May 17, 2023
What You Need To Know About Fad Diets Blogsarian com

Weight loss often requires a change in unhealthy eating habits. Of note, recent research has shown that unhealthy eating habits have added to the obesity epidemic in the US. Factors like low motivation, lack of knowledge about healthy food, poor food preparation skills, and limited access to nutritious food have become obstacles to improving one’s eating behaviors. And because of these barriers, people are pushed to search for “quick fixes” to lose weight in the form of fad diets.

Essentially, fad diets refer to dieting methods that instruct people to avoid or intake specific foods. While these methods aim to provide fast results, they can also lessen nutritional intake and lead to harmful health outcomes. In this article, we explore everything you need to know about fad diets.

1. Fad diets can lead to health complications

Although fad diets are known to be a quick fix to obesity, they can also generate concerns for those with comorbidities. Case in point, a 2022 Frontiers study titled ‘Fad Diets: Fact and Fiction’ analyzed the health consequences of the Atkins Diet, which is a low carbohydrate, high protein (LCHP) regimen. Here, it was found that LCHP diets can result in urinary stone formation, largely due to a decreased urine PH and calcium balance. Another complication of LCHP diets is metabolic acidosis, which comes with symptoms of vomiting, nausea, and dehydration. This goes to show that although fad diets can reduce weight, they can also pose serious threats to your health. So instead of simply cutting down on certain foods, prioritize fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber and can help lessen hunger. A few great options you can easily integrate into your meals are jocote fruit, pears, and apples.

2. Fad diets lack nuance

A defining characteristic of fad diets is that they tend to focus on one type of food. This generalization is dangerous, especially for those who need to accommodate or avoid certain ingredients to optimize their health condition. Keeping weight off shouldn’t prevent you from eating the foods that your body requires. After all, weight loss plans should be tailored to your nutritional needs for them to be truly effective. If a diet plan is tailored to your unique needs, you’re more likely to feel satisfied and see long-term results. The concrete effect of nuanced diets can be exemplified by individuals who have diabetes. A BMJ article explains that type 2 diabetes can be managed through weight loss, however, interventions such as dieting should meet the nutritional basis diabetics need. If you have diabetes, then your diet should incorporate foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These not only help you lose weight, but they also aid in regulating blood sugar. Such personal attention will be hard to find in fad diets as they are much more generalized.

3. Fad diets have a financial motive

Fad diets can come with pricey supplements, shakes, or educational books. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with purchasing these products, it can be concerning when they promise weight loss without diet or exercise. A 2022 American Heart Association article titled ‘Research says fad diets don’t work. So why are they so popular?’ explained that fad diets have marketing campaigns that often lack medical research. Some ads incorporate vague, science-sounding language rather than actual data. For instance, some weight loss promises are geared towards a general demographic instead of warning people who can’t tolerate, say, gluten products. Instead of latching on to these sorts of messages, and consequently consuming gimmicky weight loss products, you can choose to invest in nutritious ingredients and products that are backed by science and research.

4. Fad diets can cause mental health distress

Fad diets often entail you to avoid certain foods, and interestingly, there is a link between the food you eat and your mental health. Research posted on NCBI stated that specific food preferences can improve one’s psychological state. Seeking out “comfort foods” is a common human experience, but more importantly, it can boost your mood. Foods that are high in carbohydrates like bread or pasta, for instance, can satisfy you in times of stress. On the other hand, they can also negatively affect blood sugar and insulin levels. As such, it’s important to strike a balance between food that you love and food that provides you with adequate nutrients. Rather than sticking to fad diets, swap your favorite sweets for equally delicious (yet healthy) alternatives like yogurt bowls or granola mixes.

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