In the days of celebrity gossip magazines and a permanent push to be thin, toned and beautiful, fad diets are becoming more and more apparent. Eating disorders are becoming more common and although not every fad diet will lead to this, the media pressure that young men and women are under these days to look good is becoming out of control. This article will examine whether the diets we are all buying into are actually good for your health or whether they are going to lead to unhealthy habits in the future.
The Atkins Diet
Known as the diet with which you avoid carbs, this fad focusses on eating mainly lean protein in the form of red meats. In the newest version of the diet, the New Atkins Diet Revolution, dieters start with 20g of carbs per day and increase this as they progress. However, this diet also restricts on healthy carbs found in vegetables, nuts and whole grains. This sort of diet is unsustainable in the long run as you may lack in essential nutrients. Furthermore, some red meats have found to be high in saturated fat which raises blood cholesterol significantly. On top of this, some researchers claim that it may contain carcinogens.
Short for Paleolithic, this diet is based on eating the way our early ancestors may have done. It aims to eat all natural, with meat from grass-fed animals and most fruit and vegetables, as well as some nuts. However, peanuts, cereal grains, potatoes, dairy and oils are on the whole banned as Paleo followers believe they put some strain on our digestive system. The diet fails to ignore that the folk of Paleolithic times would have been far more physically active and ignores the health benefits found in beans, legumes and starchy veg. The diet may cause symptoms such as a lack of energy, nutrient deficiencies and even fatigue.
This diet is perhaps the most popular among young people attempting to find a quick solution to any weight or health problems they may think they have. Known more commonly as a ‘juice cleanse’ it often involves drinking only fluids, in either a smoothie or tea-like form. Some consist of only drinking water mixed with lemon juice or cayenne pepper for example. Basically, this diet has extreme dieuretic effects and the dieter will lose a lot of water weight. However, whenever they return to eating solid foods, this weight will return immediately. Plus, a diet like this will cause you to both lose muscle and feel fatigued or sometimes nauseous.
The best way to diet, if you actually have to, is to eat and drink a balanced diet making sure you have all the nutrients you need. If you are going to play around with it, you could try smaller portion or replace certain parts of your diet, for example replacing pasta with the now famed ‘courgetti’. It’s all about balance!