The Good, the Fad and the UglyWORTHINGTON — In the past couple decades, fad diets have graced the covers of magazines, been promoted by an assortment of famous people and have made companies a lot of money. But what good do we, as consumers, get from them? Well, nothing. In fact, we are on the losing end of these commercial exploitations.
By: Gretta Farley, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — In the past couple decades, fad diets have graced the covers of magazines, been promoted by an assortment of famous people and have made companies a lot of money. But what good do we, as consumers, get from them? Well, nothing. In fact, we are on the losing end of these commercial exploitations.
I thought it would be fun to look back at some popular fad diets and see what they really did for the consumers.
High-protein/ low-carbohydrate diets (such as Atkin’s)
l Claim: Eat a lot of protein, skip the carbs and melt away the fat.
l Problem: Not good for the kidneys, causes excessive flatulence, not nutritionally sound and weight is regained once the person goes back to eating a normal diet.
l Claim: Replace regular meals with premade “liquid meals” and lose weight.
l Problem: Not realistic long-term, weight is re-gained when real food is consumed, low in many fundamental nutrients, does not instill healthy eating habits.
Food-specific diets (such as the grapefruit and cabbage diets)
l Claim: Certain foods have magical properties and can make you lose weight. Eat this certain food in excess and you will melt away the pounds.
l Problem: The diet gets boring, weight is re-gained, it is not nutritionally complete and it is deceitful. There is not a supernatural food that can alone cause you to lose weight.
Weight loss supplements
l Claim: Take pills to melt away the pounds. Most claim that you do not even have to worry about exercising!
l Problem: These pills can cause excessive diarrhea, convulsions, stroke, seizures and even death. And they are expensive.
There are of course many more fad diets that would not fit in this column, but hopefully this gives you my main message: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember to stick to the basics: move more and eat less. Make lifestyle changes that are realistic and can last a lifetime. If you have any questions about food or nutrition, make sure to ask a person that is qualified to answer — a registered dietitian, of course!