What is the best diet? | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

What is the best diet?

Our weight management specialists break down the pros and cons of some popular diets to help you decide what is the best diet for you.

For those thinking of starting the new year by shedding some pounds to reach a healthier weight, our weight management specialists have broken down some pros and cons to help you decide what is the best diet for you.



  • Increased energy
  • Possible weight loss
  • Possible improved health from identifying foods that cause skin conditions, seasonal allergies or chronic pain
  • Controlled food cravings
  • Improved blood sugar
  • Improved digestion
  • New foods


  • Requires planning ahead (can be time-consuming)
  • Weight loss and improved health benefits likely temporary unless accompanied by a lifestyle change
  • Very restrictive
  • Cost of some foods
  • Requires tweaking your favorite recipes or finding new ones
  • Difficulty dining out

Recommended for

  • Weight loss
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Inflammatory issues
  • Issues regulating blood sugar
  • Issues with digestion

Keto diet


  • Rapid weight loss
  • Fat burn
  • Potential decrease in seizure activity for people with epilepsy
  • Stabilized blood sugar levels


  • “Keto flu,” or headache, fatigue, dizziness and nausea
  • Constipation
  • Can be difficult to maintain
  • Potential for increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular disease

Recommended for

  • People who want to lose weight and will be monitored by a doctor and registered dietitian

Intermittent fasting


  • Fat burn
  • Weight loss
  • Improved insulin resistance
  • Improved cholesterol

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  • Getting too hungry, making poor food choices or “giving in”
  • Overeating at mealtimes
  • Short-term weight loss
  • Muscle loss without adequate protein intake and resistance training
  • Digestion issues from eating larger portions
  • Negative change in mood or feeling “hangry”

Not recommended for

  • People with medical conditions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia
  • People who take medication for conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease
  • People with history of an eating disorder

Carb cycling


  • Possible weight loss
  • Possible improved athletic performance and reduced muscle breakdown
  • Possible improved function of weight- and appetite-regulating hormones
  • Possible fat burn
  • Possible improved insulin sensitivity


  • Lack of research
  • Requires tracking your performance and reduced foods to ensure the muscle breakdown correct amount of carbohydrates
  • Degree of difficulty; won’t work if not done correctly (You must follow very closely a specifically planned diet based on a variety of factors related to you and your goals.)

Recommended for

  • Athletes
  • Those wanting to increase muscle
  • Those with specific health goals, since the diet is tailored to the individual

Weight Management
Weight Management

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