Choosing a Diet Type that Works for You

Choosing the correct diet type helps ensure that you get only the types of recipes that work for you; but which diet type is the best one for your needs?  Paleo?  Classic?  GAPS?  It can be a difficult decision if you are not familiar with all the terms. We have compiled this handy guide to help you decide which diet type is the best fit for you and your family. 

When you are ready to select or change your diet type, head to Settings > My Meal Plan and select your preferred diet type from the dropdown there. 

Common abbreviations

You will see the following abbreviations for diet types in our recipe titles:

  • DF = Dairy-free
  • GF = Gluten-free
  • AIP = Autoimmune Protocol (Autoimmune Paleo)
  • V = Vegetarian
  • GAPS = Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (a special diet for improving gut health)
  • Keto = Ketogenic diet/Low Carb-High Fat 

Diet Types Available in Real Plans

  • Classic: If you have no need to exclude entire food groups and just want to eat healthy whole foods the way Grandma used to make them, this is the plan for you.

  • Dairy Free:  If you have a dairy allergy or exclude dairy from your diet but have no other major exclusions, then you may be a good match for the Dairy Free plan. 

  • Dairy Free and Gluten Free: If you need to avoid both gluten and dairy but can tolerate other food groups, this is the plan for you.  

  • FODMAP: If you are looking for some help with meal planning during the elimination phase of a low FODMAP diet, we have a diet type for you. With the recipes from FODMAP Everyday, our FODMAP diet type can help you rock this first phase by eliminating high FODMAP foods.  This diet type is available for those who sign up for the FODMAP Everyday upgrade.

  • GAPS: The GAPS Diet is a temporary diet that eliminates hard-to-digest carbohydrates, toxic food additives, and foods that are difficult to digest.  It includes fermented foods and those that encourage a healthy gut.  Adding the Health, Home, and Happiness upgrade will help you get the most benefit out of this diet.  The Real Plans GAPS diet type is preset for Stage 6 exclusions, but you can always adjust your exclusions to reflect your specific needs. 

  • Gluten Free: Can’t tolerate gluten?  No problem!  Our Gluten Free plan will give you delicious meals without the gluten. 

  • Keto - LCHF: Our Ketogenic diet/Low Carb-High Fat diet includes REAL food (meat, eggs, nuts, yogurt, vegetables and occasionally some fruits) while limiting high-carb foods and focusing on healthy fat and protein sources. 

  • Kosher: This diet type follows the Jewish Kosher requirements. It prevents the pairing of meats and dairy and excludes foods such as pork and shellfish.

  • Mediterranean: Looking for diet that includes whole grains, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables?  Give our Mediterranean diet type a try.
  • Paleo: If you believe several food groups, like grains, legumes, and dairy, might be a problem for you, a Paleo diet might be what you are looking for.  Think you won’t have variety in your meals without grains, legumes, and dairy?  Think again! 

  • Paleo - Autoimmune (AIP): If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder or suspect you might be sensitive to eggs, nuts, or nightshades, our AIP plan may be the way to go.  We also have some great AIP contributors to add variety to your meals.

  • Paleo (Primal): If you tolerate dairy well but want to exclude grains and legumes, you might enjoy the Primal option. 

  • Pegan: If you choose to exclude food groups, like grains, legumes, and dairy, but want to focus on eating more produce, the Pegan diet might be what you are looking for.

  • Pescatarian: If you eat fish and seafood but abstain from other meats, this may be the plan for you.  This plan is similar to the Vegetarian diet type with the addition of fish and seafood.  

  • Vegan: If you are looking for an entirely plant-based meal plan that also removes animal byproducts such as honey, check out our Vegan diet type. Be sure to upgrade your subscription to include the Dora's Table recipe collection if you are looking for some fabulous vegan Mexican recipes. 
  • Vegetarian: If you prefer to leave meat out of your diet, the Vegetarian plan may be for you.  Our vegetarian recipes are centered around seasonal produce and include tempeh, properly prepared grains, legumes, and plenty of cultured foods.  Be sure to check out our vegetarian add-ons, Naturally Ella and Cookie + Kate. 

  • Whole30: This diet type is available for those who sign up for the Whole30 upgrade. Real Plans is thrilled to partner with Whole30 to provide compliant meals to your Meal Planner!  Whole30 is a 30-day reset diet to help you develop good eating habits and examine your relationship with food.  To see which foods the Whole30 diet type will eliminate from your meal plan, please see the Whole30 rules here.

What if you don’t fit exactly into one plan?

We know that not everyone fits into a specific category, so you can create your own custom diet type by tweaking your exclusions in Settings > My Meal Plan.  For example, you can select Paleo as your diet type and exclude all meat except for fish and shellfish/mollusks to create your own Pescatarian-Paleo diet.  If you have autoimmune conditions and avoid nightshades* but do fine with eggs and potatoes, you can choose the AIP diet type and place eggs and potatoes back in the included list.  Selecting a diet type will load the preset exclusions for that diet, but you can manipulate those exclusions to modify that diet type to meet your specific needs.  (Note: You can add exclusions to the Whole30 diet type to create a customized Whole30 plan, but removing any of the preset Whole30 exclusions will result in your meal plan NOT being Whole30-compliant.)

What if your dietary needs change?

No worries!  You can change your diet type at any time by visiting Settings > My Meal Plan

If you need assistance, please send us an email at support(at)

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