The Problem With Fad Diets

Every year, some new diet comes out, promising to revolutionise the way you look and feel. We’ve seen everything from the cabbage soup diet to keto, telling practitioners that they can transform their lives if they only eat in a particular way. 

The problem with fad diets is that they’re just not healthful. While they might temporarily help you lose weight by shifting your metabolism into starvation mode, they’re not sustainable. Worse still, they could lead to damage to tissues throughout the body, even in the context of weight loss. 

The good news, however, is that science pretty much knows what constitutes a healthy diet. The conservative medical profession suggests that people base their eating around the traditional Mediterranean pattern (or the similar DASH program), where most of the calories come from whole plant foods. The emphasis here is to minimise animal products and focus on beans, veggies, fruits and grains. These diets probably aren’t optimal, however, because they contain some animal foods and refined oils – but the mainstream establishment is not yet ready to embrace whole food veganism. That will undoubtedly change in the future as new data pours in. 

Are you interested in the problem of fad diets and their negative impact on human health? If so, then check out this infographic. It details some of the most popular current fad diets right now and how to eat instead. Remember, though, nutrition science is evolving all the time, and so these recommendations may change in the future, depending on the data.

Infographic by USC

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