eaten: Usally grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced:
Meat, fish, poultry (eggs and dairy if you are strict vegetarian)
Staples: It varies with each vegetarian person, but it seems soy products make up a large portion of many vegetarian diets.

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The Macrobiotic Diet

The macrobiotic philosophy and diet were developed by George Ohsawa, a Japanese philosopher who sought to integrate Zen Buddhism, Asian medicine, Christian teachings, and some aspects of Western medicine. Ohsawa believed simplicity in diet was the key to good health and that a diet based on simplicity and abstention from certain foods could cure cancer and other serious illnesses. A macrobiotic diet combines elements of Buddhism with dietary principles based on simplicity and avoidance of "toxins" that come from eating dairy products, meats, and oily foods. Older versions of the macrobiotic diet were quite restrictive. One variation allowed only the consumption of whole grains. Current proponents of the diet advocate flexibility but still discourage dairy products, meats, and refined sugars.

The standard macrobiotic diet of today consists of 50 to 60 percent organically grown whole grains, 20% to 25% locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables, and 5% to 10% soups made with vegetables, seaweed, grains, beans, and miso (a fermented soy product). Other elements may include occasional helpings of fresh white fish, nuts, seeds, pickles, Asian condiments, and non-stimulating and non-aromatic teas. Early versions of the diet excluded all animal products. Proponents still discourage dairy products, eggs, coffee, sugar, stimulant and aromatic herbs, red meat, poultry, and processed foods. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, spinach, beets, zucchini, and avocados, are discouraged. The diet also advises against eating fruit that does not grow locally (for example, in most of the United States and Europe, bananas, pineapples, and other tropical fruits).

Some proponents of the macrobiotic diet claim that it can prevent and cure disease, including cancer, and that it can enhance spiritual and physical well-being. An important goal of a macrobiotic diet is to balance the yin and yang- the two elementary and complementary energy forms that, according to ancient Asian spiritual traditions, are present within all people, foods, and objects. These two forces must be balanced in order to achieve health and vitality. A macrobiotic diet is considered to be a way of life not just a diet.

A study at the Tulane School of Public Health conducted by James P. Carter and others reported significant improvement in cancer patient longevity (177 months compared to 91 months) when patients practiced the macrobiotic diet.
Foods Eaten: Locally grown organic foods. Whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, dairy, eggs, meat, avocados, spinach, sugar, beets, sweet potatoes, processed foods, tropical fruits.
Staples: Grains, leafy greens, soups, miso, pickles, soy. 

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The Allergy Avoidance Diet

Undiagnosed food allergies are believed to cause many common health complaints and diseases and it is theorized that the reasons diets such as the raw food diet, paleo, vegetarian etc. work is because many of them cut out allergens. The only way to identify your food sensitivities is by undergoing an allergy avoidance diet. People following this diet consume a long list of hypoallergenic foods such as lamb, pears, apples, rice, most vegetables, most beans and legumes (except peanuts) and the non-gluten grains. Once the body has gotten used to the absence of the suspected food allergen, that type of food is gradually introduced back into the person's diet. The symptoms resulting from the test will determine which foods should be avoided.

Food allergies and food intolerances are a major source of undesirable symptoms that negatively impact the quality of life of many people causing ailments such as acne and arthritis and many more. Many healthcare practitioners believe that the only definitive way to identify and manage adverse food reactions is through the use of an elimination diet.

Research: A growing body of scientific literature points to hidden food allergies and food intolerances as a cause of many medical conditions including migraine headache, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and recurrent otitis media. Common health complaints such as fatigue and eczema are also attributed to adverse food reactions.
The elimination diet is very individualized but here is a general idea:
Foods Eaten: Foods that are non-allergic for most are pears, apples, rice, most vegetables, beans, non gluten grains like rice.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Wheat, gluten grains, dairy, eggs, nightshade vegetables, high oxalate foods, high salicylate foods, peanuts, almonds, corn, soy, food additives, sugar, yeast. 

