Trendy Diets: Pros and Cons
With more diets emerging, you can get lost in the world of healthy eating tips. While nearly all of them boil down to avoiding processed food and eating foods that are as natural as possible, the variability among them is still quite significant. All of them have their pros and cons, and before you plunge into a three-month keto marathon, you should know what pitfalls there may be.
Some of the diets which have recently gained popularity are aimed at helping you lose weight, others have some philosophy behind them, and there are diets that are used by those who suffer from a particular disease. Admittedly, many of these are not something brand new – the good old Mediterranean diet, touted as a super-healthy one, is a way of eating traditional in Mediterranean countries, like Italy and Greece, so it’s not a product of someone’s research and creativity; rather, it’s a lifestyle backed by both anecdotal and scientific evidence.
However, not all trendy diets are the same. Promoted as healthy and contributing to your accomplishment of your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, these diets are endorsed by celebs. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Originally designed to help those suffering from epilepsy reduce the occurrence of seizures, the ketogenic diet has recently been introduced to the general population as an eating pattern capable of tuning your body’s nutrient processing strategies.
It implies consumption of low amounts of carbohydrates; conversely, your intake of fats should be high. The aim of such a shift is to make your body process fat more efficiently and use it as a primary source of energy. As far as patients with epilepsy and diabetes are concerned, they benefit from an increase in ketones, the product of processing fats in the liver, and, consequently, reduction in insulin and blood sugar levels.
The diet in question can help lose extra pounds and benefits the body in a number of ways, but you should be cautious, as there is a risk of losing some muscle mass, kidney and heart problems, and fatigue.
This diet has a whimsical name of “the Paleolithic diet”, but it does not mean you have to dash to a nearby forest to gather wild berries and seek an opportunity to buy a mammoth flank.
This one has an idea behind it, and this idea is that of reversing our eating to the way our ancestors living in forests used to eat. It means avoiding processed food and cultivated grains, so what is left is meat, fish, eggs, poultry, nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, and herbs.
One of the major concerns is that sticking to this diet can result in vitamin D deficiency, headaches, and diarrhea. The trend is quite a recent contribution to the world of diets, so its long-term effects are yet to be researched.
The gluten-free hype is winning more hearts, as everyone is under the assumption that gluten is an enemy. However, it does not stand up to scrutiny. Gluten should be avoided by those who have celiac disease, and even patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can find an alternative, that is sourdough bread.
If you avoid gluten, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies, maldigestion and malabsorbtion. The diet itself can result in several lost pounds due to reducing your intake of bread, pastry, and other foods containing gluten.
As seen from the examples above, many fad diets are far from being perfect. The next time you hear about a new nutrition trend that promises magic results due to eliminating some foods or restricting your menu to some category of it, ask yourself whether there can be contraindications and adverse effects. In most cases, there are dozens of them.
Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum – Academic.oup.com/journals
Cutting through the Paleo hype: The evidence for the Palaeolithic diet – Racgp.org.au/afp
Nutritional Deficiencies in Celiac Disease – Sciencedirect.com