Healthnotes Index:

Which Diet Is Right for Me?

Which Diet Is Right for Me?: Main Image

Finding the diet that fits you best can make all the difference to your health and weight control goals. To work on your weight, first try asking yourself: What kinds of foods are the hardest for me to give up? What’s my optimal, healthiest weight? Diets aren’t just about losing weight, however. Changing what you eat can also support the treatment of many types of health conditions.

While advocates say that the following diets may help control or prevent certain conditions, these claims may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles. For more complete information, go to the full article on the health concern or diet that interests you. You should always consult your doctor before changing your treatment (including diet) for any health concern.

Whatever your goals, if you aren’t sure which diets best fits your self-care needs, this list can be a place to start.

Diets by feature



Unrestricted calories from protein and fat


Blood Type

Food recommendations depend on blood type

RestrictsSpecific foods  

Dean Ornish

Designed for heart-disease prevention and reversal and weight loss

RestrictsFatsEmphasizesFiber EmphasizesVegetarianRecommendsExercise RecommendsRelaxation RecommendsNonsmoking


Suitable for short-term only

RestrictsAll foods  

Glycemic Index

Supports management of blood sugar disorders



Reduces risk of chronic diseases

 EmphasizesFiber EmphasizesVegetarian 


Includes Atkins, South Beach, and others



Includes Dean Ornish and Pritikin diets



Designed for heart disease prevention

RestrictsFatsEmphasizesFiber EmphasizesVegetarian RecommendsExercise

The Zone

Designed for athletic performance and overall health



For relief of symptoms caused by food allergies

RestrictsSpecific foods  

South Beach

Emphasizes healthy fats and healthy carbs

RestrictsCarbs RestrictsFats EmphasizesFiber 

Weight Watchers

Balanced diet plan with weekly group support meetings

RestrictsCalories RestrictsFats EmphasizesFiberRecommendsExercise

Diet and health

Advocates claim that their diets may help or control the following common health concerns. Before trying a new diet be sure to read the full diet and health conditions articles—and remember to check with your doctor before trying new eating habits.


Rheumatoid arthritis

Cancer prevention

Colon disorders


Diabetes type 2

Diverticular disease

Duodenal ulcers

Certain gastrointestinal disorders (constipation, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, duodenal ulcer, gallstones, indigestion, irritable bowel)

Heart disease

High blood pressure

High cholesterol


Insulin resistance


Certain respiratory disorders (asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, sinus congestion)

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Information expires June 2016.

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The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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