What is it? The paleo, paleolithic or caveman diet is based on the idea of going back to our ancestral roots and eating largely unprocessed foods such as vegetables, meat, nuts and berries.
What do the dieters need? A menu that’s largely free from dairy, grains, refined sugar and anything that’s seen the inside of a factory for too long. Although you’re waving goodbye to a large amount of food groups, fresh cuts of the best meat and fish will still add a wow-factor to a main menu, while steak and tuna tartar served on crunchy sliders of courgette will provide a fresh canapé option.
Dessert proves trickier – but a bit of imagination can turn the humble fruit salad into a colourful spectacle.
What is it? The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. A relatively new approach, the diet has been well-received by health bodies as it solidifies what we already know about eating well: too much salt, sugar and fat is bad, while fruit, vegetables and lean meat and fish are good.
What do the dieters need? Nothing too groundbreaking. Go easy on the carb-heavy sides, and if your menu absolutely has to include mashed potato or a sophisticated sauce, try to go as low-fat on the milk, butter and cheese as possible. For something extra, experiment with natural sweet options, such as cacao, vanilla and coconut.
What is it? The old Atkins with a makeover. It promises to turn bodies into ‘fat burning machines’ by advising a diet that is low-carbohydrate and high-protein.
What do the dieters need? A less-stringent version of what paleo-doers require – meat or fish-filled dishes are staples, although some healthier carbs can creep in: the diet becomes less strict as the weeks progress.
Try to stay away from anything Italian inspired and instead take a leaf from the Mexican kitchen. Beans, brown rice and small corn tortillas will be a welcome relief to anyone craving pasta and risotto.
What is it? A plan to that attempts to prevent acid forming in the body – widely known as a ‘cleanse’.
What do the dieters need? The opposite of acid: alkaline foods. These include barley, soya bean, lime, garlic, mango and avocado, which is perfect for catering to breakfast and brunch meetings. The first stage of the diet advocates foods in liquid form, so try to include some juices, soups and gazpacho into your menu.
Skip dessert and instead offer up some really interesting herbal tea options. And as with pretty much every diet, alcohol is off the cards – so get adventurous with smoothies and low-sugar mocktails.
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