Here are some of the popular fad diets that are on the market today. Below is a quick overview of each diet and some of the issues that can be part of these diets.
This diet essentially excludes all grains and starchy vegetables. Its premise is that we should live as we did as cave men and women and not eat any processed food. It is high in protein, non-starchy vegetables and salads and low in natural fructose sugar. The issue with this diet is that it excludes grains which may prove unsustainable. Also, wholegrains have been found to lower the risk of bowel cancer and so excluding these from the diet may put individuals at risk.
This diet involves consuming only foods that are supposed to increase the alkalinity of the tissues and reduce acidity. Acidity has been attribute to development of chronic disease, cancer, and joint pains. Acidic foods include dairy, eggs, meats, grains, and some fruits and vegetables. The issue comes when individuals exclude major food groups in an attempt to stay as ‘alkaline’ as possible. Moderation is the key as it is now thought that perhaps it is the quantity and unbalanced amount of acidic foods over alkaline foods that actually is the cause of illness and not the individual food per se that is the issue.
This diet involves eating very high amounts of protein to the exclusion of carbohydrates. Although this diet will result in weight loss, it is high in saturated fat, can reduce physical and mental performance, is not sustainable, and can cause kidney damage. This diet is not recommended. A healthy eating plan includes balanced amounts of protein and carbohydrates in a portion-controlled manner to ensure no major food group is omitted and health is not put at risk.
See above for high-protein diet
This diet involves removing all sugar from the diet including fructose sugar found in fruits, some starchy vegetables, and honey. It is thought that by removing sugar from the diet insulin spikes do not occur and the liver cannot therefore convert sugar into fat. This diet too can prove unsustainable and by omitting fruit altogether you can develop constipation and have reduced vitamin and mineral intake. A more balanced approach would be to reduce processed and hidden sugars which are thought to contribute to the major issue of weight gain in today’s society.
This diet claims that by drinking just fresh fruit juice and/or vegetable juice for a set period of time weight will be lost and toxins removed from the body. Although this may be true this type of diet is not healthy or sustainable. It can lead to blood sugar problems, muscle mass loss, and lack of energy.
This diet claims that by completely avoiding food and drinks other than water for a set period of time then weight will be lost and toxins removed from the body. Although this may be true once again this type of diet is not sustainable and may be harmful for certain individuals especially for those with some chronic health conditions like diabetes. It is not recommended as part of a healthy eating plan and risks creating a vicious cycle of bingeeating and yo-yo dieting.
This diet is based on a 500 Calorie diet for 3 weeks in conjunction with taking a medication that is pregnancy hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)). It results in rapid weight loss. The problem with this diet is that if an individual has not changed their lifestyle when coming off the diet then there is the risk of putting the weight back on. Also, restricting Calories to this low level can result in gallstone formation in some individuals. The absolute safety of taking hCG is yet to be definitely proven in studies.
This diet involves eating only certain foods that are approved for your blood type. It involves strict adherence to food rules and can be restrictive. It is not recommended as it has not been proven to be beneficial and may result in nutrient deficiencies.
This is a diet specifically for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suffers. It involves removing certain starches and sugars from the diet in an attempt to remove bloating and abdominal discomfort. Although proven to be beneficial for IBS sufferers it has not added benefit for non-IBS sufferers and therefore is not part of our healthy eating plan which caters for the average individual.
Body Type Diet
This diet involves eating only certain types of foods and avoiding others that may not agree with your body type. It has not been proven to be effective in causing greater weight loss or health benefits over other types of healthy eating plans.
See above for high-protein diet
Raw Food Diet
This diet involves eating only raw foods and does not permit foods to be cooked. The premise here being that cooking destroys natural enzymes and nutrients in foods. Although there is nothing essentially wrong with this diet it is not sustainable and can omit food groups in an attempt to include raw foods only.
This diet involves replacing one or more meals with a low-calorie protein shake. Although this diet will result in weight loss it has found to be not sustainable in the long-term and can quickly result in regaining lost weight once normal eating resumes.