People living in different parts of the world consume different diets. People living in the same country too may be eating completely different kinds of food. The diets that people of a particular region follow depend on a number of factors such as the prevalent weather conditions in that area, the soil of that area which grows a particular kind of food and the culture and traditions of the people in the community. So, to predict and say that the diet of a specific country is the healthiest and should be followed by everybody else will be impractical. A diet which works in hot weather might spell disaster in a cold country. So how do we arrive at the most effective diet plan? A simple way to do that is to identify the food groups which should be included in the diet, along with some lifestyle changes that should be incorporated too. Here are some of the necessary components of a diet, which are a must for it to be considered healthy, balanced and effective.

Dairy Food
Follow a diet which contains low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Dairy products provide the body with calcium, necessary nutrients, proteins, potassium, vitamins A and D, and phosphorus. Dairy products help in building strong teeth and bones. They reduce hypertension and risk of cancer to a great extent and play a very important part in weight management. In fact, the most effective diet for women will be incomplete without calcium, especially after they attain the age of thirty, as it reduces the risk of osteoporosis in them. Younger women can also benefit a lot from calcium rich diet as research has shown that it minimizes the symptoms of PMS to a great extent.

Proteins
Protein is a very essential part of a healthy diet as it aids in building and repairing tissues in the body. Every cell in the body, even our hair and nails, are made up of mostly proteins. The body needs proteins to make hormones, enzymes, bones, muscles, skin, cartilage and blood. A diet rich in proteins helps in weight loss too, so include lots of proteins in the diet. Researches have shown that consuming a high protein diet, keeps hunger at bay for a very long time, leading to lesser calorie consumption and hence, weight loss. Some of the healthy protein rich foods are fish, beans, nuts, poultry minus the skin and whole grains.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy for the body. Besides this, they provide the body with the necessary vitamins and fibers. Fibers help in better digestion, while vitamins protect the body from a number of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, by boosting the immune system. Some of the carbohydrate rich foods which should be included in the diet are fruits such as apricot, blueberry, dates, banana, grapes, fig, orange, pear, apple, pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, and raisins. Vegetables rich in carbohydrates are beans, potato, carrot and corn. Processed foods, such as pasta, bread, pastries and cakes, although very rich in carbohydrates, should be avoided as they are unhealthy and can cause weight gain.

As mentioned above, the most effective diets for weight loss or even otherwise are those which have a balance of proteins, calcium and carbohydrates in them. Many people these days are opting for over the counter diet pills such as Alli and bitter orange, which are marketed as the best way to lose weight or to supplement their diets. However, safety of these pills cannot be ensured as these pills are not subjected to the same rigorous standards as the prescription drugs. So, to be healthy, one should not rely on these pills, instead one should undertake a balanced diet, besides making certain lifestyle changes such as eating five small meals a day, refraining from junk food, sodas and refined food, having dinner early, drinking 1-2 liters of water everyday, avoiding late night snacking and exercising regularly.

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