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The Okinawan Diet

The Okinawa Diet is based on the eating patterns of a group of elderly inhabitants of Okinawa, which is a collection of over a hundred islands off the coast of Japan. These people are reported to have some of the world’s longest life spans and best health. Studies show that Okinawans who eat a traditional diet do not gain weight as they age and in addition their rates of heart disease are 80% less and of cancer are 50% less than Americans.

One of the major principles of the Okinawan approach to eating is to only eat until 80% full. If after 10-20 minutes you are still feeling hungry it is acceptable to eat more of the recommended foods if desired.

The Okinawa Diet promises dieters that they will become leaner, live longer and never feel hungry by following the ten dietary principles of the Okinawan people. It may even help to reduce wrinkles due to the high antioxidant content of the diet.

Foods Eaten:
Grains, beans, fruit, vegetables, sea vegetables, seafoods, nuts, seeds, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Meat, poultry, eggs, sugar.
Staples: Miso soup, sweet potatoes, soy, green tea, gobo, hihatsu, sea vegetables.

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The Ornish Diet

The Ornish diet is a low fat vegetarian way of eating with less than 10% of daily calories from fat (an average of 15 to 25g of fat per day), 70-75% from carbohydrates and 15-20% from protein. This diet encourages consumption of beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits intake of processed foods, high-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, simple sugars and alcohol.

Dr. Dean Ornish, a physician who has directed clinical research for the past 25 years, created this diet as a lifestyle modification to reverse existing heart disease by emphasizing foods that are very low in fat yet filling, such as high-fiber grains and legumes. In addition to the proposed heart healthy effects of the Ornish diet, patients may also lose weight. Based on Ornish's research, patients lost an average of 25 pounds over the course of a year.

Research: Several studies have compared various diets and their effects on cholesterol levels, heart disease and weight loss. Based on available research, the Ornish diet appears to be more successful in lowering the risk of heart disease than other diets, but has also been noted as one of the most difficult diets to follow because of the required lifestyle changes.
Foods Eaten: Beans, legumes, fruits, grains, vegetables, and nonfat dairy products.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Meats, fish, oils and oil containing products such as mayo, avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, high fat and low fat dairy, sugar, and alcohol.
Staples: Oatmeal, vegetable soups, grain and bean dishes.

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The Raw Food Diet

A raw foods diet consists of 75% unprocessed raw foods that have not been heated above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). "Raw foodists" believe that just as every other creature eats their food raw, we should too. They believe that cooked foods have lost their enzymes and thus a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body, whereas uncooked foods provide living enzymes and proper nutrition. Proponents of a raw food diet claim that there are many benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion and improved overall health. A few include raw animal products in their diet, but most follow a raw vegan diet. The raw diet has seen an increase in popularity in recent years with raw food restaurants opening in several major cities.

Research: According to one medical trial, "long-term consumption of a 70% raw-plant-food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides but also with elevated plasma homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol" as well as vitamin B12 deficiency. Another study from Germany found that a "long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations". A study mentioned benefits of a raw vegan diet for lowering obesity and hypertension. A study has also shown reduced fibromyalgia symptoms for those on a raw vegan diet as well as reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to another study. German research in 2003 showed significant benefits in reducing breast cancer risk when large amounts of raw vegetable matter are included in the diet. The authors attribute some of this effect to heat-labile phytonutrients. Research has shown that food loses it's nutrient when cooked and that cooking can create cancinogens.
Foods Eaten: Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted beans, sprouted grains, sea vegetables, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Cooked meat, dairy, fish, most grains and beans, potatoes, peanuts.
Staples: Avocados, coconuts, sprouts, leafy greens, raw juices and green smoothies.

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The Calorie Restriction Diet

A calorie-restriction diet for anti-aging involves eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your normal weight — while still getting enough vitamins and other nutrients. Generally, a calorie-restriction diet may call for 20 to 30 percent fewer calories than usual.

Interest in the calorie-restriction diet as an anti-aging tool has grown as researchers have learned that restricting calories can extend the lives of animals. However, the possible role of a calorie-restriction diet for slowing the aging process in humans is still under investigation.

