A great part of being in college is that it opens you up to tons of new perspectives. This can be true about a lot of different things, but particularly about food. You may meet people with certain family traditions surrounding food, different cultural foods, and simply different preferences. It can be really cool to experience the different ways that people enjoy food. For example, I live with four roommates, and every single one of us follows different dietary patterns! Today, we will do a quick overview of some common diets that people choose to follow, and talk about why the most important thing is to choose the foods that you love, and the foods that work best for you!
There are a lot of different diets, differing in the kinds of foods people choose to eat or exclude, and for what reasons. Many choose to exclude certain food groups due to ethical or environmental reasons, such as not wanting to harm animals or being wary of their carbon footprint. Others avoid certain food groups for health conditions or allergies, such as being allergic to dairy or unable to process gluten. Whatever the reason, everyone eats differently, and it is important to recognize and respect everyone’s individual preferences. And, when it comes to choosing your own diet, remember that you know what’s best for your own body. Here are some examples of dietary preferences that you can explore:
Vegan – Eating no food or other products derived from animals, and sometimes not using products derived from animals. This typically includes meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Some vegans also avoid animal-derived products like honey.
Vegetarian – Eating no meat or fish in the diet. Vegetarians often still consume dairy and egg products, but there is variation amongst different people.
Pescatarian – Eating no meat, but still including fish/seafood and other animal products.
Gluten Free – Avoiding foods containing gluten, such as cereal grains (wheat, barley, rye, etc), breads, or baked goods. Many people adopt a gluten free diet due to the condition called celiac disease that keeps them from digesting gluten properly.
Dairy Free – Not consuming dairy products, typically due to lactose intolerance, a condition that keeps people from digesting lactose.
Keto – The ketogenic diet, also called “keto” is a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates (sugars) that causes the body to break down fat into molecules called ketones.
Paleo – A diet consisting of foods thought by its proponents to mirror those eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era.