Here’s a table of some of the many approaches to food that have worked for different people. Some may work best when used for a short-term “reset.” Others can serve as long-term eating styles. Depending on execution, several can promote personal, community, and environmental health. Consider trying different ones, borrowing or using combinations, and finding good coaching or other support.

ApproachStaple Food ExamplesAvoided Food ExamplesPotential Challenges
The Healthy Platter/Tyson Weems styleVeggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole rolled oats, organic PB, extra virgin olive oil, turkey and eggs from trustworthy farmersRefined carbs, refined and cooked oils, most processed foods, low-cal fat and sugar substitutesAccessing quality food at restaurants, learning food prep skills, substituting for nuts (if allergic), social eating
By Blood TypeType O meat, poultry, fish; type A mainly vegetarian; type B low-fat dairy, meat, produce; type AB fish, dairy, produceType O most grains; type A meat; type B wheat, corn; type AB chicken, beef, porkSocial eating, family eating, preparing food for people with different blood types
Dietary Guidelines for AmericansWhole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meatAdded sugars, foods high in cholesterol, trans-fat, saturated fat, or saltEthical food production, selecting from a vast number of food options
Low Carb (e.g., Atkins)Meat, cream, butter, olive oilGrains, potatoes, rice, significant amounts of fruits, pastries, sugary dessertsEthical food production, lack of food variety, social eating, getting enough fiber or calories (athletes)
Low Fat (Pritikin, Ornisch)Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meat (Pritikin)Fried foods, butter, oil, fatty meat, whole milk, nuts and seedsFeeling full, social eating, getting enough vit D & omega-3 fats, processing lots of carbs (athletes)
MacrobioticVegetables, brown rice, beans, fermented soyMeat, poultry, porkGetting sufficient nutrients (certain strict approaches), social eating
MediterraneanVegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, olive oil, grains (in moderation)Processed foods, animal fat (other than from fish)Access to 3D Healthy fish (not contaminated with mercury or farmed in dirty ways)
PaleoMeat, fish, tree nuts, berriesGrains, beans, most processed foods, milk, peanutsAccess to meat similar in quality to that found in the past, social eating
Periodic FastingVaries, but commonly vegetarian or veganProcessed foods, all foods during water-only fasts, all but juice during juice fastsHunger and maintaining muscle mass and electrolyte balance during fasts, developing a binge & purge mentality
South BeachNon-starchy vegetables, meat, most fruits, low-fat dairyFruits like bananas & raisins, grains like white rice & refined wheat, sugary dessertsReducing carb intake during 1st 2 weeks, obtaining adequate calories without more fat (athletes)
Stronger U (macro counting)Lean protein sources, simple home-prepared foodsSignificant portions of high-fat foodsCounting combination or restaurant foods, planning consistency
VeganVegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, seedsAnything containing animal products or biproducts (including honey)Getting enough protein/vit B12/vit D, avoiding GM soy used for most soy milk & meat substitutes, social eating
VegetarianVegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, seedsBeef; pork; poultry; fish, dairy, eggs (depending on strictness)Getting enough protein, avoiding GM soy used for most soy milk and meat substitutes, taste, texture
The ZoneAny (in most cases, mainly whole, nutrient-dense foods)None (small servings of nearly any food are technically allowed)Time/energy to initially weigh foods & track servings (blocks), eating every 3-4 hours