What diet would you recommend for a 43 year old woman?
This has to greatly upset those who bought into this trend! I, to be honest, have a difficult time maintaining any specific eating plan. It's just really hard for me. So, I try to make a good choice, meal by meal. I've spent some time getting to know some DASH diet recipes though as the American Heart Association recommends that one.
The paleo diet isn't one diet, it's several and it's all marketing. The name is derived from the false statement that early peoples ate tons of animal protein. That's only been true in places where there isn't much plant food to eat, such as in very cold climates. Anywhere plant food was available people ate mostly plant food, as it's a whole lot easier to get than to catch an animal with primitive gear. I'm no vegetarian, but these diets are just excuses, I think, for people to eat a lot of meat, something few humans did until modern cattle ranching. Definitely not paleo. There is also no real such thing as "the" Mediterranean Diet, it's actually also a lot of different diets practiced by people who live all over the world. While Greece is one of the places studied, so are communities in Scandinavia, India, California, Russia, etc. These are communities that were found to have people who lived long healthy lives relative to other ways of eating and where obesity was not common. They ate a lot of things people are warned against these days by fad diets, such as grains and bread. What they didn't eat much of was animal food other than fish and didn't stuff themselves. A great experiment going on right now is China, which for centuries had a very healthy diet for most people (the rich have always eaten unhealthfully). As China has gotten wealthier recently, they have taken to eating a lot more meat, and that has led to obesity and health problems they didn't have before. I was raised in the Fifties and Sixties, and if there wasn't a large portion of animal food on the table it wasn't a meal. But we also ate a lot of other things as well and when I look back at photos of that era all the young people were quite thin. As people aged, they got heavier, especially the women. That's when the phony foods came in. The basic advice has pretty much always been the same -- eat real food, stay away as much as possible from chemical additives, but eat a balanced diet, which is your basic Mediterranean diet.