Proponents of the calorie-restriction diet claim that restricting calories slows the aging process, reduces the risk of various chronic diseases and leads to a longer life. If you're overweight, a calorie-restriction diet may also help you achieve a healthy weight.

Research: Rodents that reduced their calorie consumption by 30 to 60 percent before age 6 months increased their maximum life spans by 30 to 60 percent. Rodents that reduced their calorie intake by 44 percent as adults — age 1 — increased their maximum life spans by 10 to 20 percent. Rodents that followed a calorie-restriction diet developed fewer chronic diseases associated with aging — such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer — or delayed the development of these diseases. Some researchers say that a calorie-restriction diet triggers a survival mechanism in animals with short life spans, such as rodents, that allows them to outlive food shortages. However, it's unclear whether people may benefit from a calorie-restriction diet the same way.
Foods Eaten: Any foods are allowed as long as calories are reduced. Many plant foods are low in calories.

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The Hunza Diet

The Hunza is a low-fat option that has grownin popularity. The meal plan is based on the diet of the Hunza people in the Middle Eastern Kasmir Valley. The Hunza people are known for their unusual longevity. Most members of the group supposedly live up to 120 to 140 years of age. When death comes, it is typically attributed to old age rather than the diseases that claim so many lives in the Western world. It is widely believed that this extreme longevity is due to the Hunza diet.

Unprocessed whole foods make up the backbone of the Hunza diet. Forty percent of total calories consumed come from whole grain foods, such as wheat, millet flour, buckwheat, or ground barley. Fresh vegetables make up an additional 30 percent of the diet. Mulberries, apricots, grapes, and other fresh fruits account for 15 percent of total calories in the diet.

Most of the rest of the diet includes beans and nuts or seeds. Protein rich beans take up to ten percent of the diet, while nuts and seeds fill the remaining four to five percent. Of all of these foods eaten, most are consumed raw. Processing, if any, typically involves drying fruits in the sun.

Very few to no animal products make up the remaining one percent of the traditional Hunza diet. This translates to a very low concentration
of saturated fat by the Hunza people, preventing diseases such as gout, osteoporosis, kidney disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, kidney stones, colon diseases, and heart disease. Most of these conditions are considered the cause of death for many people in the West.

Research: In the
1920s, British researcher Sir Robert McCarrison conducted one of the most eye-opening experiments relative to the correlation between diet and health. Dr. McCarrison spent many years in the Himalayan Mountains including the picturesque Hunza Valley. He found that not only are the Hunza people immune to serious diseases they are also spared the discomfort of commonplace conditions such as the cold or the flu.
Foods Eaten: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, goat milk, beans, nuts, seeds, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Meat, processed foods, sugar.
Staples: Apricots and their kernels, chapatti (bread made from grains), goat milk, sprouts

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The Paleo Diet

Paleo is a great diet for people who don't have the desire to give up meat but want to eat healthier (although I've heard you can do the Paleo a vegetarian way too). Paleo is the abbreviated form of Paleolithic. The Paleo Diet refers to foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic era. This was the time from about 2.5 million years ago up to 10,000 BC. More commonly known this is the time of the caveman. During this time early human was a hunter and gatherer. Early man did not plant crops and survived on the wild plants, fish and animals. Eating only the basic foods available these early humans did not have access to dairy products, sugars, salts, grains or processed oils. The belief is by eating only fruits and vegetables that grew naturally in their area with a mix of meat and fish from their hunting, these early humans maintained a higher level of health, energy and live a longer healthy life. This is the origin of Paleo Diet, also known as Caveman Diet.
Research:See here for research on the paleo diet.
Foods Usually Eaten: Organic grass fed meat, fish, eggs, insects, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, plant foods.
Foods Eliminated/Reduced: Grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, salt, processed oils, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, processed foods, cashews. 

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Notice the common theme with all these eating plans are that they are free of processed foods, and simply contain foods very close to nature. This is key.


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