6 Common Characteristics of Healthy Diets
Keto Diet

6 Common Characteristics of Healthy Diets

Unlike junk diets, most truly healthy diets have stood the test of time. Healthy and popular diets, including the Mediterranean diet, low-carb diets, primal diets, and all-meat, plant-based diets, all have several things in common.

1. Less Sugar

Added sugar is one of the most unhealthy foods in the modern diet. Only a very small percentage of people in real life do not like sugar, most others are addicted to sweets.

Added sugar provides only empty calories and almost no essential nutrients. Eating too much increases the burden on the liver, and the sugar that cannot be consumed is converted to fat and stored in the liver. Excessive sugar intake is thought to be a major contributor to NAFLD.

Many other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease are also associated with excessive sugar intake. Therefore, most healthy diets are focused on reducing sugar.

2. Eliminate Refined Carbohydrates

Grains get rid of most of the fiber and other nutrients in them during processing, leaving only a large amount of carbohydrates, another component that nutrition experts consider unhealthy.

Like added sugar, most of what refined carbohydrates can provide is empty calories, which are high in calories but low in nutrients. Fiber-free starches, including refined rice and pasta, cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, which drops quickly again before long, so you’re hungry again and still look around for something to eat, even after you’ve just eaten.

Unstable blood sugar can eventually cause insulin resistance, causing various health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and more. All healthy diets emphasize limiting refined carbohydrate intake, and ketogenic/low carb diets, primal diets, etc. are even stricter or can be replaced with healthy carbohydrates (such as those found in vegetables).

Healthy Diets Rich in Omega-6 Fats

3. Avoid Vegetable Oils Rich in Omega-6 Fats

Although vegetable oils have been around for thousands of years, mass production of refined oils did not begin until the early 20th century. The main ingredient in vegetable oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, and peanut oil is linoleic acid – omega-6 fatty acids.

Recent studies suggest that excessive linoleic acid intake may lead to easier oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and cause endothelial dysfunction. These are two key steps in the development of heart disease.

Most scientists agree that the intake of omega-6 has increased significantly over the past century. If you follow a healthy diet, you will find that they mostly choose more beneficial fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.

4. Eliminate Artificial Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids, which are hydrogenated vegetable oils produced through a hydrogenation process. These oils are not only heat resistant, easy to store for a long time, and not easy to spoil, but also improve the taste of food, making it crispier or smoother.

Numerous studies have shown that trans fats can increase the likelihood of inflammation and heart disease, and many countries, including the United States, have begun to restrict or ban the use of trans fats in food.

The main foods most likely to contain artificial trans fats are:

  • Pastries: Bread, cakes, puffs, tarts, cookies, cookies, etc.
  • Fried Foods: French fries, burgers, fried chicken, fried potato chips, popcorn, and other puffed foods
  • Candy Drinks: Chocolate, ice cream, milk tea, etc.
  • Sauces: Salad dressing, peanut butter, jam.

In addition, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fat, it is marked as 0 grams, so when you see Trans Fats of 0 on a certain food label, it does not necessarily mean that it does not contain trans fat. A point that is commonly emphasized in all healthy diets around the world is to eat less of these foods mentioned above.

5. Vegetables and Foods with High Fiber Content

All healthy diets include vegetables and high-fiber foods. Even the very low-carb ketogenic diet and the primal diet, which eliminates grains, place great emphasis on vegetable intake. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients that help with weight loss. Their richness in healthy prebiotic fiber promotes intestinal health.

6. Focus on the Food Itself, Not the Calories

Another common denominator of healthy diets is that they focus on the nutrients in the food, rather than on calorie restriction. While calories are essential for weight management, in the long run, just restricting calories without considering the food itself that you eat has little to no effect on weight loss and improving overall health.

So, the first thing to be clear about is what to eat, and then consider how much to eat.


Most of the healthy diets in the world that have helped people successfully lose weight, or reverse certain diseases, do so because they all have something in common. They are more focused on eating natural and healthy foods and staying away from processed and refined foods. By understanding these points, you too can have long-lasting health and vitality.