People on the Paleo, Zone, or Low GI Diet should avoid foods that are high in carbs, sodium, and salt. Many foods are high in trans and saturated fats, including cake mixes, shortening, waffles, and pancakes. Saturated fats are found in products such as sour cream, palm oil, lard, and bacon. Dieters should limit the consumption of saturated fat because it increases the risk for cardiovascular problems. The consumption of products that contain trans fats is associated with health risks such as heart disease and liver dysfunction. Other health risks associated with trans fats include infertility in women, cancer, and liver problems.Low-carb diets emphasize eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and protein-rich foods. People who follow a low-carb plan can have lean meat, fish and shellfish, eggs, and vegetables. Low-carb diets also emphasize eating plenty of vegetables and fruit, including peppers, mushrooms, and lettuce. You can have foods that are low in sodium and rich in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. You can include tofu, cheese, and nuts and seeds in your menu. Avoid products that contain refined sugar, including salad dressings and sweets.

Foods that contain refined or simple carbohydrates are unhealthy because they cause heart disease. People who consume foods with refined carbohydrates are at a higher risk for diabetes and obesity. Products such as milk-based desserts, cookies, and soft drinks contain bad carbohydrates. Eating foods that contain refined carbohydrates causes obesity and heart problems. Irritability, weight gain, and fatigue are common. Complex or unrefined carbohydrates are considered healthy because they contain fiber and help control blood sugar levels. Complex carbs are found in whole grain breads, cereals, and vegetables such as lentils, zucchini, and beans. Foods such as barley, millet, and bran cereal are also high in good carbs. Complex carbs offer a number of health benefits, including weight control, lower triglycerides and fasting cholesterol levels, and improved blood sugar and insulin levels.

The foods to include in your menu depend on whether you follow the Paleolithic, South Beach, or Sugar Busters Diet. People who follow the Atkins Diet should avoid foods such as pastries, cakes, and breads during the first phase. Dieters should avoid starchy vegetables such as corn, beet, and potatoes. Unlike them, fibrous, non-starchy vegetables offer more health benefits such as improved blood triglycerides, lower risk for type 2 diabetes, and protection against ischemic stroke and heart disease. Dieters can choose from different non-starchy vegetables, including calciferous, stems, and vegetable fruits. Vegetable fruits are low in starch and include eggplant, tomato, and avocado. Try to eat yellow, red, orange, blue, and green vegetables because they contain less starch. Leafy greens are tasty, nutritious, and low in calories and starch.